Kuwait is a tiny country on the Arabian peninsula, nestled between Saudi Arabia and Iraq (guess we won't be taking any long car trips while we're here...).
Highlights and lowlights of moving here:
1.) The reconnaissance trip from Madagascar involved taking THREE airplanes: Antananarivo to Mauritius, Mauritius to Dubai and Dubai to Kuwait. With a 2 year old (and a 6-year old, but traveling long distances is about as old hat for her as riding her bicycle around the block three or four times).
2.) Flying Emirates. Need I say more?
3.) The Emirates Lounge at Dubai International Airport, including this enclosed glass kiddy-space.
3.) Visiting a lot of potential places to live, like this swank villa:
And then deciding to take a three-bedroom apartment.
4.) The heat! In summer, it's 46 degrees Celsius in the shade! It's gotten colder since then. We're now freezing cold when we step outside in the morning and it's only 25 degrees. Of course, in shopping malls, it's still around minus 10 degrees Celcius with the air conditioning.
5.) Checking out schools - the Lycée Français de Koweït, the American School of Kuwait and the American International School of Kuwait, among others. The Bambina had to take a test for both American schools. I was a little worried because she had very little experience reading in English and had never written a thing in English during her entire school existence thus far, having always been educated in French up to now, but she passed the tests, no problem (apparently, she could read at her grade level in English. Who knew??). Phew!
The lycée français did not impress us at all and the Bambina isn't going there. It was so obvious by talking to the principals and even just looking at their website that they are content with their "captive market" of francophone families and their school will therefore remain "good enough" (read mediocre) but not great.
6.) Staying at the Marina Hotel for three weeks while finding a place to live. When we finally moved out of it and into our apartment, the Bambino, poor boy, kept asking to go back "home". He missed having all of us sleep in one room and a swimming pool just outside the sliding door.
7.) The pollution here: worse than in Madagascar. Think Beijing. Or Jakarta. The beach here looks ok but there is sewage leaking into the Arabian Gulf and besides being disgusting to swim in, it really does smell bad sometimes. So we settle for the pool at a club.
More on life in Kuwait coming up in later posts.