The Gulf Road – Kuwait City (from Marof39)
It isn’t really that bad in Kuwait in the summer time, traffic gets lighter in August, it is easier to get around, fruits and vegetables become plentiful and cheaper, and people spend more time at the beach, enjoying its usual summer activities.
Kuwait has a very strange peculiarity that you don’t see anywhere else in the world; most of our beach front from Salmiya all the way to the southern border – more than eighty kilometers long – is locked out to ordinary people save for very few areas here and there, the rest is occupied by chalets owned by Kuwaiti citizens and, in some cases, by a handful of small scale resorts – with horrendous prices, mind you; for a short family vacation, what the Brits call a “bucket and a spade” holiday. The odd thing is that these chalets remain mostly closed and empty during summer and you see miles and miles of dark or dimly lit chalets along the coast.
What is left of the sea front in a country that prides itself of its past as a seafaring nation is a stretch of coastline that has been reclaimed and developed for enjoyment of the rest of the population, this area is called the ‘Gulf Road’ or the corniche. More and more locals spend their summer days and nights (as well as Friday afternoons) frequenting it with their families and friends, laughing, playing, swimming and most importantly cooking their meals.
In Kuwait we make a big fuss out of cooking, especially when it comes to roasting kebab and grilled meats on the beach. This alfresco grilling causes people annoyance for no reason. Critics claim the rising blue smoke reminds them of the Red Indians, some say the smell is nauseating, some say the family man who is usually in charge of cooking isn’t particularly tidy, leaving a mess of trash afterwards, this in spite of signs that clearly state “NO GRILLING” (it seems Kuwaitis like to do the grilling only in the National Assembly (our Parliament) .
What do we expect when we squeeze two million people on a stretch of sand that is less than 16 kilometers long? There are not enough car parks (people used to park on the pavement – even though we put up these hideous concrete balls to prevent them from parking there – so now they just park on the main road instead).
Beach life on weekends is all about barbequing and grilling anywhere in the world, east or west the best nation for beach barbequing culture is Australia: they placed grills along all their popular beaches so the holiday makers or beachgoers wont have trouble cooking their own food; they even gave these grills a cute names like ‘barbies’ (“put another shrimp on the Barbie, mate”).
Of course as I previously mentioned our ‘No Grilling’ signs are prevalent all along the beach. Kuwait needs to remove these signs and build grills and let the fires roar, spreading the heavenly aroma for all to share – what is a beach without a mess?
Have a great summer.