Author Archives: hylinmclaren

Pay Day

I got paid yesterday for August…in cash! What!??

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My Apartment

Here are a few pictures of my apartment. This is a typical teacher apartment in my building, although many teachers buy their own furnishings, particularly if they are staying several years. My building is owned by my school, but there are several other buildings where teachers from our school live.

Here is the tour…

Here is a view from my window on the 5th floor.

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When you walk in the door, this is what you see, with the dining table on the left and the kitchen on the right.

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My living and dining room.

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Custom ACA curtains and furniture, and I found a little computer desk in the basement for the corner.

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My kitchen which was stocked with some dishes and food supplies to get me started. 🙂

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My little bathroom with a good sized washing machine tucked behind the door.

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More Strange But True

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Cars park anywhere and everywhere! This truck is parked in the middle of the driveway, behind the row of parked cars in the parking lot of the grocery store. Another common place to park is on the sidewalk. There are even speed bumps on the sidewalk not far from my apartment. 

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It is so hot here that household water is heated by the sun. Water holding tanks are located on the roofs of buildings. We have a switch in our apartments to turn on the water heater when the outside temperature cools down.

When taking a taxi here, we negotiate a price before getting into the cab. Some drivers may try to increase the price once you have arrived, but don’t give in. 

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13 Things I Took For Granted

Living in the same country my entire life, and having the ability to move my belongings from home to home when I moved, brought with it a huge advantage and level of comfort. In moving to a foreign country with just 3 suitcases of clothing, I have learned a great deal in the absence of these amenities! 

Thirteen things I took for granted back home in Canada:

1. hydration

2. knowing where the grocery store is

3. having a knife to make a PB sandwich

4. brewed coffee…mostly instant here

5. ability to get to the store, bank…anywhere independently

6. the ability to go out and get what I need on my own

7. being able to explain where home is (addresses are a bit different here)

8. ability to pick up the phone and talk to my loved ones

9. ability to read labels at the grocery store

10. ability to make myself understood and to understand others to have my needs met

11. hot steamy showers

12. dish towels that dry my dishes

13. being able to wear just one outfit in a day, without it becoming soaked with perspiration

What I’ve learned…

  • to rely on others more
  • to have patience while depending on others
  • what it feels like to give up and go without being understood or finding alternate ways to communicate or solve my problem (cell phones with cameras are a miracle)
  • planning well ahead
  • a warm shower is also pleasant
  • the necessity of taking water everywhere and drinking constantly
  • people of many different languages can communicate and get along by having patience and a positive attitude
  • being laid back and letting things go is the way of life here, and has many pleasant rewards!

 

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Strange But True

Did you know…

  • In Kuwait people use only a fitted sheet and not a top sheet, so Ikea stocks only a few top sheets, that only come in white, for the Westerners over here.
  • The outdoor steps are made of tile, and due to the fact that they are covered in an invisible layer of sand, they are extremely slippery. (Yes I fell hard! The security guard in my building now laughs every time he sees me. Glad I could make his day.)
  • There is a restaurant here that sells Grilled Viagra Sandwiches and Frisky Fries.
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Where in the World is Kuwait?

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Located in the Middle East, Kuwait is an oil-rich, desert country.   The country is very small compared to Canada, with a distance of about 200 km from the SE to NW end. The estimated population of the country is close to 3.5 million, including about 1.3 million non-nationals. Approximately 83% of the population lives in Kuwait City, while the remainder live in surrounding desert and coastal towns.

 

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My School Calendar

My School Calendar 2014-2015

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