One of the major complaints that expats have here in Kuwait is the lack of things to do. By this, they usually mean a COMPLETE lack of nightclubs and NO alcohol. However, since I am not fond of either things back home (or anywhere else for that matter), I have been investigating what it is that people actually do for fun. If you remember, in an earlier post this was one of my main questions before coming to Kuwait. And now I am finding out…
Yesterday (Friday) was the start of my weekend here in Kuwait. Yes I work Sunday to Thursday just like in all of the Gulf countries. A few weeks ago my friend and I discovered a Facebook group that organised events for expats in Kuwait and yesterday we attended the first of such events. It was an all day excursion with a three hour boat trip to Kubbar Island- an island that was supposedly great for swimming and snorkelling. Mind my disbelieving tone, its just that I didn’t expect much from a beach in Kuwait. I come from the most famous coastal city in South Africa with the best beaches so… I didn’t have high expectations for this trip. However, my friend from the Czech Republic was super excited to go swimming and I soon got into the spirit of things because hey- why not?
We arrived at Salmiya Yacht club at 07:20 (we were scheduled to depart at 08:00) and met the guy who organised the trip who led us to the boat. What a boat! We felt like we were in a Nelly music video! Three stories high with spacious lounge areas, bedrooms and numerous bathrooms… it was better than most houses I have been to!
In true Kuwaiti style we only departed at 9am (Apparently telling everyone about an 8am departure is the only ay to get everybody there for a 9am departure). The boat was lively, filled with people from various different countries, music, food and drinks. I met a lot of new people which I was pleased about as hanging out with people from work often means talking about school… and I easily tire of that.
It was a long journey there and upon approaching the island I didn’t see anything impressive- there wasn’t a palm tree in sight! We clambered into a little speedboat to take us to shore and within a minute I stepped foot on the shore and looked around. That was when my opinion changed.
The shore was a graceful arc of sand, glittering under the hot sun, a place for the placid sea to lap. The transparent waves rolled in with a soothing sound, the salty water a brief flurry of light coloured sand. Every few meters or so lay a shell, a treasure of the aquatic world just out of reach, and the footprints we left behind as walked further up the beach, were soon erased. The last time I saw water that clear was in The Philippines!
Getting into the sea was a pleasurable as slipping into a full bathtub. The temperature of the water was around 24 degree Celsius and I decided there and then that I may have unfairly underestimated Kuwaiti beaches- it was heavenly.
While some of the other people played some beach volleyball, I borrowed a snorkeling mask and went exploring. It was first time snorkeling and I think I am now hooked! Gorgeous little fish and pristine coral lay below me… I wish I could’ve taken pics underwater!
We spent a good few hours at the beach and only departed around 5pm. As I watched the sun set into the sea, I felt tired and sweaty but more importantly, happy and content. On the way back, our boat transformed into a party boat and as a bunch of guys danced to Punjabi music, I watched the city lights approaching. Kuwait… so far, so good.
If you are an expat in Kuwait, I recommend joining this Facebook group… the guy who organises the events is super awesome and it was heaps of fun!