Category Archives: Travels

Weekend Getaway: Muscat, Oman

This last week we were in Dubai for the Arab Health Exhibition. This tradeshow is fast becoming the worlds largest tradeshow and exhibition in the healthcare industry. Before Arab Health started, The Husband and I decided to do a side trip to Oman for 2 days the weekend before Arab Health started.

When we were living in Toronto, we loved to go for weekend getaways and going on road trips. This is one of the things we both missed after our move to Kuwait! For those of y’all who don’t know, Kuwait’s borders are Saudi, Iraq, and the Arabian Gulf! Going from one end of Kuwait to the other only takes about 2 hours so road tripping is not ideal.

When The Husband brought up this idea, I jumped on it! We decided not to fly into Muscat, but have an adventure and drive to Muscat from Dubai. Doing the drive from Dubai to Muscat was such a wonderful experience! We were able to enjoy seeing the beautiful sand, mountains, and greenery! I was amazed and couldn’t stop comparing it to Kuwait because we only have flat dry land all around us!

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We picked up our car from the airport and started our journey around 9 AM and so we started driving, usually when we do these road trips, we stock up on snacks, water, and The Husband always has a big cup of coffee with him! We were not able to do this but an hour into our drive we found a gas station, but no coffee shops or fast food places that sell coffee! (We’ve gotten so spoiled by the service stations in Canada!) We stocked up at the gas station and started the journey! About halfway through our journey, these gigantic tall brown mountains that looked like dirt came up to our left and right and I could feel my ears popping as we rolled up the mountain and then came down!

Mountains popping up

Mountains popping up

Once we entered Oman, it was like we were in a different realm! There were flowers, trees, and grass everywhere! I saw farming and greenery all around me! I couldn’t help but think of how the Israelite’s felt when they were walking in the desert for many years and finally came across to the promised land.  The natural beauty of the country astounded me!

We reached Muscat around 4 and we were dead tired! We hadn’t slept the previous night because our flight was at 3:45 AM from Kuwait to Dubai, so we took a 45 minute nap at our hotel before meeting our friends. Now starts our Muscat adventures!

Our friends took us to the Muscat Festival – this is a yearly celebration that happens with lots of traditional music, dancing, food, rides, games, and stalls that sold clothes, shoes, jewelry, knickknacks, etc. We drove in right when the fireworks were going on and I was so impressed! They did such an amazing job and I have to say it was one of my most favorite and best fireworks shows that I have seen! During the festival we came across a stand where a man was stirring a huge pot, we were told by our friends that he was making the traditional Omani Halwa. I never realized halwa was made outside India, and I’ve never eaten halwa right when it’s been made. This halwa was so soft that it just melted into my mouth. I couldn’t eat more than 2 small bites because the flavor was so rich and bold, but it was great to taste the “Pride of Oman” made by a local!

fireworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next day, our friends took us on a boat ride around the beach and the water was so clear and beautiful! The water was a bit choppy so we were jumping at times and it was AMAZING! I loved feeling the wind blowing through my hair and feeling the splash of the water!

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We were able to take a stroll around the old palace of the Sultan of Oman! It’s so colorful and majestic! It would have been even better if we could take a tour of the inside! I love seeing glimpses of the life of how people live, their surroundings, etc.

*Some of these pictures were taken by my friend on his super fabulous camera*

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We were also able to visit oldest souk in Oman – Muttrah Souk, which was a narrow traditional souq with lots of little shops that sold perfumes, spices, coffee pots, abaya’s, and all sorts of things you could only imagine!! The Husband kept going into the shops to buy a Sword, but thankfully I was able to dissuade him!

Restaurants visited:

Thursday Night

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Fried rice, Crispy Fried Noodles in chicken, Beef and Broccoli, Mixed Lo Mein, Coriander rice and chicken, another chicken dish (This picture was taken by my friend and I stole it because I forgot to take pictures)

Great Indian Chinese place and something we do not get in Kuwait! So this was such a great treat!

