Parimita: My Travels, My Experiences
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Kuwait, etc.
I'm Parimita Barooah Bora. A onetime lecturer, currently I am a stay-at-home mom. Having done my post graduation in English, Education and Travel and Tourism, I taught for few years until my relocation to Kuwait. I like to share the experiences of my life as a freelance contributor to various newspapers, magazines and websites. I also teach children in the evenings at home.
I belong to Assam, India, which is known as the land of nature, the land of tea, one horn rhino and where the mighty Brahmaputra flows. For me no other place in the world is naturally as beautiful as my state Assam.
I had never dreamt of coming to Gulf. I got the opportunity to come to Kuwait when my husband decided to join KOC-Kuwait Oil Company, a premier oil company of the world.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging after relocating to Kuwait. Before relocating to Kuwait we wanted to know so many things about Kuwait. We did not get much information. After relocating to Kuwait, we saw lot many Assamese people relocating to Kuwait after us. We were hardly 35 of us when we came but now we are more then 200. Friends who plan to relocate mail us with some questions which we too wanted to know before shifting. So I thought it would be nice to start a blog which will help my friends and others to know about this beautiful country, my parents, friends, relatives too would know what Kuwait is all about.
I have been staying in Kuwait for the last 5 years and for the last 2 years I have started this online journal of mine.
I also write about other places which I have travelled in my blog…share my travel experiences of the past and present with the object of helping and giving tips to other travelers.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I blog with passion and every entry is equally important to me. Still, Kuwait Diary is special as it has helped lot of people to know about Kuwait.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Kuwait differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Initially it was quite different…new country, language, people etc. But thankfully we took a flat in an apartment where there are 32 Indian families, all new to Kuwait and husbands of all working in the same company KOC. So it was easy to some extent.
I used to work while in India and never feared going out alone. I was so used to it. But here, after we landed some people suggested a lot of things (good and bad). Some suggested we should not go out alone as it’s not safe. It was difficult for me to adjust to such an environment. Many times I felt like going back to India. First two years I took time knowing Kuwait. I realized it has a very low crime rate and is perfectly safe to go out even late at night.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Kuwait? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Not exactly…Though I read lot about Kuwait
Though we have visited many places in Kuwait, I feel there is still a lot to explore. With every visit to a place, museum or mall we are getting to learn and explore something new and more. Every day you face new problems and new experiences. You need to be mentally prepared to face them.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Before relocating to Kuwait, I purchased a book “Learn Arabic in a month”. Even after reaching Kuwait I purchased another book to learn Arabic. But you cannot learn a language only by reading books. You need to have practical experience…you need to speak to master a language. Here in Kuwait, I don’t have to speak much Arabic, as in malls and shops you can do with English. In fact, you will find lot of shopkeepers from India and Bangladesh, so I can do with Hindi or Bangla. Sometimes I do feel the need where the shopkeeper is Arabic and we don’t understand each other. It takes us time to understand what one is saying and sometimes we understand it in a wrong way, which makes us laugh.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Kuwait?
- Be prepared for slow office work…Time lines are easily missed….takes time for work to be done
- Everything comes to a halt almost during Ramadan days...so, be prepared to face the situation
- Shopping for essential items is very easy as you find stores in every other building of expat neighborhood with home delivery service.
How is the expat community in your City? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
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.
There are hundreds and hundreds of expats from India in Kuwait. India is a vast country.... a potpourri of different cultures, religions, beliefs and is home to not just one or two languages but to an uncountable number of different lingual families. It is divided into 28 states and 7 union territories. The states have been formed mainly on the basis of languages. You will find expats from different states of India in Kuwait. They have their own expat community/organizations. When we arrived in Kuwait we were hardly 15 Assamese families. We did not have any formal organization but we met regularly. Slowly number of families increased and it is a big group now. We officially registered our expat organization in the Indian Embassy, Kuwait.
How would you summarize your expat life in Kuwait in a single, catchy sentence?
Live Life King Size