Mugg & Bean:

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 21-03-2011

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Can we say lemon meringue pie? I won’t lie, the sheer sight of the towering meringue is pretty much the only reason we bought a slice. The slice looks amazing, just imagine the whole pie. It was breathtaking! Uho, my love affair with food is starting to show. Although it was really impressive to look at, it wasn’t as good as we’d imagined; most things in life aren’t. I am glad we ordered it for this picture though…I mean, look at it!

Andrew and I sat with our pie and enjoyed the perfect springtime weather. It’s been in the 80s with blue skies and a light breeze. (Breeze is such a fun word to look at.) Al Kout has wonderful atmosphere to sit and chat or read a book. We did a bit of both, and even had a water show to watch at certain points. It was a perfect lazy afternoon spent with the love of my life. I’ll have to put some photos of the mall up at a later date. Like most large malls in Kuwait, it’s really quite pretty.

50/20/5 Liberation Fireworks:

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 13-03-2011

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I have never seen a fireworks display like the one on Friday February 25th at the Kuwait Towers. It was purely breathtaking. Andrew and I stood staring in amazement during the hour long show without ever thinking about sitting down.

We had arrived early and ate dinner at Chili’s. Then sat playing a card game and watching the Kuwaitis come and go in their nations colors: black, white, red, and green. The Arabic language has always had an aggressive edge to me, but it sounded much more endearing that night. The whole atmosphere was nothing but a joyous celebration. Everyone was smiling and enjoying time with their families. Kids were armed with water guns spraying the cars and people that passed by them. People were wearing crazy red and green wigs from the Sultan Center and the Lulu Hypermarket. It really was something to behold.

After lying on a blanket and watching people pack in, we watched the fireworks from the shores of the Persian Gulf. Men and children shouted and gasped as the women sang out their custom ALALALALAs. In the lulls of the fireworks, video montages displayed on the Kuwait towers caused everyone to erupt in celebration again. We sat in traffic that night for over an hour and didn’t mind a bit. We were just happy to have experienced the night together. I’ll not forget my Liberation Day fireworks for a very long time. What a great show, Kuwait!

Cat around Villa:

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 06-03-2011

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It has been a while since posting adorable kitty pictures. How did I let that happen? She’s just asking to be featured on the blog.

On my love sac . She’s been getting more use out of it than me lately.

“Clean comforter? Don’t mind if I do.”

The joys of waking up next to a furry face. I have two of those nowadays!

Giving Mom a scare on a regular afternoon. “She thinks you can’t lose a cat in a two bedroom apartment. Muhaha!”

Pinkberry:

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 05-03-2011

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Why have I never had frozen yogurt before? After hearing several people rave about Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt, I had to taste the deliciousness. I was not disappointed. I had my chocolate yogurt with strawberries, walnuts, pistachios, and coconut. I think I’ll be getting one of these whenever Starbuck’s is taunting me.

Thankfully they have a nutritional value page on their website.

Kuwaiti Kites:Even amid the almost barren desert, there is childlike wonder.

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 01-03-2011

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Can I just say awesome?! As I was riding down the road I saw these amazing kites! Where do you buy kites this big? I’ve seen a couple of massive kites along Gulf Road before but never this many. I couldn’t even get them all in the frame. Sometimes Kuwait surprises me in such good ways! J

My Dad and I once went and flew kites at Oak Grove Elementary with loads of other children. It was so long ago but I still remember being excited about it. For a moment, kites makes the world seems like a magical place where it is only normal for brightly colored shapes to sit stagnant in the air.

July 28th, 2010 – Dhymes Dies

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 09-11-2010

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As much as I hate to put this in writing – because I still find myself in disbelief and somehow it feels like writing it down will make it actually true – my sweet Dhymes death was an unforgettable part of this summer. So here is my darling kitty’s obituary:

Dhymes passed away the evening of July 28th, 2010 at the International Veterinary Hospital in Kuwait. He was an 8 year old ball of fluff who even in his last moments tried to be his best. While he occasionally had trouble doing ordinary cat things, it all added up to making him a one of a kind cat. He met me at the front door regularly, allowed me to squeeze him tightly while falling asleep, and humored me in dressing him up and trimming him down. He ate through any package of bread or meat that I left in a grocery bag on the floor or on the counter and returned my scolds with classic puppy dog eyes, which are just as effective in a feline.

