Wearing your Jump on your Sleeve in Kuwait

Let’s face it; Winter is coming, and much like the searing temperatures drive residents of Kuwait into their Airconditioned homes, so to does Winter drive people towards radiators.

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A few elite warriors will choose to utilize this time however to expend their energy via exercise, most will choose running as their preferred poison, however there is another form of cardio that is great at burning calories, keeping you warm and scorching away your midsection to give you the chiseled abdominals you’ve always dreamed of!

How was my trainer pitch? Good? Bad? Ugly?

That exercise is jump rope. You can read more about the comparison between jumping rope and running here. But the gist of it is:

Jumping rope is a great calorie-burner. You’d have to run an eight-minute mile to work off more calories than you’d burn jumping rope.

Now, Mybloogle is NOT paid to advertise so we shall refrain from mentioning the name of the place DIRECTLY, however due to the extreme helpfulness and friendliness of the cashier-ette yesterday in taking my number to contact me when a product is available in more sizes, we’ll drop hints about their name. So, as I was passing by a Sports shop, which I Direct your attention to, I walked in and purchased a speed rope.

After a painstaking attempt to remove the rope from the shackles of its bondage to its packaging, I decided to strap the rope to my wrist like so:


The thought of Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats comes to mind

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Of course we will be sans the Sword of Omens, lest we wish to be deported for running with a concealed weapon…



Let’s Jump (lol) start the new running (lol) revolution.

Adding jump rope to your running routine can definitely end up making you a better runner, targeting different muscle sets.

Where the dead don’t know they’re dead yet – Kuwait City

The crisp morning breeze billows across the street. People go about their daily affairs, some grabbing breakfast, others anxiously awaiting their bus for their daily commute to work. An array of smells invade your nostrils as you walk amongst the tombstones, between the living and the dead, where the dead don’t know they’re dead yet.

Derelict buildings stand the test of time and trial, whereby some have given up and moved to greener pastures, leaving behind the remnants of their former selves, a shop sign, fixtures within the store, some even contain merchandise left behind in the flurry of relocation.

a dead fashion,,,

a dead fashion,,,

City of Ghosts (10)

Structural skeleton

Decrepit, with some deserted, others brazenly remain steadfast in their resolve to not relocate. Given the condition of the building, I shudder to think how the amenities operate. In their stead, I would knock down walls to my left and right, expanding my reach to grab other land, as it seems the building is almost completely forgotten by the owner.

City of Ghosts (7)

City of Ghosts (6)

Back in the day, when open space was a right to everyone and not a privilege. When parking spots were open and not designated.

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A conflicting tapestry of travesty, with the modern, the new, the living, rising high towards the clouds, interspersed amongst the decaying and dying.

City of Ghosts (2)

These hallowed streets, once paved with memories, now lie in ruin.

The Panasonic shop where we bought our first Sega Mega Drive II in the 90's

The Panasonic shop where we bought our first Sega Mega Drive II in the 90’s

From the distance, the towering giants stare down, eagerly anticipating the day of their demise, for from their ashes, their brothers and sisters shall rise.

It is only a matter of time,,,

It is only a matter of time,,,

@Gulf_bank 642 Marathon Review @ExtremeSportsKw @q8sportsevents @gulfbank642

It was a glorious day. The second 642 Marathon to be held in Kuwait, for everyone that doesn’t recall, on this very same day last year I wrote the review on the last 642 Marathon (link).

As many of you readers are aware, I will inject a bit of my own personal story with the marathon amidst my review, as well as put in the opinions of my fellow runners on things I did not witness (but they do sound great).

For any race to truly improve, the thoughts and troubles of the participants have to be taken into consideration; our observations last year can be summarized as follows:

First: start time of the Marathon (42KM).  NOT FIXED.

Second: usage of cones to properly segregate the full-side of the road. PARTIALLY FIXED

Third: GPS Signal inside Mubarakiya. RESOLVED

Fourth: the re-run of distances for the 42KM. NOT FIXED.

Fifth: Sharp turn atop bridge on return run. RESOLVED.

