Abu Khaled had promised us last week that he wanted to show us some fun times in Kuwait this weekend, so on Friday he rang us up and told us to meet him at the Kuwait International Fairgrounds, where we met his bevy of nieces and nephews (Saud, Sheikhra, Abdul Messen, Khaled, Deema) who were already racing around a go kart track. Rowan got to ride around a few times with Sheikhra, but was not yet able to reach the pedals and steer at the same time. After this he took us to a nearby amusement park where the kids all got to ride on some smallish but fun rides. Then we went to a small restaurant and got take out (shawarma, falafel, sandwiches, etc...) and ate it at the adjacent Burger King playground (heh).
The kids all begged to go to the Aqua Park by the Kuwait Towers on Saturday, so we said we'd see and if Abu Khaled called us in the morning we'd be up for it. Next morning, 10am passed by and we decided to run out to Ace Hardware and buy some items for our porch that we've been meaning to purchase. While there we got the call and headed over to the Aqua Park. It was incredibly fun, with a wave pool, constantly moving river to float on, and of course, the slides! We all (except for Abu Khaled) swam and slid for hours. They had a shisha place in the middle of the park, so Abu Khaled and I partook and discussed metaphysical theories of whether or not we would need our "asses" in heaven (seriously...I don't know how these conversations get started, I swear the shisha is just tobacco!). Then we left the nieces and nephews at the park and Abu Khaled took us down to the heritage souks where he wanted to buy us some dates to be had later with tahini, and insisted on buying some Iranian laban at a little restaurant there (served in metal bowls to be drunk out of...very refreshing on a hot day) and of course he couldn't resist buying some bread and a kebab as he was quite concerned by the fact that Rowan doesn't ever seem to eat around him. Later he bought us some candy like substances (not sure what they are called, but seem to be made out of sesame and are incredibly sweet, a paste-like substance), and some sesame balls. I do try to pay for things periodically, but if I'm not sneaky he won't let me.
After this it was back to the water park to round the kids up, which took about an hour as they weren't keen to leave. It was around 6pm by the time we got everyone out, and we managed to assemble for a quick photo with the Kuwait Towers behind us. Then it was time for dinner, which ended up being a Palestinian restaurant (basically the same delicious assortment of arabic food we've come to love), with mostly dippnig dishes of hummous, fool, moutabel, yogurt salad, garbanzo beans, french fries, and eggplant fries. "Light" food so he says. We also tried a new desert, made of a light white cheese base, topped with crunchy orange noodle-like substances. Quite good, and not too sweet.
By this time it was 7:30pm or so, and we bid everyone adieu and headed home, in bed by 9pm. Lots of fun, and enjoyable conversation. The kids are incredibly nice, polite, and well behaved, though they know their uncle is a soft-touch and some of them do try to manipulate him to get things they probably normally don't get. Still they are all very pleasant and eager to talk about things. They all spent several years in the US and have been back in Kuwait for about a year. They have had some difficulty adjusting to life back here, but seem to be doing ok now.
We are planning on taking it easy today (Sunday) and not go out too much. I have shaved my beard off and must get a haircut to go with it. And Rowan will need to blow some steam off...I'm thinking more swimming later.
I may be going to night shift at the end of the month, which we are thinking will actually be good for being able to stay out later on weekends when all the fun stuff goes on. We'll be sure and post about that if it happens.