Mentality of Kuwait’s Water- Squirting-Squids

Lets face it, if you haven’t booked your ticket by now already, chances are you are going to be stuck at home for this long weekend holiday in Kuwait celebrating National and Liberation Day.

Word of caution to any first timers; avoid going out at all costs. AT. ALL. COSTS.

Already you will realize that street corners are bedecked with kids (and adults alike) shooting water guns at passing cars. If you thought this was a neighborhood initiative to offer free cleaning services after the tumultuous weather we had this past week, think again.

Ever since the “Great Foam Ban” of 201X (all the previous years have joined into one blur), the “Poison-of-Choice” for festivities was Foam (in a can) which became outlawed and contraband by the authorities as a result of the havoc it wreaked on cars (and in addition to a group of ladies spraying hair remover onto unsuspecting victims).

Not ones to shy away from festivity, the people of Kuwait were quick to find a replacement for the foam cans; the dreaded water guns. The bigger, the better was always the motto, and as we look out over the horizon from our vantage point in the city, we see a cloud of dust settling over, promising to cover the streets in its hazy embrace.

You will also realize that every seller, from cornerstore baqala to toy shops and even traffic light hawkers have begun peddling their plastic water receptacles for varying prices depending on your budget.

In addition, you will also notice the presence of a myriad of “Out-of-Town” licence plates, from all over the Gulf Region, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain and even as far as Oman. Everyone is here, with one destination in mind: The Gulf Road.

Tomorrow the Gulf Road will be transformed into a battle ground of wet proportions. Everyone will be out with the sole purpose of “getting wet”, you would assume this would call for the people to be dressed in wet suits, however they do not.

Driving down the Gulf Road will be beyond a catastrophic nightmare. A snail in a salt shaker would probably move faster than you that day.

All forms of modesty and decency are discarded as people wage water wars along the Gulf Road. Strangers will unite and butt heads up and down the street. Little fat kids will walk around hauling gigantic water guns, some come with their own neat little water pack on their back like ghostbusters.

Mosques along the Gulf Road will diligently turn off the water in the bathrooms, much to the chagrin of mosque goers. However, water coolers will have lines as far back as a bridal gown store with a 90% discount on branded dresses during wedding season.

The people amass an unquenchable amount of water shenanigans throughout the year that comes pouring out on these two days, and then is forgotten once more till next year.

It is sad to see such a momentous occasion in the history of this Nation being taken so lightly and viciously. Who amongst you remembers exactly what is being celebrated, or why?

February 25: Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah’s reign was so central to the evolution of modern Kuwait that when he died in 1965, the date on which he had ascended the throne in 1950 (February 25) was designated National Day.

February 26: Liberation from the Iraqi Invasion, designated Liberation Day.

But no. Everyone looks at it as a moment to run around like crazy people in a watery war zone.

I was almost arrested last year when doing something constructive to commemorate the occasion: Running 25KM up and down the Gulf Road, at risk of life and dryness. Not this year. I am out of here for the holidays.

Stay Dry.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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