As I write, I picture you reading this from the comfort of a mellow air-conditioned café or restaurant, soft summer vibes playing from the speakers and an icey Frappuccino or other cold beverage of your choice in hand. This means you already have a good idea of how hot a Kuwaiti summer can be. But (spoiler alert)…it gets much worse than this. #July.
Chances are, you’re probably not ready for your first Kuwait summer. Most of us aren’t ready for our umpteenth Kuwaiti summer. Kuwait has two modes-hot and cold. There are a few (and I do mean a few) perfect days in the year while the weather transitions, but as a general rule, remember hot/cold. Red/blue. Shorts/hoodie. Flip flops/boots.
Lucky us, we have now entered the hot stage. We get to enjoy this third degree burn inducing ride all the way until October. I know what you’re thinking: “what could you possibly tell us about surviving the summer, faceless magazine person, other than to stay in the AC and wear plenty of sun cream?’’ Bear with me though, as I have a few extra tips and hints that will give you more of an idea what to expect during the summer here in Kuwait.
You’re going to want to take plenty of cold showers this time of year. This might be a problem since the water pipes become so hot in the summer that the cold water actually comes out extremely warm (but hey, saves wear and tear on the hot tap!). It can be a good idea to fill your empty water bottles with tap water, and leave a healthy supply of them in the home. With the AC cooling them down, should you find the shower water too hot, you can at least use the now room temperature bottles that you gathered instead.
One of the great things about summer in Kuwait is the emptiness. The country becomes so much quieter during the hotter months, since so many people travel; either the locals for a long vacation, or else us expats off home for the summer months. What does this mean for the rest of us? Firstly, quiet roads. Oh man, the quiet roads. You can sleep in and get to work on time! In fact, leave home at any point in the day later than usual and still get to your destination on time. Just don’t be sad when it’s business as usual after the summer and the roads are back to chaos…until then, enjoy it!
The quietness also makes for far more pleasant outings, specifically malls. By now, you know the madness of the Avenues on a Friday. If you don’t, you soon will, don’t worry. During the summer, that disappears and you become king/queen of the manor. Well, not quite, but everywhere is much emptier and shopping, dining out, coffee, even just walking becomes much more enjoyable without the assault course of people, hover boards, shopping bags and noise.
If you drive, before setting off on a journey keep an eye out for animals hanging out under the car. There aren’t many shady spots for the street cats and dogs of Kuwait during the heatwave, so many will take shelter under vehicles. Sense would tell you that the sound of a car starting is enough to make them move, but it doesn’t hurt to have a quick check and lure them out before you set off.
Finally as a bonus thought, keep in mind the workmen that you find out in the blazing heat such as the trash guys, for example. While we go between an AC car to an AC building and take a 100 fils bottle of water for granted, it can be a very welcome and much needed refreshment for them. Don’t be shy to hand them a cold drink, snack or money if you see them out. This is an act of kindness very normal to Kuwait and other Arab countries.
Simple but effective tips. And if all else fails, lock yourself indoors with the AC on, enjoy the hundreds of delivery options available in Kuwait so that you never need to leave the house and emerge from your nest. Whatever you chose, enjoy the summer your way!