Sunday, February 08, 2004

Trip to Kuwait City

Trip to Kuwait City
Sunday, February 8, 2004
2:17:00 AM CST

05 Feb 2004 PM

Had a great opportunity today to go to Kuwait City. Paul an ITT guy who has been here for over two months was going into Kuwait City and asked Owen and I if we wanted to tag along. I was a bit apprehensive for obvious reasons, but Owen convinced me that it was safe. Owen has been out of the Army about three weeks now and had been stationed here at Camp Doha last year for one year. So, he is familiar with the area and the city.

Guess that I really didn't know what to expect. Going into the city, we passed the stretch were two contractors were ambushed last year and killed. Since then, the military police and the Kuwaiti police monitor this area pretty closely. The stretch has mounds on either side of it dotted with trees and shrubs. Paul was saying that sometimes you will see wild camels in this area too along with bedeoans. (spelling?)

Kuwait City is an interesting mix of posh luxury and slums. Actually, it isn't too different than any other western city or driving into Chicago for that matter. The drivers are just as crazy! We got into a traffic circle and some clown in the inside lane decided that he needed to get out of the circle right where we were. He nearly drove through the driver's side door and then honked at us because we were in his way. Paul took us to the souks to shop around. They looked alot like a huge flee market.

From the souks, we went over to the Sharq Mall. This mall is on the water front and is quite nice. Very modern and very westernized. This is the mall where that Scud missle landed in the water next to it. It has a great water clock in the middle. After we left the mall, we drove down along the water front to chose a restaurant to eat at. All the normal western restaurants are there. Fudruckers, Friday's, Appleby's, Chili's, you-name-it-it's-there.

I'm kind of regretting now that after dinner I didn't take a picture of the towers on the waterfront. The two towers are the image everyone remembers of Kuwait City. Some of the buildings have also been adorned with floors/stories of lights looking like the Kuwaiti flag. Paul was saying that they are getting ready to celebrate their independence from the Iraqi takeover back from the Persian Gulf War.
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