Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Friday Market

New Experience Weekend! 

A long week at work was to be rewarded with exploring a traditional aspect of Kuwaiti society; the Friday Market. I was disappointed to find out that you can actually go to the 'Friday market" any day of the week - apparently they just stock up on goods and jack up the prices for Fridays.

Off we set on Friday afternoon, 2:15 pm. Why we chose the hottest point of the day to explore an outdoor market - I will never know. Not a good idea. As soon as we set foot out of the cab we felt like we were MMMMMMMMelting.
Copper Goods!

Walking through the gates was was awestruck. Hundreds of vendors, selling ANYTHING that you could ever want and THOUSANDS of people milling through the market. My eyes could not move fast enough to take it all in, I was like a kid in a candy store that wanted one of EVERYTHING.

The first stall we happened across - after randomly selecting a direction to go was a copper vendor. Anything you wanted you wanted, made of copper, you could get. There was also a random stuffed snake attacking some sort of wolverine-like-thing, it was creepy. I could have spend hours just at his stall going through his amazing collection. He was one of many selling similar goods. It was all very beautiful. Alas, mes compadres: The American, Flower Water (Explanation in The American's blog here: The Garden Restaurant: A Flowery Experience), and The Yankee wanted to move on and see as much as possible, so onward we went to discover the many offerings of the market.
The Entrance

 As we slowly meandered through the market, as much due to the heat as to avoid swiveling-head-syndrome,  we started to realize the magnitude of the place.

Anything you want: sunglasses, perfume, clothing, bedroom furniture, shampoo, soap, electronics, fabrics, rugs - SO MANY - literally anything and everything.
Daily Business

The craftsmanship on the wood furniture is a sight in itself to see. It is beautifully crafted and absolutely stunning. I could have lost another couple hours just staring at one vanity in particular.  It had beautiful flowers etched on the surface and carved much more elaborately along the top - stunning.

Not all the furniture is so beautiful. There are some hideous examples of velour couches, brightly colored animal print rugs, and glitter encrusted curtains that belong in a brothel not a family friendly facility. I only wish I would have snapped a photo so you could share in my amusement.

It was a LONG day in the heat; sweat trickling down our backs, jeans sticking to our legs, and gulping water like there was nothing better in the world.

" I want to see the animals!" I exclaimed to the American and Flower Water, I had been told that you could see all sorts of different kinds of creatures and I wanted to explore. I was not in the best of tempers, and I really wanted to see them. We had been there for a couple of hours and I was getting impatient.

Live Chickens freak me out.
"Okay, okay, they must be that direction." Replied Flower Water, as it was one of the few directions that we had yet to explore. Off we trekked through the heat.

"Aha! That must be it, I can see chickens!" The American and I had been waiting ALL day for this, so we were pretty excited.

If only they stayed this small
and colorful forever!
The description we had received of the animal enclosures what NOT accurate. All these little critters were bunched together and did not look like they had enough space. It made me profoundly sad to see. Knowing that I could not do anything to change the conditions that these animals live in did not help how I was feeling.

There were chickens - which I stayed well away from, yes I am paranoid - baby bunnies, brightly colored chicks, and every kind of bird on the planet.

Moving furthur into the Animal Market, we hear barking. So many beautiful puppies. Again, I could have stayed and played with them all day. From Huskeys to Pitbulls and Labs to mutts, they were all beautiful. My only hope is that they are adopted quickly and brought to a more loving home than the market.

The last stop of the day was to see the kitties. As it was the end of the day, we were told that most of them had gone. There was one baby kitten left, and nothing would do for me, but to hold him. I had to hold him didn't I? He was the CUTEST thing on the planet - giving me kisses and meowing playfully at me. I held him for a good 10 minutes, giving him some TLC, thinking of what I would name him if I could take him home. I was feeling lonely, and maybe it was that I wanted to rescue one animal from that place, but I was seriously considering taking him home. Knowing full well that it is incredibly impractical for me to think about having a cat.
I am barely home, I have a small apartment and not enough time to give the beastling the love it needed. I eventually talked myself out of buying him, with great regret I placed him back in his cage and walked away. I shed a couple of tears because I desperately wanted him. Like I said...a kid in a candy store.

The American managed to snap a picture of me with him, and I am much appreciative.

I choose to believe that the little girl that was looking at the older cats persuaded her dad to take the little guy home, much preferring a kitten to a full grown cat and that he is in a happy home being loved by that girl and her family.

Ya, ya, ya it's a bit sappy and life isn't like a Disney movie, but there is no way that that kitten isn't a happy little monster right now, he was too cute to pass up!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Missing those SAB Sunsets.

This week was a LONG week. There are all sorts of preparations being done at school for upcoming events, tons of grading, and more planning that I thought possible.

It has also been a week of wistfully thinking about those Southern Alberta sunsets. They are stunning this time of year! The harvest is being brought in, and the colours in the sky are amazing!

 I had yet to see a truly amazing sunset, I had been complaining to The American about the lack of lustrous colours as the sun makes it's nightly descent.

It seemed that this was to be the week for amazing sunsets in AB. Friends from back home had been posting photo after photo of the beautiful sky. I was so jealous, I wanted to cry. It really is amazing WHAT you end up missing about home.

The American and I were exiting the mall. BAM, stunning sunset! They do exsist. I was SO happy to finally see one!

The picture does not do it justice, but it was beautiful. In the few minutes that we stood and watched the sun completely disappeared from view.  Just as in Greece the summer, the sun stays high up in the sky for a long time, and the suddenly falls into the horizon. So maybe it wasn't that there hadn't been amazing sunsets; perhaps it was a case of me missing them in the blink of an eye.

The Yankee and I were walking down by the beach the following day, and saw one of the MOST beautiful sunsets of my life. It rendered me speechless, and he did not have much to say either.

If there is one thing that will never cease to amaze me, it is the sun.

It wakes you up in the morning with its gentle rays saying 'good morning, sunshine.'

It warms you all day, a constant even when behind clouds because you know it is there. The very thought of the sun has a warming effect. In the winter, on the coldest, darkest days we crave the sun, wishing for it's warmth. We know it is there waiting behind a cloud for the perfect moment to shine. We know it will always come back to us.

It falls from the sky on a beautiful journey to bid us adieu, a demain, each and every day. If ever the is an unchanging, and yet everchanging, constant in our lives, it is the sun.