Welcome to Kuwait

>After 7 years of med school and work in the Uk, you could say I sorta “acclimatised” to the way things work over there.  And on the most part, it really wasnt that complicated.

They say wait in the queue and you’ll be served, they mean it.  Fair enough, sometimes the queue is as long as f**k, but you will get what you came for in the end.  Things are sign posted, “turn left here” or “jump here” or “speak to that person”, and no matter how weird the situation is, at the end of the day, you’ll get what you came for, regardless of how long it took.

Which brings me onto my point.  The whole reason I started blogging in the first place.

“Takhalof” “تخلف” / “Backwardness” / “Retardation” of this society.  It is increasing by day and night and in the 7 years I was going back and forth on holidays to Kuwait from the Uk it is progressively getting worse.

Dont get me wrong – I Love My Country – its given me loads and I wouldnt be where I would be without it , but my qualms are with the people.  The strange and bewildering thing is that its the common things you’d expect to find in an arab society, that tends to cherish its culture and tradition so proudly, that are missing!

Heres my story of the day:

So I went to the Ministry of Higher Education (which has moved to the freezone, hiya) to start what I was told a long cycle of events that would eventually lead me to getting employed and making some cha-ching.  The actual process is a bit overwhelming, but the first step was “get a to whom it may concern letter” and make your way to the ministry of health.. not too difficult..

Or so I thought.  Maybe I was mislead into this false hope that things may get done a bit quick since in my experience a “to whom it may concern letter” is simply a template on a computer screen.  Its 2010, not 1020.  Or maybe what was more misleading was the fact that while I was packing up from Scotland I wanted such a letter in the last week I was there, and I simply emailed the lady at 5pm and got a swift reply asking me to pick it up at 12pm the next day.

So I went to building 1, and was told to go to building 4 and get a number (like the ones where you press a button, get the number and wait your turn sort of thing) and bring it back to her so she can send my folder across to “get it done” basically.  So far, so good.. Order, i like this..

In building 4, I notice that its kinda .. full.  Quickly, I head to the machine, press the button and wait.  Nothing.  Press it again.. and wait.. nothing.  Ya baba, yala I need the number.  Nothing.
Then a guy comes up to me and says “Okhoy, ana yay min il sa3a 7 am, imbakhshish il security, oo makhithli raqam.  Raqmi 587, wana akhir raqam”

So I went and checked the opening times.  8am.  Its 8:15am now.  No way could 587 people have come and gone in 15 minutes.

Here I stood thinking .. He came at 7am, gave the security a couple of KD, got a number a whole hour before the place even opened, and hes the LAST number?  Number 587?  So, 586 people before him came and did the same?  What time did they come?  9alaw il fayir oo yaw?  How much did the security guy make?  Am I in the wrong profession?;p

So I went back to building 1, told that lady the story, and she said “wala shasawee yakhoy, ta3al youm il a7ad winshala takhith raqam”.  Its Wednesday sweetheart, and people apparently dont work Thursday / Friday / Saturday here.  Or afternoons in general.

What do you say to people like that?  
What do you do when people who had just been praying day and night during Ramadan, being honest and sincere, come and do that just get their paperwork done?
What kind of place are we living in when il was6a isnt a privilege anymore but a necessity?
What do you do when the people who refuse to get things done with was6a get shat on, get nothing done, and basically get screwed?

The topic title is actually something thats been repeated to me many times since I told people the story.  I told my friends, family, strangers, and I get the same reply.

“Welcome to Kuwait”

Tagged as:


  1. Fahad September 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    >not to mention guys who leave theri cars parked behind yours and simply reply by "ana ya36y security almefta7 oo gool eza hada yeje wa55er sayarra" when they come to remove their car… urrghhhh

  2. Dr Q80 September 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    >Yeh, welcome to Wataniya HQ in town .. thats the way it works in this place unfortunately ..

  3. Mohammed September 18, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    >not to mention how Kuwaitis have an issue with being on time. Two days ago I was meeting up with a few friends in a restaurant, I was the first to get their on time and had to wait 40 minutes alone in the restaurant. They ended up taking all of 2nd ring road then all of khaleej and then all of blajat to come. How efficient?But what can I say other than, Welcome to Kuwait. 🙂

  4. Dr Q80 September 18, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    >LooooooL Mohammed, it depends who the driver was, and in this case it was the guy with the first reply to the topic ;p

  5. M. September 26, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    >apparently influenced by the passenger who always insists on listening to a couple of songs before parking to their destination

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: