I was pretty psyched to leave the terrible weather of Syria behind this morning to head to the 70 degree temperature of Kuwait. Flying into Kuwait was really cool because you are just flying over the Arabian Desert which looks like a huge muddy ocean. There are oil fields dotting the sand in Iraq and Kuwait and again it’s really cool to see it from above; just how vast and huge they really are. Landing in Kuwait was like landing in a really nice fast food laden mall. There are spotless stores, plus immaculate Burger Kings, McDonalds, etc. as far as the eye can see. As I drove into Kuwait City to find my hotel, I couldn’t help but notice how nice the city was.
On the highway from the airport you see the skyline of Kuwait City and the landmark tower that is the 5th largest tower in the world and is quite eye catching. Further along you get to see the idyllic Kuwait Towers which I was soon to be up inside for some panoramic views of the city and a pictorial of the Iraqi invasion-where they are described as Barbarians-I found that interesting and amusing. The city is pretty much spotless and almost everything is brand new, having been rebuilt after the Iraqi invasion in 1990.
There is a coastal road they call Gulf Road that runs along the Persian Gulf all the way down the coast of the country. It is pretty ideal for walking along and just enjoying the perfect weather. Thats pretty much what people do here in Kuwait. Going out to eat and walking along the Gulf Road are how people entertain themselves here. There is no alcohol in the country and there are no bars. In fact, I stopped into the Hard Rock Cafe and asked if they had anything going on, and they told me they were the only Hard Rock in the world that didn’t serve alcohol and never played music. Kind of strange I thought but that’s the way it’s done here.
It’s funny to think that I am so close to Iraq right now where this pointless brutal war is still raging and I did in fact fly in over it this morning. Every person I talk to asks me if I am a soldier in Iraq here for a break. I tell you what, if I was risking my life fighting in the war and got some time to get out of Iraq for a few days; I wouldn’t be going to a place where they didn’t serve alcohol and there were no bars or clubs!
Anyway, Kuwait is really a gorgeous place and I look forward to seeing the other Gulf States while I am out here. There is so much money here and the cars you see driving are a who’s who of the biggest names in sports cars. The hotels are awesome, including the Le Meridien I am in right now-simply impeccable service and the lobby and rooms are stellar. The only problem with Kuwait is the prices, everything is so expensive and the exchange rate is brutal for Americans, it’s nearly 4 to 1. It is pegged to the dollar so it won’t be changing much in the future. The dollar really needs to pick it up!
I do only have the one night here which is plenty in Kuwait: it is a lovely city/country but there isn’t too much to see and it’s difficult to really walk around because it is so spread out and taxis cost a fortune. I am looking forward to dinner and then I have an early morning flight to Bahrain which is supposed to be a really cool place to visit.