Sixth: Energy Gels. NOT AVAILABLE AT ALL.

Seventh: Roads Opened. NA

So here we go:

The Con’s:

FIRST: Everyone was expecting the race to start at 7:30AM, whereas the FB event had the run starting at 8AM, we started at 7:57AM.

SECOND: LAVATORIES! For the love of all things holy, we are NOT CAMELS! I can run 21KM without needing sustenance or nourishment, anything past 27 and I would need water. Those running 42KM, and especially those coming from abroad to take part in an official marathon in Kuwait, expect the creature-comfort of porta-potties along the road. I saw many a runner stop and enter the nearest landmark in desperate search of relief. Cabins along the way are a necessity especially for the full-marathon runners.

THIRD: demarcation. I was relieved (not that type of relieved from the point above) to see that the turn-around towards Mubarakiya at the roundabout was split with cones to show people where to go and separate those running toward Mubarakiya and those running back. However, when all the runners finished the stretch in Mubarakiya (where GPS signal remained strong btw) and were running back toward the roundabout, there was a clash of sorts between those heading towards and those heading away, I had to clap and shout to get walkers to not cross in front of me, as I was veering left toward KPC.

FOURTH: overeager volunteers. It is great to give up your time to help others out, but if I am trying to run, please do not stand in a cluster or in my path to give me water; stand to the side, I spent most of my time running past stations shaking my finger that, thank you, I do not need nourishment.

FIFTH: road condition. A friend of mine ran the half marathon barefoot. I shudder to think what he went through, given that I, depsite wearing shoes, felt uncomfortable on the road, the stretch from after Souq Sharq all the way down to KFC, due to the fact that the tarmac was not flat in all cases – it was jagged. Given that this event gives so much revenue to the organizers, is it not possible for them to request the government to ensure the road is properly taken care of? (You can disallow this as a complaint on the race itself as it has more to do with the government).

SIXTH: no energy gels. Period. Not even at the half marathon loop around.

SEVENTH: Marathon start time. I noticed that as the first of the marathoners returned, the stands off giveaways and food were almost depleted (keep in mind the first to cross the finish line for the marathon took 2hrs47mins, whereas some took longer than 5hrs). THE MARATHONERS NEED TO START EARLIER! The organizers are interested in a giant crowd for the sake of the media, but if we look at the numbers:

5K – 380 males, 394 females (TOTAL: 774)

10K – 421 males, 205 females (TOTAL: 626)

21K – 245 males, 81 females (TOTAL: 326)

42K – 57 males, 11 females (TOTAL: 68)


The marathoners represent 3.8% of the total participants, even if you ask them to run on the sidewalk if the police do not allow you to close of the roads from say, 6:30AM, have them start ahead of the crowd! It is extremely unfair that those that pay the highest fees end up getting nothing in the end in terms of food and beverage. In addition, at the beginning there is a huge crowd at the finish line to motivate runners, those that need the most motivation (having run 41.9KM by the time they reach close to the finish line) had little to no support! And speaking of nothing, we look at …

EIGHTH: the goody-bag. Last year there was none, not even a shirt. This year, a shirt, a small sandwich, coupons (seriously?) and that’s it. I believe the organizer needs to work hard on their ability to “give back” part of the fees as gifts to the participants (case-in-point – RunQ8 – they’re giving a pedometer this year,

NINTH: the medal. The medal has a great design, and this year the colors were changed so that the medals do not repeat last year. Those that did half and full marathons have the option to put their time on the medal itself. Last year stickers were given to the finishers. This year however, no stickers were available. I asked at the finish line and was told to go to registration, I went to registration and was told to go to the finish line.

TENTH: T-shirt sizes. When we registered, we were asked to select a shirt size, which puts us under the impression that said shirt in said size will definitely be claimed by us as prize. Once the runners started pouring in, the later you came the less likely you were to find your selected size. Which is kind of strange, should it not have been placed in my goody-bag, with my bib number as a way to identify that it is my selection?

