Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Orientation Part One

After a night out where I grabbed dinner with 7 other American and Canadian males and watched them smoke sheesha (a very popular thing to do in Kuwait) we woke up and caught a bus to the American Creativity Academy, girls campus. There we were given name tags, met all the other new teachers (54 of us!) and were given our settlement money, along with other tasks we had to do.

Afterwards, they took us all out to this fantastic Lebanese restaurant where we filled up with Hummus and meat kebobs. The meat included lamb, beef and chicken. It had this terrific creamy garlic paste that we dipped the chicken into.

This was far more than the training I received in Korea, and this was only day one of the week long orientation. There was so much more to do!

The rest of the trip had us going to different shopping centres, like the Sultan Centre on the evening after the Lebanese food. It was a good idea, everyone was stuffed from the restaurant meal and were realistic in what they wanted to buy food wise. Have you ever grocery shopped hungry? Not a good idea. The Sultan Centre was a large grocery store where you could also buy other appliances. I bought some ketchup and a spatula for grilled cheese, and not much else. I was being realistic about my ambition to cook.

A lot of the other places we went were also places where we could buy food or things for our apartment. I managed the trips pretty frugally, not spending money unnecessarily. There are some basic things I probably should have picked up--a laundry hamper for example--but just didn't. I bought a pair of scissors at Ikea and nothing else at Avenues Mall. It also had a Care4 which I am familiar with from when I stayed in France last summer. Avenues Mall is huge, and it is expanding. When the expansion is finished it will be the largest mall in the world.

I have very little interest in malls, so a lot of the orientation stuff we did I was just grateful for the company and the opportunity to meet new people in the same situation as me. The most interesting trip was the Grand Mosque, which deserves a post dedicated to it. After the big mall, I was pretty content with just waiting for dinner and NOT shopping. The country does love their shopping though. We would always see people shopping late at night, and you can find a ton of places like this one.

At night I hung out with the people who live around me in Salmiya, either on my floor or below me. We went to another sheesha bar one night. I didn't smoke once again and am proud of my restraint. Sheesha is delicious and smooth, generally.

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