Day 317 – Irrational Fear

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 13-05-2010

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Thursday May 13th, 2010

As a child I was instructed never to answer the door to anyone. I don’t remember the words my mother used to enforce that instruction, but – by golly – they worked. Even to this day when the door bell rings or someone knocks, I break out into a cold sweat and my heart begins to beat rapidly. She was once thought to be a spy; perhaps we were wrong to disregard that concept. She does have some reliable and withstanding tactics.

I can’t decide if it’s a help or hindrance that our door is seldom visited by guests here in Kuwait. When it does ring I take ten seconds and admit myself to my personal psychological clinic; no, it’s probably not a murderer/rapist/thief; nor is it an alien of any kind – except illegal; it can’t be someone from the outside because our apartment is highly guarded; therefore, it’s probably okay for me to proceed to the door. When I did this a few days ago, my session was successful. I managed to calm my heart and put the adult version of Juliane in my mind. However, during no part of my psychological check did I physically check myself leading to two neighbors that I’ve never met standing at my door, mouths agape. Yes, Juliane, you are in your pajamas standing face to face with strangers. Yes, that is a towel wrapped ‘round your head. Yes, there is a grin appearing on their faces. And yes, you do feel like an idiot. So next time the doorbell rings I’ll take twenty seconds: 10 for psych eval, 10 for physical eval.

Day 316 – Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 12-05-2010

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Wednesday May 12th, 2010

I somehow missed out on a critical children’s classic: Little Women. Luckily I rectified that and found what a darling novel it is. I had seen both the 1949 and 1994 film adaptations of Little Women as a child, but I’m happy I took the time to read the original piece. Little Women parts one and two were sold together beginning in 1880. Before then they were sold as Little Women and Good Wives, however, there are still editions made with the books separate. Alcott ends the part one of the book saying this:

“So the curtain falls upon Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Whether it ever rises again, depends upon the reception given the first act of the domestic drama called LITTLE WOMEN.”

When I read that, it made me stop and think about Louisa May Alcott, her personality, and her work ethic. If Little Women wouldn’t have gotten such a warm welcoming would she have written or released Good Wives? She seems so nonchalant about the whole thing as if to say, Well, if they like what I’ve written I’ll write some more, but if they don’t, I won’t waste my time with it. What an interesting way to end a story.

Day 315 – P.F. Chang’s

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 11-05-2010

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Tuesday May 11th, 2010

Have I mentioned before that I love Chinese food? Andrew and I went to P.F. Chang’s at the Avenues mall for the second time last week and it was even better than I remember. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps are a must have. My dad suggested them to me and we get them every time we go. We got the crab wontons for the first time and I’ll be ordering them again. For our main dishes we had beef with broccoli and Chang’s spicy chicken. I also tasted the chicken fried rice, orange peel chicken and sweet & sour chicken. It was all scrumptious. If you are looking for cuisine Chinese food in a pleasing atmosphere, P.F. Chang’s is the place to go.

Their menu and locations can be found here: http://www.pfchangs.com/index.aspx.

Day 314 – Viaggio Italian Restaurant

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 10-05-2010

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Monday May 10th, 2010

One word: yumo. If you are looking for delicious Italian food in Kuwait, this is where to go. It is located on the second floor of the Crown Plaza lobby in Kuwait City. After ordering our meal a basket of several different breads was brought to the table with olives, cheeses, and pesto – all of which were delectable. I had a bowl of zuppa di verdure con pesto Genovese – yum. Andrew had mozzarella caprese for his appetizer and it was prepared beautifully. For our main dishes we had a pepperoni pizza and lasagna al forno – yum and yum. This lasagna was equivalent in taste to my mother’s and that doesn’t happen often. I dislike ricotta cheese, which is in most lasagna recipes, but luckily Viaggio’s makes their lasagna with parmesan and mozzarella. We were so full from our appetizers that we couldn’t finish our main dishes and had leftovers to take home. The atmosphere was perfect for Andrew’s and my date and the food couldn’t have been better. When my family is in town and I take them to Crown Plaza’s SPA Aquatonic, we’ll dine here afterwards.

Their menu and information can be found here: http://www.kuwait.crowneplaza.com/AxCMSwebLive/enViaggioItalian.cms.