ELEVENTH: location, location, location. Sure, the bridge makes for a great starting line picture, even good to start going downhill, but after a long run, be it 10, 21, or 42, running uphill is severely exhausting. In addition, whilst participating in the RAK half marathon in 2012, I remember reading a magazine about how the race is recognized by the world as an official half-marathon, and it stated certain prerequisites for the race to categorized in the world, one of which I believe was that the path should be scenic for the participants and the elevation should not exceed 5M. Especially given the fact that the race can always start on top of the bridge and end on the other side (where the fish market is). It boasts an expanse of flat land.

TWELFTH: trash. After reaching Souq Sharq once more, runners had to navigate around the walkers and strollers, and also avoid slipping on the array of plastic containers strewn haphazardly all over the ground. One particularly disturbing scene was after a water station, the amount of trash was unbelievable. There were only a few scattered cleaners attempting to pick things up. Firstly, organizers should place bins strategically along the race to prevent runners from chucking their garbage on the street. Secondly, participants should NOT litter. Third, if both first and second options fail, then the volunteers should attempt to keep the trash on the side of the road.

The Pro’s

FIRST: the changing of the map. Last year, something strange happened. The date selected for the run coincided with the walk for Diabetes, which started at the Yacht Club and moved towards Souq Sharq, whereas we runners were going the other way (towards McDonald’s), this lead to a very perilous situation whereby the walkers had occupied the entire road + sidewalk, forcing runners to maneuver through them. This was mitigated this year by having the long distance runners head toward KPC for a good stretch, making our run towards Salmiya only until Friday’s, circumventing any clashes. Good job!

SECOND: medical attention; a friend of mine told me how his shins/calves had been acting up on the run, when he informed the peeps at the water stations, one was kind enough to provide a spray that quelled the pain. So again, good job!

My story:


Ever since I was diagnosed with “splay foot” I dialed back my running. I still signed up the half marathon in an attempt to motivate myself to reclaim my former glory. My practice runs were abysmal to say the least; when running a distance in excess of 15KM; the first time I tired out at 12KM and spent the rest walking, the second time I made it up to 16KM and trotted the rest. One week before the race however I attempted to do 18KM and trotted after 7KM. All my times were around 2hrs10mins. When push came to shove though however, on race day, I found myself scoring the distance at 1hr47min45secs. Last year, I was at 1hr46mins44secs.


So congratulations to everyone that ran that day, regardless of distance or time. You won!

Apply to be “Serviced” by Hookers in Kuwait

As a guy who is steadfast on policy and procedures & rules and regulations (by merit of my job) I must say I am astounded at the level of dedication that these Euro-stitutes (see what I did there?) undertook to verify the identity of their “seekers of flesh pleasure”, they did not mention anything however regarding payment – how did the ladies ensure that the 200KD was available? Bank statements? Credit card details?


… each woman was charging KD 200 for one pleasure. According to security sources the women operated via the Internet. A prospective pleasure seeker was required to fill a form online complete with his picture and the reply was assured within 48 hours.

Control: ensure “pleasure seeker” is internet savvy. CHECK!

… the accepted person was then given the name of the place and time and then he was ushered in the lobby of the hotel before proceeding to room of the woman who would then cross check for the name and picture before offering herself at his service.

Control: Ensure “pleasure seeker” identity is verified, to avoid cop busts. CHECK!




The Lazy life of Kuwait – Bicycle Ordering

For those that have spent a wee bit of time in the desert state of Kuwait, you will find that most of the creature comforts we enjoy are brought upon as a result of the external environment in which we reside.

For example, the infamous baqala-drive-by, whereby we park our cars outside the baqala, honk twice or thrice, give our order to the shopkeeper, receive the items, pay, wait, receive change, then drive off into the (hopeful) sunset.

This phenomena is also replicated outside restaurants, with the same conditions.

Earlier this week however, I decided to upset the established order and do things differently.

I rode up to my preferred restaurant to cure my cravings for fatayer, initially I was ignored by the people taking orders, because as I said earlier, I rode up to them, not drove; as in on my bicycle, not in my car. The following conversation took place:

Me: I want to make an order.

