Sunday, September 28, 2003

"... I'll post later today, I promise!"

what the hell was I thinking? Oh yeah, that I might actually be able to stick to a schedule... not happening!

Before I launch into a long-winded description of the Dewaniah, I want to think EVERYONE for the happy birthday wishes and cards! You should see the "care package" I received from Shelley. Lots of goodies for me, she's so good to me!

I also found a great website for learning about Kuwait: It's fairly well done, and very informative!

As for my recent adventure: being invited to the Dewaniah (I'm still not 100% sure of the spelling. I've seen it spelled so many ways... I liked "dinner thingy" better...), words cannot describe how incredible of an experience this was for me. I met some of the most interesting people, and talked at great lengths with them. Up until then, my exposure to the local people has been passing them on the streets and in the stores, or dealing with business owners/salespeople. No real insight into the true nature of the Kuwaiti citizen. That was the best part of me.

As I understand it, this Dewaniah serves it's purpose for nine other households, all owned by relatives. They own the entire neighborhood block, and gather there nightly. I spoke with several of the family, but spent the majority of the time speaking with one of the brothers at great length. He (as well as most of the other family members) made a point of initiating the conversation, as I'm sure they are cognizant of how overwhelming the whole experience is for most people. As most of you know, it didn't take much encouragement for me to babble on ... and on ... and .. ok, shut up.

The picture that was below in my earlier post wasn't just a picture of ANY Dewaniah, it was taken in this one! I wasn't expecting that when we walked in the door... but I recognized the corner of the room right away. I sat and spoke with Bader Al-Jassim (I have his card in front of me... I'm not THAT good at remembering names) while we drank three different coffees and teas, none of which I could tell you the names. One was made with oregano, and was actually quite good.

After about 45 minutes, we moved to the basement for dinner. There was a buffet style table set up, with more benches and cushions around the far corner of the room. The first thing when I turned the corner walking down the stairs was a poker table. That struck me as funny, because now the place just seemed like a big clubhouse to me! =) There was also a big screen TV, and a computer downstairs. I spoke with one of their younger sons about computer games (anyone surprised), and I think he was amazed at my knowledge of gaming. I'll explain why a bit later.

Dinner was delicious, with chicken and beef "kabobs" (I think is their term), which seems to be chopped and rolled, then roasted with spices. There was also some wonderful lamb, falling off the bone, as well as a rice (seemed to be like a vermicelli), but it was cooked with sugar, and had egg omelet over the top... interesting, but not my taste.

Desert was two cheese treats, one was a pastry with a mild cheese, the other a bit harder to describe, but with a bit stronger cheese. They both were served with honey, making for a very interesting and rich meal.

After dinner was more conversation. One of the relatives is a local journalist, who has his own newspaper. Mr Al-Jassim called him "Elvis", because of his sideburns and thick black hair, and also called him "nuthead", for his stubbornness. He was very loud and boisterous, and was definitely someone I would enjoy talking with... =) His paper has just recently been shutdown by the ministry for 10 weeks for printing things that weren't flattering to certain officials. I didn't get much detail on it, but it's something I would like to learn more about.

That's all I've got time for right now, I'll post more next time. I've got a few things I need to work on before I leave for the concert. Hopefully I'll have some great pictures!

Love to all, take CARE of each OTHER!

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