have you seen Kuwait in the news over the past couple of days?
You may have. Not because the Amir dissolved parliament last month, or because protests were held over upcoming elections (and the Amir' actions over electoral boundaries)-this is the 6th time since 2006 that parliament has been dissolved). You may not have even heard the news that last night Kuwait broke the world record for the biggest firework show to mark the 50th anniversary of its National Constitution (I don't think that made much of mark on the international news) in the same area that mass protests were held only the week before, or that the Amir woke up yesterday morning and announced that schools would have a holiday (messages went flying round at 6am...so I went back to bed with a cup of tea and The Paris Wife before a run )...hmmm...bribe for happiness much???
Not that I am complaining of course, the fireworks were amazing, the pilots that came all the way from New Mexico were worth their 6 digit fee for their 4 minute show, lighting up the sky with shooting starts.
The constant golds and reds sparkled like jewels and reflected on the water as I watched from the beach. People had camped out from 10am to get a good spot for the show, to see the 77,282 fireworks. Where the roads were opened, Kuwaitis were partying in only a style they could, on top of their car roofs, waving flags and tooting (no, not as delicate as tooting...blaring) their horns and firing their air rifles. Everyone was up for a party under the dancing bright sky. Beautiful they were; creating a diamond and emerald covered sky for more than an hour. Worth 10 million pounds (4 million KD), I guess I can't judge as it is all just silly oil money anyway. Money here doesn't have the same worth as other places. A boy in my class was given 100KD from the tooth fairy the other day (that is over £220) and I was given a DKNY watch for my birthday from a parent of another child in my class. Silly money.
All that probably won't have made the news. What has made the new recently is Kuwait's fast-food loving society.
There was a special on CNN on Saturday night, did you see it? No, me neither... I was watching the fireworks...but you can read the article here.
Should I leave that chat for another time. Maybe. But let me just say...as I ran past McDonald's (one of the 65 in this tiny nation), at 6.30am the other morning, it was jam packed. Packed. Some parents of mine still think giving their children crisps (chips) is healthy because 'it is potatoes'. In my work place there are at least two teachers that have had bariatric surgery (stomach stapling). And me...I have put on weight since I have arrived. I have never ran so much, but eating here is one of the few things to do...so we do it! (But that is different to the generation here that don't know that 'junk' food is unhealthy, I know it...) So my running buddy and I have decided to do healthy cook offs.
I think the Amir might be pretty peeved that the same night that he spent 4 million KD on fireworks, a programme on international TV was on, the the fireworks didn't even get a mention. Ah well-we enjoyed them!
PS- much much better photos are here.