Restaurant Dude: go inside.

Me: But I am on a bicycle.

Restaurant Dude: its ok, don’t worry.

Me: Excuse me, can you please treat me as if I am a car?! (verbatim translation of what I said in Arabic)

Restaurant Dude: *laughs* *takes order*


I took to the streets whilst waiting for the food to be made, upon my return, Restaurant Dude goes, “here you go, Mr. Car”.

I’d like to think I am about to set a trend for bicycle ordering.

Of course, I have nothing on these guys:



More Residency Woes in Kuwait

This one however is not borne by the resident, unless their company makes them pay for their residency.

According to MOSAL (Ministry of Social Affairs & Labor), your residency renewal period cannot exceed the company’s commercial licence validity.

The company’s commercial licence is strategically placed near all entrances to the company and looks something like this:


Now if you look at the 2nd pink box from the left on the top, you’ll find an expiry date (in this case its 28/08/2014).

What this means is, if a person’s residency expires 28/12/13, it can only be renewed upto 28/08/2014.

Add to that woe, the company’s commercial registration can only be renewed 2 months before it expires. So going by the same example above, suppose a person’s residency expires 28/05/2014; it would only be renewed up to 28/08/2014 (i.e. 3 months) after which said employee would need another residency stamp.

If your company charges you for your residency (and yes, some companies DO do that), you’ll be doubly screwed.

Technically it makes sense; a company’s employee cannot have residency that exceeds the company’s commercial licence. However there is nothing which states that the company is responsible for any legal charges that arise against the employee should its licence expire close to their residency expiry.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens with this.

What to do in Kuwait this weekend? Fright Night @Sirdab_lab!

IMG-20151027-WA0001Stuck on what to do on the night before Halloween? Join the good folk over at Sirdab for their first ever “Fright Night”!

Behold a night of standup comedy, live music, ghost storytelling, games, and a screening of some of the freakiest short films guaranteed to scare the heebie-geebies out of you 👻

Dinner will be sponsored by @chinagardenkw

When: 7:30 PM Friday, October 30
Where: Sirdab Lab

Free entry, prior registration required. Register at: sirdab-lab.com/frightnight

(and yes, I will be performing standup that night – hence the term “FRIGHT”!)

For directions:

Review of the McDonald’s Flyingstart Triathlon @q8sportevents

The McDonald’s Flyingstart triathlon took place last Friday. For those that do not know, a triathlon is a succession of sporting events done in sequence to completion – Swim, Bike, Run. The event had teams as well as solo performers, competing in Sprint (750M swim, 20KM cycle, 5KM run) and Olympic distances (1,500M swim, 40KM cycle, 10KM run).

We arrived at Marina at 6AM and proceeded to stick all the stickers and tattoos where they need to go. Shortly after instructions were given, and once everyone knew where they should be, we all proceeded to the beach to watch the first leg of the triathlon commence.

Being short of a road bike I took my mountain bike to the race. We waited in the participants pen whilst our team mates rushed to hand over the tracker, strapped it to our ankles and were off. You could not mount your bike from the get-go, you had to run alongside the bike from the parking lot near Marina Hotel all the way to the parking lot near Starbucks, there you could hop on to your bike and go all the way down the Gulf road to Green island, and come back, the go again, and return for a supposed distance of 20KM for sprint and double that for Olympic.

As I was the bike-man for the team, my story will revolve around that, everything else is hearsay, hearsee and educated speculation.

cycling down the Gulf road was a pleasant affair; the organizer had asked those riding slow to stay on the right side of the road, and that is where I spent the majority of my time. I watched several athletes whisk past me on their road bikes, while I just focused on keeping a steady pace of 2mins40secs or less per KM (thank you Garmin Watch!)

