Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Kuwaiti Customs

As we came in through Kuwaiti Customs, I had a few seconds concern – would the vanilla I had packed among my cosmetics be detected? Would my vanilla be confiscated (it contains a tiny bit of alcohol)? Would my DVD’s be objectionable? Would my books be a problem (in addition to the fact that I can barely lift my suitcase)?

I needn’t have worried. Everyone is so well trained, the bags are loaded on the conveyer belt, into the machine, and gathered on the other side. My husband is chuckling and I ask “what’s so funny?” and he says:

“There’s no one checking the bags.”

And he was right. Bags were going through the screening machine – and there was NO ONE there watching the screen.

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In spite of all the NO SMOKING signs in the airport, I smelled like cigarettes when I got home, just from the time waiting in the airport for the bags to arrive. I hate it. One guy waiting for his bags made it a point to blow his smoke in my direction. Pure evil or just bad manners?

And at the exit, pure chaos. Huge police presence – squad cars, lights flashing, lots of police – and they are doing nothing! They are greeting their friends, chatting – but no traffic flow control, and we all know how quickly the airport arrivals and departure areas can gridlock.

Our taxi driver was an older guy, not friendly. He got us home in nine minutes, normally a 20 – 30 minute drive. Ahhhh, Kuwait!

April 14, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Books, Crime, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Humor, Kuwait, Middle East, Rants, Travel | 19 Comments

Breakfast at the Scenic Diner

We love places like the Scenic 90 Diner, in Pensacola, Florida, where local people go to meet and exchange news and gossip and to “chew the fat”. This diner was no exception. They had great breakfast foods – the $3.99 Scenic Special had two eggs, any way you like them, grits or fried potatoes, toast or biscuit, and you could add bacon or sausage for just a little more. They also had a fruit bowl and a granola/yoghurt special for the tennis Moms, but it looked to me like most of them were having the eggs special, too.

The outside looks like an old fashioned (but very modern and upscale) diner:
00scenicexterior.jpg

The interior was equally stylish:
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And here were some friendly locals, willing to have their photos taken. They had never heard of “blogs” before:

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You can see some of the black and white photos the owner has used to decorate the diner in the background. The food was excellent, individually prepared, the service was also good, and the entire experience reminded us of how good it is to have places in communities where people can gather or even just run into one another to catch up on local news. Prices were reasonable, although not as inexpensive as the chains – Denny’s, Waffle House, etc. We also really like it when the police are a part of the community, and not someone to be afraid of. The Scenic 90 Diner also serves lunch and dinner.

April 14, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Blogging, Bureaucracy, Community, Cooking, Customer Service, Diet / Weight Loss, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Florida | 7 Comments