I have mentioned a woman named Jan in a previous post. She is what I would call one of my mother’s lifelong friends. When I had a game for my Tsunami Volleyball team in Jan’s town, we stayed with her at her home. Her cat, Annie, had just had a litter of 6 kittens a few weeks before. Knyckles and Dhymes were a part of that litter. Dhymes was the only male and the only kitten that featured his mother: white body with orange ears. The rest looked like their father: white bodies with some form of black ears. Annie rough housed Dhymes and cleaned him until we were certain he would bleed. He was treated differently than all the other kittens. At one point during our stay my mother said, “If I had a cat, I’d want one like him. He knows how to play and he knows how to relax!” A few months later when my mother went to visit Jan, two bigger kittens met her at the door as Jan hollered, “It’s time you take your cats home!” She explained to my mother how I needed a cat and if I wasn’t allowed a cat because my brother didn’t have a pet that she had one for him too. She even saved the one my mother had joshed about wanting even though he had been promised to someone else. And that is how they came to me: in a black carrier, in the red Miata on Mom’s way back to Georgia.

Although my brother adored Dhymes, his life got more hectic leaving him unable to care for him. So I was given the gift of Dhymes. The more I think of him, the more I realize what a constant he was in my life; as crushes came and went; as I muddled through high school and then college; as I moved from house to house and apartment to apartment; as I cried myself to sleep; and as I cursed the mundane life I led, he was there steadily purring he reassurance. And I couldn’t have asked for more than that.

He was loved, spoiled, and is terribly missed.

Day 342 – Coach – dun, dun, DUN!

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Travel | Posted on 07-06-2010

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Monday June 7th, 2010

When it began, I knew it was going to be the longest flight ever. One would think that knowing it would somehow lessen the pain, but that knowledge in no way made the fifteen hour flight from Dubai to Atlanta any more tolerable. Being assigned a seat in coach was disappointing enough, but having been given an E seat about sent me into suicidal depression. The middle?! THE MIDDLE?! I’ve been given the worst seat available on the plane. I should’ve known when the Delta ticket agent handed me my ticket looking as though she was passing a kidney stone. It wasn’t her kidneys that produced her “I hate life” expression, but the knowledge that she was sending me into hell for the next 15 hours.

I rejoiced when I arrived to my row and found two empty seats in my section. Perhaps my misfortune wasn’t all that misfortunate after all. No quicker had those thoughts entered my mind than another young man trudged down the aisle and stopped at that glorious vacant seat. It was then that I knew there would be no stretching of my legs, no laying my head against the seat next to me, no peeing without awkwardly harassing the co-travelers next to me, and no sleeping.

It was then that I decided to order Coke with dinner and watch those complementary movies for as long as I could bear. But, seven hours later, I could feel the veins emerging on my eyes. I was not going to make it. I slumped forward onto my open tray and luckily fell asleep. I relished in the thought that I could pass at least two hours of this awful flight asleep. When I awoke later, I excitedly looked at my watch to see how many beautiful hours had passed as I slept: none. Twenty measly minutes, one thousand and six hundred pathetic seconds was all I had managed to accomplish. Well that and severe stomach pains from curling my long body into an awkward fetal position.

I then sat there staring into oblivion talking myself out of crying. Both of the men next to me were fast asleep; the man to my left had his beanie cap pulled down over his eyes while the man on my right had his head leaned back with his mouth agape. I’ve always been amazed at people who can lean their head back against their headrest and drift into an unrestful slumber. I have never been that person. As I sat there contemplating life, the man on my right jerked forward thrusting his fists into the air and blurted out a mouthful of unintelligible garble. Then, like a comical scene in a movie, his body went limp and his head fell back to the headrest where he was peacefully sleeping again. He later told me that he was having some crazy dreams and had a tendency of talking in his sleep. It’s the little things in life that make life entertaining. If I had a compilation of all the hilarious accounts in my life, I would have a #1 best seller of something, a script, manuscript, skit, something.

Between standing and literally stretching in front of the bathrooms, watching movies, taking powernaps, and chatting, I did manage to survive the seemingly longest flight of my life. Since then, I have been fervently praying that I do not receive a B, E, or H seat; for those truly are the worst seats on the plane. The truth is I didn’t have the only worst seat on the plane.

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 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 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!