Whenever possible, I would try to overtake from the left side, just to know the feeling, and in my head I formed various rivalries with other participants, just to push myself forward. The one that stands out was 466, another fellow mountain biker, who would eventually go on to pass me but not after I gave him a run for his money. Another mountain biker who’s number I cannot recall helped me out, as after a constant struggle for dominance I decided to ride behind him in his slipstream, and was successful in knocking down the time for that KM from 2mins40secs to 2mins21secs.

In the end, the atmosphere was generally nice.

Here is the list of faults I found with the event though:

  1. Under no circumstance is the organizer ever allowed to YELL at the participants. Granted, he was on a megaphone and trying to give people the Cliff notes regarding “how to Tri”, but you cannot take it upon yourself to lose your cool and yell at the participants, who paid to be there, and who’s ages ranged from those young enough to be your children to those old enough to be your grandparents. It happened twice.
  2. There was a lack of enforcement of policy in the transition area; for example, take the following road bike that was propped up against a pole as opposed to being hung on the bike rack like everyone else. I overheard the organizers state that this was a violation, but as the race commenced, the bike remained in its incorrect place:


This is how bikes should have been kept in the transition area:


3. Participants were expected to run beside their bikes (as stated above) however, the following obstruction was only cleared after the first two or so cyclists had to squeeze by it:


4. The volunteers who were supposed to be helping out on race day, despite their good intentions, were not aware of the full list of rules – we had asked one near the bike mounting area where the transition from bike to run was, to which he replied, “I don’t really know”, later we found out that the pen that kept the cyclists was later refilled with the runners. Still, volunteers should know.

5. Despite the race being billed as 20KM cycling, the actual distance fell short, as tracked thru 2 separate GPS trackers – Garmin (watch) and SportsTracker (app – Android) as follows:


(this included the run from the transition area to the bike mount area).

6. The transition area was pure bedlam with people walking everywhere and runners trying to navigate around them.

7. The running part of the triathlon was by far the most poorly planned. Lets begin with the fact that it was in the most densely crowded area – the Marina walkway, all the way to the scientific center. Runners were recollecting how they had to dodge around people to finish their distance. A quick fix for this would have been to close off the road from Scientific center to Marina (the Gulf road was closed from Marina to Green island) and have the runners do laps there, where they would not be bothering those out for their early morning strolls.

8. The volunteers at the turn around areas were causing confusion for cyclists and runners. At the beginning of the race, the organizer stressed that each person is responsible to keep track of their distance themselves. What makes it confusing however is when you are going toward a turnaround area and see a volunteer pointing left and right. Left to go back and do another lap, right to go onto the transition area. I fell for this, as did several runners I saw when I was done with the cycling part.

9. Inadequate supply of bins at such a large event.

10. Joke of a takeaway from the race in the form of a t-shirt (good quality), a small (branded) bag and a water bottle. Here are some ideas for things you can include in the bag next time – vouchers from sponsors – anything to justify the exorbitant cost of the event – KD 35.

11. Very small area near the finish line, extremely crowded to be around sponsor booths and stand in line for t-shirts or tracker refunds.

The pro’s of the race:

1. Sweet, never-before-run finish line:


right atop the fountain!

This event is growing in popularity and attracting participants from all over the region. As somebody who is now seriously considering getting into triathlete training, I hope the organizers take the points above into consideration, because if the next event is to be performed with the same caliber as this one, attendance might suffer.

Happy Marty McFly Day! #BTTF

Today is the day! Any wishing to feel “forever young” might want to look elsewhere on the interwebs, as this post is bound to stroke the age strings from as far back as 26 years ago!

We are talking about the greatest trilogy (in this writers humble opinion) of all TIME, that inspired a cartoon series as well as rose to become a pop culture – Back to the Future!


It all started when Doc. Emmett Brown invented a time machine. It was powered by a nuclear device he built after acquiring “plutonium” from a bunch of Libyan Terrorists (first prediction!) under the guise of creating a bomb for them. They find out they were duped, go back and kill him, Marty jumps in the “car” (aka time machine) and travels to the first time destination set by the Doc (after his wanting to visit “the birth of Christ” – yes my memory is that good) – the day he fell on his head in the bathroom and came up with the design for the Flux Capacitor, which makes time travel possible.