Friday

Lunch: Turkish House – Don’t think kebabs and shish kebabs, but think fresh seafood that is prepared to perfection!

Mezze, Fish, and Shrimp

Mezze, Fish, and Shrimp

 

Dinner: This was a struggle because it was late night and so many places close early, we finally went to an area and found a Crepe place that was open. This faces the sea and the view would have been amazing if it were light out..

We also went to Trader Vicks by the Intercontinental hotel to enjoy some music and dancing!

Saturday brunch

D’Arcy – great place to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and have a delicious brunch! All that was missing were the Mimosa’s!

We only had 48 hours in Muscat, but the best part was just relaxing and being with our friends. They were such wonderful hosts and we had an amazing time because of them!

All in all, I really hope to visit Oman again and see more sites or even to just go and relax! I loved the energy and feel of the people and life in Oman! The scenery is breathtaking, with the mountains following you wherever you go. One interesting fact I found out was the ruler of Oman doesn’t like tall buildings so nothing is more than 9 floors. There is modernization, but with old world charm all mixed in! If we had more time, I would have liked to go on a hike or off-roading.

 

 

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Thenga.. Maanga..Chakka… “Kerala Masala”

If you haven’t realized by now, I’m an Indian. I grew up in Texas, but my heritage is
Asian Indian. I am from a place called Kerala, which is located in the southernmost
tip of India. Kerala is known as “God’s own country”. Kerala is a tropical coastal
region and all around you’ll see lush foliage, rivers, and lagoons. Usually kerala-165347_1920people will go to North India to visit the Taj Mahal, Golden Temple, the different palaces in Rajastan, etc. Kerala used to be a hidden gem, but has become a popular touristic destination. One popular attraction is riding a houseboat through the backwaters of Kerala.  These boats look old school from the outside, but inside it is fully modern and equipped with AC. They come with a chef who will make you authentic Kerala meals. They boat staff will catch fish and shrimp from the water and cook it right in front of you! I haven’t had the chance to go on a houseboat, but it’s on my bucket-list and I am looking forward to doing this on my next India visit! Kerala is rich in culture and full of traditions, which I don’t really know much about. Here’s some pictures of my last India trip form 2010, this trip was long over due because I went to India 16 years before.

(Just click on the picture and you can see bigger images) 

I don’t really relate much to Kerala, but my  association with the Kerala culture comes with food. I love Kerala food. Kerala food is nothing like the Indian food you get at North Indian restaurants. It’s not the typical Butter Chicken or Tandoori Chicken – Kerala cuisine is more intense than the westernized Indian food that pops into our head when we hear Indian food. Kerala food is so wonderfully complex that in every bite, you have an intense flavor that is revealed layer by layer. The food is full of spices and bold flavors that makes each morsel you ingest to be tasty and delicious.

Since we’ve have come to Kuwait, we don’t get many home cooked Kerala meals like
before. When we were in Toronto, every Sunday we would go over to my in-laws and mom
would have a huge spread for lunch each Sunday. After Kuwait, both The
Husband and I have come to miss this! This year I thought I’d try and get over my fear
of Kerala cooking and try at least once a month to make a dish. I’ve never ventured into
Kerala cooking because it’s always intimidated me…

The title of this post says “Chakka.. Maanga..Thenga… Kerala Masala” The first three words mean Jackfruit, Mango, Coconut. These are three important and delicious delicacies of Kerala! Every corner you go to there’s a Coconut tree, Mango tree, or Jackfruit tree! These three are also an important factor in Kerala cooking. Coconut can be used in gravies, thoran’s (vegetable dish), desserts, etc. It is a versatile fruit!

What I’ve learned after cooking all the different dishes- In most all dishes you need a base of chopped or sliced onions, minced garlic and ginger, green chilies and curry leaves…. and sometimes tomatoes. The spice combination to make Spicesmeat dishes are: Coriander, Garam Masala, Chilly powder, Turmeric, and Smoked Paprika.

