Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Kuwait Means To Many Expats

I came across this on Expat Mums in Kuwait FB page and loved it's familiarity and eloquence. We wish you well Fai.

Leaving Kuwait….
As I sit here, by the pool in our home in Mahboula, enjoying some rare quiet time (we have a 1.5 year old) smoking a shisha, I think back on these past two years in Kuwait.
Kuwait has had some seriously funny and interesting challenges. Anyone trying to sort out their residency or drivers license knows it could be like solving the Da Vinci Code out here trying to get things done. A lot of the times I was pretty annoyed, It was hot, it was complicated and I do not speak Arabic. I’m sure my feelings are not unique, and it’s the case with many of the expats that come to any country that isn’t their original home.
However, I wanted to say, as difficult as each step you want to complete is…the people you meet along the way are at times…wonderful. The Kuwaiti people are some of the most helpful, and earnest people I have met. Time and time again, I would run into someone, in some office of some governate that was willing to go above and beyond their job description to help me along the often times confusing route of getting paper work sorted. I would meet wonderful women and men that were interested in my problem and would truly try to gather all the information they could to try to help me. I cannot tell you how many people I have in my phone book now that are listed with the pronoun “helpful _______”, or “ amazing ______”. Thinking back, I will most miss this uniqueness about this country. Yes of course there are crummy people everywhere, but my goodness, there is hospitality and generosity here.
Now as an expat it's normal to want to find people you can connect with from home, and this is why I'm writing this rather long, goodbye to Kuwait. The community of expats is massive and amazing. We are able to join clubs and groups online and meet other people, sometimes from our own hometowns here on the other side of the world. Much thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, and whoever invented Whatsapp (how else would we get to where we are going without that helpful ‘send my location’ pin). Through these clubs, I've met one of my best friends I've ever made, here on the other side of the world (Canadian here) in a country that is native to neither of us. We shared our pregnancies together, having our first babies, much of the paperwork adventures together and a whole lot of fun going to our favorite restaurants. And when we were homesick, we had each other to talk to and we knew how the other felt. We were each others lifelines, and it gave me family here that I really needed. She made me banana bread and I made her pasta, she’s an excellent baker, and I'm a mediocre chef, ha ha.
I've made some wonderful friendships here with women that are inspiring and loving. These are relationships that I am lucky enough to continue through Whatstapp, Skype and Facebook. We have countless invites to different countries to visit dear friends in their homes, some offers that are basically demands ha ha ha. This is something special you get to enjoy when you have a great community of expats, meeting people from all over the world. I cant wait to go to Serbia, Greece and South Africa.. one day.
The Expat Mums group on Facebook was a place that was a sort of a refuge. You could go with your questions, grievances and general wonder. Time and time again I was surprised by the kindness of what were more or less complete strangers, but we were all united by this title of “expat” and it connected us. I am so thankful to these moderators and creators of this group for giving us a space to do that safely. Where you could have disagreements with people (while staying respectful) and move on and have a laugh with them on another post. I loved waking up and seeing funny comics, and I loved even more being able to help anyone out where I could. It’s a place where we can go and post questions about a rash we have never seen, or ask if anyone has a bouncy ball that you want to buy. We come from all over the world, all walks of life, and live all over Kuwait…and we all connect here. It has been such an exciting and yes challenging experience. But as it comes to an end, I sit here thinking, man there are some things I will really miss.
So thank you ladies for helping each other, helping me, and cultivating our expat community with so many rich and lovely personalities.
I wish you all many great friendships, many great finds, and loopholes in getting any paperwork done.
Fai x

LWDLIK - Kuwait is what you make it. 


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