Fast forward to the end of Part 1, and we are left with a cliff hanger – McFly is going to the future, Back to the Future with Doc, who tells him, “something’s gotta be done about your kids!”

That date, set way back in 1989 when the film came out and set as 1985 in the movies timeline, is TODAY – October 21, 2015 – 30 years in the future!


We owned the trilogy on VHS back then; despite our chronological order, part III was mine, II belonged to my elder brother and the young one got part I. My favorite part was II because I always enjoyed seeing what the future would look like; I was under the impression that all of the sudden, in the blink of an eye, cars would fly, buildings would turn to metal, aliens would appear etc. Year by year I was disappointed, especially at the turn of the 21st century, the year 2000, I was expecting an end to all confrontations and the ushering in of peace and harmony, how naive I was, so, back to back to the future 😛

Now, why is everyone creating such a huge buzz around this? Simply put, this is one of the earliest pulp fiction fantasy time travel movies where we actually get to see the date they predicted back when! All other futuristic movies derive their plots from dates that are in the high millenniums such as 2300, 2600 etc.

This excitement is a mimicry of anyone that read George Orwell’s novel 1984, which was the authors prediction of life in 1984, written in 1949 (of course something great did happen in 1984 – my elder brother was born <3 )!

Another reason why everyone is going gaga over BTTF is that the writers, sharp as they were, ended up predicting some actual trends in 2015 – fancy that!

What I do not understand however is why the stickless segways are being billed as hover boards inspired by BTTF! I call BS…

That is  a tale, for another time, for now, we leave you with some of the greatest hits of BTTF:

And yes, the songs are in chronological order from part 1!

PS this post is issued 2 hours after the arrival of Doc & Marty from 1985!

Male Molestation in Kuwait

I’ve been debating writing this over and over in my head since its occurrence last night, so here goes:

Yesterday I was out walking with my wife and her sisters. My first and foremost thought was I need to police dog them and keep circling them to keep em safe. Little did I realize I would be the one in need of protection.

A trip intended for Sports Direct on Tunis St. took an unexpected detour across the street. The ladies were getting their shopping on, and as I was in the market for a new pair of running shoes, I left them behind, crossed the street to Sports Direct, looked around, left and sat outside on their pavement waiting for the ladies to finish.


As I was flipping through my phone to keep myself entertained, I noted a pair of feet walking in front of me, they stopped, and turned towards me. I looked up and there was a portly man, balding, glasses, 5 O’clock shadow, green shirt, black jeans. He asked me where Al Bahar Center was.

Being the helpful person I am, I stood up and pointed to the big blue letters reading “AL BAHAR CENTER” down the street, clear as day, and said “see those blue lights? That is Al Bahar Center”. What happened next was, discomforting.

You know that hand gesture where you pull at your imaginary goatee? Arabic sign language for “I will show you later”, or “patience, I will pay you back soon”? Imagine that, but instead of pulling down you’re pulling outward, and instead of your chin its your chest area.

He then walked away and I spent a good 20-30 seconds wondering what the heck just happened. This stranger came up to me, asked for directions, when I pointed him the right way, he responds by groping my chest? As a man, I kept trying to figure out if I misread it, or why on earth it would happen.

I eyed the queer fellow down the street and saw him stop yet another stranger, and again ask for directions! I saw the hapless man also turn to the side and point toward Al Bahar Center, and this time, the creep just rubbed his arm up and down.

I walked up to the second person he asked for directions and asked him, did that guy ask you for Al Bahar Center? He said yes. I asked did he also touch you? He said yes, the guy seemed confused and out of his mind.

My greatest concern was what if he happens upon a group of children on the street? Scanning down towards him I noted that, given the lateness of the hour on a school nights, the streets were devoid of children. I discussed the matter further with the second direction giver and decided the direction seeker must be troubled. With nothing left to do, I turned around and left.

Now at this point, you are either having a jolly laugh at this predicament, or wondering what is with the exaggeration. Few might actually see my concern here.

What was I supposed to do?


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