When making Chicken/Beef/Mutton Curry- I first sauteed sliced onions, added the minced garlic, ginger, green chilly combo and let it brown without getting burned. Once this is nicely browned I would add the spices and let it all toast for about a minute then add the tomatoes to make a nice paste. Once this is done I would add the meat and water and let it cook on slow heat. Pretty simple!

When making a thoran ,chopped steamed vegetables with a little bit of coconut, you basically cut up whatever veggies and keep aside. Add some oil to a pot, add mustard seeds, then add onions and green chilly let it saute up a bit and then add the veggies with some chilly powder and turmeric and steam it. Also pretty easy to do! These are the basics of Kerala cuisine.

Below are the dishes I’ve tried to make.. They all turned out well, but I need more practice for making the meat dishes. Hope you enjoy browsing through my pictures.

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Oh Texas my Texas…

I know I keep saying how excited I was to go back home during this trip. It came at the right time for me – but also the weather in Texas was amazing! It wasn’t too hot or too cold and I was able to just wear whatever I felt like and enjoy!

A majority of our trip back home is about shopping because I rarely shop while in Kuwait. The only type of shopping I do is groceries… I just find clothes shopping overpriced and irritating in Kuwait, I only do it if I have no other option. My thinking is – Why would I want to spend $100 on something when I can get the same thing for almost half the price back home? I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting on in the years or what, but I LOVE going to Costco, Target, and WalMart! I can spend HOURS there and not get tired. I think my obsession for these stores have increased after living in Kuwait.

Besides shopping we were able to do an early celebration of my dad’s 60th birthday and had a mini family reunion. This was really nice because I was able to see some family members that I hadn’t seen

Birthday Cake!

Birthday Cake!

in years. A few of my cousins even have kids that are a 4 and 5 years old that I haven’t ever seen. I grew up being around my family so going from that to nothing has been eye opening. It really has made me appreciate them in a whole different level. I was able to be there for my aunt and mom’s birthday. These two women have been such a big influence in my life and it was such a joy to be there for both their birthday’s this year!

Big Tex in all his glory

Big Tex in all his glory

We were also able to go to the State Fair of Texas. I haven’t been to the fair in years and I was so excited that we would be in town while the fair was going on. For those of y’all who find it weird that I am was so excited for something like a fair, it’s the biggest fair in the country. You buy your tickets and walk through a fountain area that’s beautiful and then after a little walk you hear Big Tex greeting you and nothing prepares you for this gigantic man wearing a gallon hat with Dickies button down shirt and Dickies jeans with cowboy boots. I think it was about two years ago Big Tex burned down and it was a sad sad day for all Texans. Anyhow they rebuilt Big Tex and I was excited to see the “Newer Larger Big Tex”. The State Fair of Texas is known for all the crazy fried food.. I’ve never been a fan of this because I get crazy heartburn if I eat too much fried stuff – But there a couple things that I just couldn’t stop myself from having: A Corny Dog and a Funnel Cake. The Fletcher’s Corny Dog stand has been part of The State Fair and is a legend. There is no way you can go to the fair and not have one of these things. You might be

All what's left of my delicious corny dog... Got so excited that I forgot to take a picture!

All what’s left of my delicious corny dog… Got so excited that I forgot to take a picture!

wondering what is a corny dog, basically it’s a wiener on a stick that’s dipped in a cornmeal batter and fried to perfection! Yes it’s sinful even thinking about it, but it is delicious. Smear some Ketchup and Mustard and you’re good to go! Besides the food there’s the rides, games, and the amazing concerts

through the day and the big main even at night. The Husband has never been to the Fair so it was such an amazing experience to share it with him. We decided to do a family event and took my youngest brothers and cousins. It was alot of fun just spending time with them and relaxing all day!

I think I can go on and on about my trip, but here’s some pictures for you to go through.

