Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Kuwait:
There is a huge number of expats in Kuwait. They have their own associations and organizations, celebrate all their festivals together, so one feels like living in one‘s own country.
Kuwait is not dangerous like what has been shown in media, actually, Kuwait is one of the safest place to live, no taxes, good medical services and a place of fast modernization.
At the beginning it was hard getting used to the idea that I have to be very aware of what I say and what I wear since saying the wrong thing to the wrong person could have massive consequences and wearing the wrong thing at the wrong place could give people a wrong idea of who I am.
There is less to do here than back home, but you learn to adapt and enjoy yourself in different ways, in the company of great individuals. Our backgrounds are quite similar, where I was and where I am, integration for me was not a problem, no cultural shock.
I really don’t think that we suffered much of a culture shock. Yes, things happened that were different than in Canada, but we expected that. We had visited here once before, we had Middle Eastern friends, and so none of it seemed especially shocking. Of course, there were moments when paperwork or systems were different. But we learned to roll with it.
Unlike where I came from, seeing people dressed in traditional attire like dishdasha (men), abaya (women) and women wearing hijab on their heads walking the street casually is a new experience for me. Hearing daily prayers in Arabic all around the place is also something new and some local customs that I’m not used to back home is a bit of a shock at first.
Even with Kuwaiti friends, of course it was a shock. For the first month, I stayed on the 17th floor of a 4-star hotel in downtown Kuwait and I awoke to the sound of roosters crowing and the prayer call. It was surreal. I also worked for the subsidiary of an Islamic bank, and they asked me to wear hijab. Wearing it properly without offending anyone was a real learning experience (that to this day, I am happy that I experienced).