Summertime in Kuwait is hot. In fact, “inferno” comes to mind. I’d only ever heard weather described as “brutal” in Canada. I grew up in the North, and it was not unusual to run to the barn to do chores in temperatures of -50C (-58F). I could understand “brutal” in the context of cold, but just didn’t comprehend that the summer weather in Kuwait was also “brutal.” Having been here seven years, I can attest to the fact that “brutal” weather happens on both ends of the thermometer …aaaaaand… summer is upon us once again.
I thought it might be helpful to talk about things to do in Kuwait besides bake in the sun, which, of course, you can do if you like (It will take about eleven minutes for “crispy”).
First off, nearly everyone leaves for the summer (wave goodbye). This is not a bad thing. The traffic is lighter, the pace a little easier, and the restaurants and malls are mostly empty, and even at busy times, still manageable. Second, work slows down for nearly everyone (even the bazaar team combine the summer months of July and August into one edition and swan off on a well-deserved vacation), and there’s often time to catch up on long-neglected projects and paperwork.
But what to do for entertainment and exercise? Here’s a list of things I’ve done and will almost certainly do again this summer.
- Treat myself to breakfast at The Avenues after mall-walking for 3 km. This is a beautiful mall to walk in, there’s no one there at 10 am, and the sheer size of the mall makes the walk interesting. Last stop, Dean & Deluca.
- Spend the day at one of the beach clubs. Day rates are lower in the summer, and there’s access to the gym, pools, and other amenities. There will be very few people competing for the treadmill or the pool loungers. Bonus – you can skip the sauna. Just go outside and sit in the shade. It may be worth it to negotiate a two month pass to the beach club you like.
- The Scientific Center – always a great place to visit. I go in the morning/early afternoon when the place is nearly always empty. Lovely opportunity to practice my photography.
- Live at night. Shift your working hours to start later, then stay up and take advantage of the night-time café crowd (I know this isn’t possible for some, but it does work for others). Sit near one of those wonderful swamp coolers or misters. Makes for a downright pleasurable few hours chatting with friends (alternatively, if you can’t shift your work hours, stay up late anyway and have a nap at your desk).
- Bring your gym home. Even if you can’t afford a wazoo treadmill, you can still have your gym time at home. YouTube is a treasure trove of workouts. Set up your laptop and do a regular routine. Spend KD 9 on a Pilates ball and some workout bands. (Lifestyle change tip: Keep your gym at home and your junk outside – you’re welcome.)
- Go to the cinema. Censorship aside (Grrrr!!!!), the movie theatres here are amazing. Treat yourself to the huge seats, the wide aisles, the quiet crowds, and the freezing a/c. (Be sure to bring a wrap or a sweater)
- Plan some easy-peasy hangouts at home with your friends. Tell everyone it’s casual, have them bring something to share, put on some mellow music (or whatever) and try out some new cheeses, share great apps, discuss fave musicians, and just chill. The key word here is “plan.” The summer is short. If you don’t pick those days and get your invitations out now, these dates won’t happen – I guarantee it.
- One more – pick up bazaar’s Dining and Delivery Guide for this year and try a new restaurant/café every week. Be adventurous. This is the grooviest thing to do, and I’ve found some wonderful “keepers.”
Finally, really and truly do stay out of the direct sun. That level of UV rays might kill an ordinary (wo)man, and no one wants skin cancer or to look 500 years older than they actually are. Consider summer in Kuwait as an adventure, while keeping in mind the danger of becoming a crispy critter, do some exploring.
Have a great summer wherever you may be.
A Canadian psychologist traveling the world on a busman’s holiday, Dr. Susannah writes about anything that catches her attention. Bossy from birth, compassionate by choice, and funny by accident. You can visit: www.soorcenter.com or follow her on Twitter: @drsusannah.