 

 

Canada Pictures

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As I said in my previous post, we were able to visit our family and friends in Canada and Texas!The weather was fabulous and I was able to even enjoy some great thunderstorms! The funny thing is, since coming back to Kuwait we have been having rain off and on and at times it’s even turned into to flooding! Rain in Kuwait is never a good thing, but that’s a post for another day!

So this trip was an interesting trip because I had to take my Canadian citizenship oath! I’m still not sure how I feel about this..I think I’m still in denial about getting married to a Canadian….and to think the farthest from Dallas I thought I’d be  was Toronto – how did I end up in Kuwait? Alrighty, back to the

I think this picture summarizes our relationship: Laughing and dysfunctional in a good way

I think this picture summarizes our relationship: Laughing and dysfunctional in a good way – The story behind this was The Husband wanted me to hold the certificate and we were fighting over how to hold this and our wonderful friend started taking pictures of this.

citizenship story – The Husband is happy so that’s all that matters! I think his happiness come from having not to spend time renewing my PR card and having to deal with all the paperwork and hassle. Anyhow, there’s a lot more other details in this, but I don’t want to bore you with all the crazy nonsense that I had to go through for all this. All that matters is we are done with Canadian and                                now onto American! <— Wishful thinking on my part

This was one of my most favorite trips back because we were able to see so many people and also have an almost relaxing and enjoyable time. Trips back home are usually not relaxing because we are on the go from morning till night, but on this trip we were able to spend time with our family and see some of our friends.

While we were in Toronto, we were able to do a 3 day getaway to Montreal and it was such a great trip! Montreal is on my list of Top 5 favorite cities to spend time in. I had a lot going on before leaving on our trip and Montreal was the perfect trip for us to just decompress and just have some fun. We mostly spent time just walking around the different neighborhoods and going to the different cafe’s and restaurants.

I can go on and on about our trip so instead of that, I’ll share the pictures so you can see our experience.

Carne Guisada Latin Beef Stew

Hi Everyone, I’m sure y’all have all given up on me but I have just been so busy with life and also finding motivation to post. Summer was busy for me because my family came to visit us.

We did our annual US/Canada trip early and went in September. This trip was one of my favorite trips back home because we were able to enjoy amazing weather in both the places! Usually Toronto is

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

freezing cold in December and I walk around looking like an Eskimo and get made fun of, but this year it was fabulous. I’ll write and share pictures about my trip.

I have been cooking a lot and taking pictures, but no time to update the blog. I have been talking about Slow Cookers since I came to Kuwait and have been searching but haven’t been able to find it anywhere. Recently a friend of mine found one and gave it to me as a gift and I am just so ecstatic! I really missed having a slow cooker because I used it a lot while in Toronto. I’m really excited to use this especially during the summers and since “winter” is coming up I’ll be making lots of different stews and soups in it!

My wonderful Slow Cooker! It's sitting on top of my washing machine because I have a tiny kitchen and no space anywhere else!

My wonderful Slow Cooker! It’s sitting on top of my washing machine because I have a tiny kitchen and no space anywhere else!

We had a rainy weekend so here’s a recipe I found while perusing some website and blogs. I found this recipe through the Skinnytaste.com website. It’s called Carne Guisada Latin Beef Stew. I didn’t follow the directions exactly because I think I’m incapable of doing this – but it turned out well.

I’m always wary about making beef recipes because it’s so easy to mess up beef. If it’s not tender enough it will be chewy and in steaks I hate when they are overcooked and dry!

Ingredients

Delicious Carne Guisada Stew with Pico Di Gallo

Delicious Carne Guisada Stew with Pico Di Gallo

Olive Oil
1 cup Green Onions – Chopped
3 cloves Garlic – Minced (I used 5)
2 small tomatoes – Chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro – Minced (I had at least 4 or 5)
1 1/2 lb stewing beef
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup light beer (1 cup beef broth because I cannot get beer in Kuwait)
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 tsp dry adobo seasoning (did not use this)
1/2 tsp ground achiote (just used paprika)
1 dried bay leaf (used 2)
salt to taste
10 oz baby red potatoes halved or quartered (I used regular potatoes because I couldn’t find red)