Day 311 – Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 07-05-2010

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Friday May 7th, 2010

This was an absolutely wonderful read. My mother gave me this book for Christmas and I couldn’t put it down. Nothing major happened throughout the novel; there was not one defining moment for Francie, the main character, but multiple mini defining moments, which is often how true life plays out. I truly enjoy reading novels that offer the reader more than just a story. I learned more about life in Brooklyn at the turn of the century, the struggles of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation Americans, the effects of alcoholism, the importance of proper public education, pride, and the pursuit of the American dream all through Smith’s story of a young girl living in New York. I, as well as two other women that read it along with me, thoroughly enjoyed the novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Day 310 – Vitamin E

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Georgia, Kuwait | Posted on 06-05-2010

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Thursday May 6th, 2010

After receiving a nasty scar my doctor recommended using vitamin E on it. I was instructed to pierce a vitamin E gel capsule and cover the scar twice daily for 6 months. It worked a miracle. My scar is now nearly invisible and it was a pretty nasty one to begin with – let me tell you. Since then vitamin E is used almost daily in our house: cat scratches, paper cuts, skinned knees and elbows. If it’s a healing wound, it’s got a shiny coating of vitamin E. My stomach doesn’t take kindly to taking daily vitamins so administering vitamin E orally isn’t an option. Placing it directly on my scratches and scars is a more effective and less queasy approach for me to use it.

Day 309 – Awesome Blossom @ Chili’s

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 05-05-2010

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Wednesday May 5th, 2010

After the water park, we were famished. We found provisions at the nearby Chili’s. Andrew has made it a habit to inquire of an awesome blossom every time we eat at Chili’s just because they never have it. But, on this trip to Chili’s when he asked if they had the awesome blossom they affirmatively replied. The excitement grew as he said the words he’s been waiting so long to say: “We’ll take one awesome blossom, please.” As we sat with growing anticipation for our awesome appetizer, our smiles were never ending. And when we finally received it and it was actually an awesome blossom not just dismembered onion petals, we ate that fried onion until our hearts were beating slower and my ketchup was depleted. What a joyous dinner it was! We went back a week later just to eat another one.

Day 308 – Aqua Park

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 04-05-2010

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Tuesday May 4th, 2010

Andrew has been hankering for a water park for a few months now. Ever since visiting the Kuwait Towers we have wanted to go to the park below. We finally made it and were content with what we found. Although the walkways were a bit worn down and the lazy river wasn’t working properly, we had a great time. The attendants were mostly Kuwaitis, but the employees all spoke English fluently. They were very good with the boisterous kids that tried to break the rules. The lines were short. None of the slides were painful, which isn’t always the case at water parks. While waiting in line we could watch the people combating at the accompanying paintball field. There were several restaurants onsite as well as a variety of food stands. We haven’t tried any of the other water parks in Kuwait, but would gladly go back to Aqua Park for a fun day in the sun.

The Aqua Park is in season from April to October opening at 10:00am and closing at 10:00pm daily.  The cost is kd 3.750 for entrance. Their Go Kart Track and Paint Ball field are open year round. More information can be found here: http://www.aquaparkkuwait.com/.

Day 307 – Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 03-05-2010

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Monday May 3rd, 2010

I am ashamed to admit that I, a lover of G rated murder mysteries, had never read Agatha Christie until now. While in London I saw Mouse Trap, but other than that, nothing by Christie had entered my mind. Like Mouse Trap, Orient Express’ ending caught me by surprise. Throughout both the production and the novel I ill guessed the perpetrator, changing my verdict with every new piece of evidence. Apparently Christie outsmarts me every time. But, isn’t that the contents of a good murder mystery: uncertainty until the very end? I have already recommended Murder on the Orient Express to three people, and if you haven’t read it yourself I recommend it to you. Let me know if you were able conclude the case before the esteemed Poirot. I sure wasn’t!

Day 306 – Storm Story

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 02-05-2010

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Sunday May 2nd, 2010

The morning of the dust storm on April 17th I was outside by the pool. Andrew and I left the apartment together; he for work and I for the pool. Ten minutes later as I lay poolside reading Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, Andrew called to inform me of an oncoming storm: “It’s looking pretty bad where I am. Look towards the city. I’d say you’ve got a few minutes to get back inside before it hits you.”

Sure enough, the sky to my right was darkening with an imposing orange cloud. Andrew hung up the phone to focus on the road as I began collecting my things. Within a minute the cloud was on top of me and my things were being ripped from my arms by the wind. As I stood, the chair I was sitting on slid across the deck. I pulled my sunglasses off my face so that I could see as I ran to the building. By the time I made it to the elevator alarms were going off, and I was completely losing my cool. The elevator doors opened to a gust of wind from an open window in the hall pushing me to the back of the elevator. I struggled to get out and into our apartment. There I felt a bit safer. The alarms were disengaged and I watched the storm come over our part of the city fiercely: cars slowed, street lights came on, men scrambled to get the patio furniture inside before it blew down the stairs or over the railings, and the sky got as black as night. It was complete madness. And then, minutes later, it was all over. The clouds dispersed, the sun crept out, the wind died down, and the traffic sped up. It was a very intense and frightening storm, but it was exciting to experience a true Kuwait dust storm.