My lovely jubly class forgot some of our rules the other day pertaining to homework etc etc. so being my teacher-self I put my game face on and began counting on my fingers. “We’ve been at school since September, October, November, December, January, February, and now March, and we still haven’t figured it out!” I began..then I looked at my hands and went damn. I’ve been here for thaat long already?!?! and I began missing my mum and my family and my bed etc etc. but jeez! time has seriously gone by so fast and until or unless you actually start counting the months it never really dawns on you does it?!
Being in Kuwait for almost 7 months has made a tad bit lazy to be honest there’s sort of an unwritten ‘rule’ if you will that if you don’t want to do it you really don’t have to! House needs a clean? hire a cleaner, car needs to be washed? someone will wash it, shopping bags too heavy? someone will literally follow you into every store and hold your bags for you, can’t raise your kids? hire a nanny lol I’ll stop now, I’m sure you get the jist! Before everyone’s like omg you’ve changed and become shallow and you were never like that, know that I am not. We haven’t got a nanny or a cleaner or someone to carry our bags (that’s what husbands are for lol), we do all that ourselves, but just to give you an insight into again, if you didn’t want to do anything, you really wouldn’t have to; money isn’t an issue for the majority and hiring someone to clean etc. doesn’t cost a fortune as it would back home and I’ve come to recognize it as being part of the culture. Whether I agree with the concept or not is a different story but we won’t talk about that now! but I mean people doo bag your groceries at the grocery store, and push your trolley out to your car for you, and put the bags in your car…! One major thing we still have to get used to is the fact that after you eat in the food court you don’t ‘need’ to pick up your tray and garbage; whenever we’ve done it everyone stares and the workers rush to grab them from our hands as if we’ve done something wrong but I think it’s more like they feel that the fact we have to pick up after ourselves means they’re not doing their job and it looks bad…?! not too sure but its a tiny bit weird/awkward leaving your mess to be cleaned up by someone else!
I think I’ve gotten used to the ‘man’ part of Kuwaiti culture…I want to say that its kind of like the male talks and does everything but not in the demeaning to women/controlling/ “I’m the man, we do it my way” type of way.. if that makes sense?! Cultural and religious respect for men and women is observed somewhat and I kind of like it. I notice a massive difference when I’m out with Shaheer compared to when I’m out with a girlfriend or couple girls in terms of the respect and attention received. I know this could be said for other countries and places and depends on peoples intentions etc etc etc. but I’m just saying! Back home you wouldn’t think twice about speaking to anyone or asking questions to a man or woman, but here as a form of respect the men speak to men and women to women. It’s not like uber strict or that Shaheer speaks for me at all times and I have no voice and oh so oppressed lol but I guess depending on the situation and age of the other party you take it from there. For example when I’ve asked a question in a market to an older man or something, they always reply to me via Shaheer and don’t make eye contact with me out of respect which I respect, but say we’re in Topshop and I need a size and the young lad asks me which size, I’ll speak to the man! It also works out in the woman’s favor too sometimes; I mean if I’m with Shaheer and there’s a line or to get food or something, we just hold hands, he leads the way and everyone gives way to the man and his lady lol I noticed this difference when we were travelling to and from London compared to when Fran and I went to Dubai. Fran and I were in line and all these men kept coming in front of us and just butting in and you can’t ‘really’ say anything to them but with Shaheer and I we got dibs! Men would let us go before them and hold doors for us which was kind of nice!
My school is different. Not what I expected lol and working with all women who are older and set in their ways and modes of thinking and some who are only accustomed to one race as being ‘superior’, is challenging at times, but everything happens for a reason! At the end of the day, I’m there for my ickle kids who are hilarious and lovely little girls who I love and who love me and seeing them smile makes it worth my while. We’ve had a couple dress up days (‘Chinese’ Day, and Kuwait Dress Day alongside a Spring Bazaar) so I’ll post some pictures from there. It was also (Arab) Mother’s Day for Arabs I think; I thought it was just for Kuwait but facebook told me otherwise lol so we did an arts&crafts activity with whatever supplies we could scrounge! Because lord knows the worst thing for a new teacher is to get a classroom that hasn’t got any supplies..! (not even construction paper ) lol but alhamdullilah we managed!
Spring Break is coming up in the next couple weeks. Shaheer and I were planning to travel (I really want to go back to Nepal!) but we’ll see what happens. We were also thinking of just hanging about in Kuwait and saving for the summer which is going to be a hectic yet enjoyable one inshAllah. Maybe do some exploring and visit a couple of the islands nearby!
I’ve survived my first sand/dust storm (which looks just like the movies!), a second parent-teacher conference, and inshallah in another couple months completed my first year of teaching! yay! During uni I always had this vision in mind of graduating and moving to Qatar or Kuwait with Shaheer where we would be working (don’t know as what!) and just enjoying our life but it was also one of those things that you kind of want so bad but assume it can’t become a reality. Alhamdulillah it has and not a day goes by where I’m in awe of where I am and thankful for this opportunity but I sometimes stop and think ‘now what?!’ And I don’t know lol but I think it’s okay to not know right now (sorry mama ❤ ). I mean I have an idea of what’s next, kind of, but I like where I am right now and I love Kuwait and the weather and the palm trees lol and hamdullah hamdullah (as my kids say) I’m content with where I’m at. I miss my family lots and just having people who ‘know know’ you that you can vent to or have jokes with, but I guess on the plus side it does build a stronger bond and friendship between Shaheer and I which is always nice!
I know my closet has been taking over the past few posts lol but I’ve been meaning to sit and just write (thanks for the reminder Rada 😉 ) If you have any questions or want me to write about something etc. feel free to comment below or somewhere on instagram and I’ll try my best to do so! Also, if you scroll down on this page and click on the big circle with a + sign. you can enter your email address on the left to be updated of any new posts via email!
Not sure how to end this post but I’d like to do so with one of my favourite quotes! My aunt had gifted me a journal to document my trip to Nepal; one of the pages had this written at the top and I’ve loved it ever since xo.
“It’s not the places you go, it’s the things you do when you get there that tell you who you really are.”