Country number: 107
Territory number: 99
When? January 2010
How? Private car and walking
Who? Work trip
‘Kuwait – they live like kings. The poorest person in Kuwait, they live like kings. And yet, they’re not paying. America makes it possible for them to sell their oil. Why aren’t they paying us 25 percent of what they’re making? It’s a joke.’
I was in Kuwait for less than a week. Most of the time I was working. In the evenings I wandered along the corniche past the little beach to drink the piquant lemon and mint at one of the cafes lining the harbour.
Kuwait felt more traditionally Arab than other Middle Eastern countries I have visited. The flat, dirty brown desert was littered with Bedouin style tents stretching to the skyline. I was told that many people owned both house and tent and that they would alternate between the two.
I strolled around the fish market, fish all on ice and beautifully lined up like solders on parade. And was taken on a tour of the city and the mangrove swamp outlying areas. Candy floss pink flamingos adorned the lonely lagoons. I was also lucky enough to find a camel market in action. The baby camels so cute with their great long eye lashes. The locals, in their dishdasha and check headdresses (dishdash and dishcloth?) were extremely friendly, and insisted I try the prized camels’ milk, which has miraculous healing and strengthening powers. The poor mewling babies were separated from their mothers and put in another pen, so the mothers could be milked for on the spot demonstrations. A short trip but an authentic, untouristy experience.