Busy with travel, meetings and management visits last week and this week!
Even though I don’t spend much time here, I feel at home in Bahrain. The people are lovely and the place is really well manicured. I always notice the attention to detail that places like Muscat and Dubai place on their appearance – something we definately need to work on in Kuwait – and Bahrain is great at it. Beautiful landscaping and lots of care for older buildings.
I have many Bahraini friends and I manage to meet some of them during my visits. This time is even more special. I received an email from an old classmate in the UK, who tells me he had relocated to Bahrain with his family a few months ago. I’m reading this email as I’m checking in at the hotel in Manama. He had seen many cars with Kuwaiti number plates and wondered if I ever visited. I haven’t seen him for four years, so imagine the surprise when I called him – minutes after he sent the email – telling him I’m actually in Bahrain today! We will have lunch in an hour.
The buildings in the picture are my new favourite modern building in the whole Gulf. Previously the top of the list was the tower in Dubai on Sh Zayed Road.
Back in May, I read a post by Mahmoud Al Yousef about Bahrain being ranked number 8 sin city in the world! Mahmoud doesn’t blog any more, but this is a link to the post.
I can’t help imagining these twin buildings as the horns of the devil…
Last month, I got an email from the authors of Pocket Cultures to include BuYousef.net. Their Blogs-of-the-World blog aims to show people around the world different countries and different cultures. It’s a very interesting website and nicely put together.
Find the blog here. Bookmark it and have a look now and then.
I took this from a Gulf Air flight out of Kuwait this morning. The weather was beautiful and clear. The plane was banking to the right and I found myself staring at this view of KWI. For the first time, I noticed the name “Kuwait” written on the ground in that huge lettering. I wonder if they’re lower beds? It seems too big an area. Have a look at the larger version by clicking the photograph.
I fly through many airports around the world, and I still think Kuwait’s is one of the best. Even though I now associate cigarette smoke smell with the lady’s voice calling the gates, and that KWI doesn’t have good shops and restaurant, it scores high where it counts. For me, the most important factors are world class: Good highway connection, close/cheap long term parking, short distances to walk between gates and lounges, and most importantly it takes less than 25 minutes to do everything – whether departing or arriving.
This will change, and soon, with all the planned expansions and runways. We currently have 8 million passengers coming through Kuwait, the new airport will have a capacity of 20 million. I have a friend working on this project but he’s unable to share with me anything confidential. Al Watan Daily had an article on 6th November about the new plans. Read it here if you’re interested.
It looks like this small airport luxury will be gone soon, so enjoy it! Even with the Hajj rush starting soon…
That wonderful scent of honey filling the space around this plant is what makes it one of my favourites for this time of year. I’m not sure why, but I seem to do better with the white variety and not so well with the purple. Great clusters of little white flowers contrasting with the bright green foliage means they’re always a nice addition wherever you choose to place them.
If you have empty pots lying around, or if a neglected bed is looking at you every time you’re in the garden, this is the perfect friend for the next few months. It grows beautifully, smells like a breeze from paradise and is very easy to care for (water it when it doesn’t rain). You shouldn’t pay more than 1KD for 7 shrubs. I only have little space and above are my 7 which joined us last Saturday.
Well the photograph is obviously of the road back home. Instead of flying to Dammam – bad – I decided to try driving. I wanted to have my meetings and return home the same day. It works! but I have to say that I had a wonderful journey, so that may have something to do with it.
The weather was perfect and the cloud shielded the sun most of the way there and back. No camels and it was a day off for road idiots – though some did come in to check emails. Immigration and Customs were great on both sides of the border. I stayed in my car for the whole routine and the queues were only on the way back, when I saw all of three cars ahead of me.
For my meetings in the East of Saudi Arabia, here is a short comparison for me:
By Air: Packing, driving to airport, checking in, waiting, flying, driving to hotel, unpacking, sleeping, waking up, changing, driving to meeting, lunch, driving to airport, checking in, waiting, flying, driving home.
By Road: Wake up, change, drive to meeting, lunch, drive home!
Late last week, I heard a funny fact on BBC Radio; If the Washington Redskins win in the week of the election, the incumbent party would win… Apparently this has been true since 1936! They lost – so the rule still applies.
The International Institute of Economics spoils the fun saying there were gaps. However, with a bit of magic, they add the Boston Red Sox to the equation and everybody is happy. Article here if you’re interested.
Speaking of everybody being happy – I really think everyone is!
I have to admit, I was not expecting Obama to win, not even two hours before the final result was announced. I am so glad I was wrong. Well Done America – and congratulations to the World.
The weather must be the most talked about subject in polite conversation and small talk, but what we’ve had for the past few days should be headline news… worldwide.
From the dusty unbearably hot days, to the ridiculously humid, we are now experiencing what in my book is perfect weather. Bright days and pleasant evenings – what more do we want? This beautiful blue sky was captured yesterday.
Last night was 24°c and I had to wear a long-sleeved top! My Danish and English friends will probably want to kill me when they see me next.
Heavy rain expected tomorrow.