Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Only in Kuwait 2

This is what I love about reading Kuwait newspapers. It is a society full of contradictions, and a population not afraid to point out and comment on those contradictions. I remember the first time AdventureMan yelled at me for stopping at a stop sign; he was not being abusive, he was afraid someone would hit me from behind because NO ONE stops at the stop sign. It was LaLa Land driving:


Only in Kuwait – 2

GhannamThis is the second episode of the things you see happening in Kuwait even though our country is considered a “modern state”.

Maybe the honorable reader thinks I am being pessimistic, of course when I compare Kuwait with other countries in the region.

1- Only in Kuwait you could be run over when you cross the road on the pedestrian crossing. Always wait till there are no cars because they don’t care.

2- Only in Kuwait please, please don’t stare at anyone even if you admire him or her otherwise you could put yourself in trouble and end up in a fight.

3- Only in Kuwait the stop sign means GO. If you stop you could be hit from behind or encounter angry faces from maniacs who do not respect the law.

4- Only in Kuwait you see public bus drivers race and compete on the roads and they may not stop for you.

5- Only in Kuwait when many people see a sign saying ‘do not enter’, they do the opposite.

6- Only in Kuwait doctors are beaten just because they want to organize the queue.

7- Only in Kuwait you see people who had been fighting outside continue their contest inside the hospital.

8- Only in Kuwait policemen guard hospitals.

9- Only in Kuwait housemaids get kidnapped when they go out to throw the garbage.

10- Only in Kuwait teachers who don’t help students pass get their cars damaged by paint, punctures or even fire.

11- Only in Kuwait when you approach the traffic light you must be extra careful if your side of the light is green because some maniacs run the red light from the other corner.

12- Only in Kuwait our soaps are full of crying and beatings in order to prove it is real drama.

13- Only in Kuwait public bus passengers have to wait under the searing sun for their bus ride without having a decent shade or bus stop.

14- Only in Kuwait many Kuwaiti plays and soaps put down other nationalities and make fun of them, not knowing that people from those countries possess nuclear weapons and we only use what other nations invent for us.

15- Only in Kuwait we call the tea boy sharekah, meaning company, without even respecting his name. I have seen this a lot in police stations and at various state institutions.

16- Only in Kuwait drivers ride their cars close to 200 km per hour thinking this speed will take them to heaven fast.

17- Only in Kuwait we build apartment buildings without adequate parking.

18- Only in Kuwait we enjoy parking on the yellow/black zone and occupy the bus stop area.

19- Only in Kuwait a 400 sq m empty land is worth KD 300,000 while in Khafji in Saudi Arabia, it’s KD 20,000 only for a 500 sq m piece of land.

20- Only in Kuwait contractors do projects inefficiently and once these are done, they find out that something is missing and have to do it all over again

By Talal Al-Ghannam

March 15, 2014 - Posted by | ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait, Law and Order


  1. Are you from there originally? Or did you move there?

    Some of my favorite blogs are about the culture shock that people experience when they relocate to a dramatically different country.

    Either way, a very entertaining read!

    Comment by BrantleyNewton | March 15, 2014 | Reply

    • I lived in Kuwait and Qatar for several years, and I still have fond memories of my time there. As for culture shock, LOL, I have lived in Germany, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and, from time to time in the US. It think it is as hard adjusting to to different parts of the United States as it is learning to live in an alien culture.

      Comment by intlxpatr | March 15, 2014 | Reply

      • I would imagine that the similarities become just as intriguing as the differences when you spend time in so many very different countries!

        Comment by BrantleyNewton | March 15, 2014

  2. Damn – at first I thought you wrote the list (no coffee yet – Sunday morning…. etc.) but then I realized it was written by a KUWAITI and a journalist. Wow. All true, unfortunately and getting worse.

    Comment by Desert Girl | March 16, 2014 | Reply

  3. LOL, DG, and I wish I had seen Only in Kuwait (1) – did you see it?

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 16, 2014 | Reply

  4. Brantley – It’s a paradox. You learn that in the most alien of cultures, you find similarities and genuine connections that shake all your pre-conceptions. And then you return to your own culture and find strangeness that shakes all your assumptions about who you are and all that our own culture teaches us about ourselves.

    One of the reasons I print articles about Kuwait and Qatar is that many people in Kuwait get their news electronically, and never see columns like this. They are highly tech-savvy, and they do read blogs! On a daily basis, about 20% of my readers are Kuwaiti and maybe 15% Qatari.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 16, 2014 | Reply

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