Oregano
Chilly Flakes
Black Pepper

Pico De Gallo

1 Onion – Chopped
1 Jalapeno – Chopped (2 Jalapeno if you want more spicy)
1 Tomato – Chopped
Lemon Juice
Salt to taste

Step 1

Heat up a heavy frying pan and add a little bit of oil. When the oil heats up add the chopped garlic and let it cook for 2 minutes but keep watch so that it doesn’t burn. Then add the green onions and let it cook for about 3 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes and cilantro next and mix it all together. Cook for another 3 minutes until the tomatoes become soft. Add a little bit of salt. Once you are done, place into the slow cooker.

Step 2

Add a little bit of oil back into the same pan and let the oil heat up, add in the beef a little bit at a time so you can brown the meat and get a nice crust. I think i did maybe 4 minutes per batch.  I wiped the pan and added a little bit of oil before adding the beef each time. After I did the last set, I placed all the beef back into the pan and added the 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour and just mixed until it coated all the beef. Once the beef is fully coated, add the beef into the slow cooker

Step 3

Next add in all the rest of the ingredients and mix it well. I added some extra water so it would come a little above the meat. I also added some black pepper, oregano, and chilly flakes. Since I added the beef stock, I didn’t add any more salt, but you should take later on to see if it is to your salt preference level. Let it cook on low for about 6 – 8 hours or until the beef is tender and soft.

You can see how much liquid I added.

You can see how much liquid I added.

Pico De Gallo:

To make the Pico De Gallo, I just chopped up some onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro and added some lemon juice and salt to taste. Place in fridge to let the flavors mingle together and take out when ready to serve the Carne Guisada.

Look at the beautiful colors of the chopped tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro!

Look at the beautiful colors of the chopped tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro!

This takes a bit of prep work, but you can do it the night before and start it in the morning before going to work and come home from a chilly day to a nice warm stew. The fresh bold taste of the Pico to the warm comforting feeling of the stew will take you to Latin America. I can imagine years ago, an old lady cooking on an open fire with a heavy cauldron stirring away trying to get this dish ready for her family in the evening. Adding the Pico brought the Carne Guisada up a level. You can serve it on rice or eat it by itself. The husband actually ate it with Pita bread and I just had it as a stew.

My comments:

I wasn’t able to find the Adobo or Achiote and beer is illegal in Kuwait so I just added some beef broth. I might add some more vegetables next time I make this. If you want it spicy, maybe try marinating the beef early on with some spices (Cumin, chilly powder, oregano, garlic etc).

Turkey 2015 – Part 1

I know this is about 4 months late, but I guess the phrase better late than never works best here. I have been wanting to share about my Turkey Trip since January, but I just wasn’t able to properly write a post. I have been working on this post for about 2 weeks off and on and there was just so much about Turkey I think I am going to divide it into parts. So here’s my Turkey Part 1.

Merhaba! This is “Hello” in Turkish…

On the way back from our Canada/US visit, we were able to spend a few days in Istanbul. We were able to do this because we flew Turkish Airlines and so it was an easy stopover on the way back. Even though it was really cold and wet during our visit, it was really worth the trip! What a beautiful city Istanbul is!

We were able to do all the touristic things and also just walk through different streets. I think I really enjoyed this trip because it was right after our Canada/US pilgrimage and we were able to decompress! Even though visiting home was our vacation, it really was a stressful trip because we had so many people to see and things to do all jam packed in 20 days and splitting the time between families and all.

While in Istanbul,we stayed in the historical Sultanahmet area. We were able to pick a hotel using our AirMiles so didn’t have to pay for a hotel which is always one of the most expensive parts of going on a trip. I was really happy with the area we picked because it was really quiet and also it faced the sea. Since we were traveling from Canada and back to Kuwait, our jetlag would hit around 9 PM and then we would wake up around 12 AM go back to sleep and by 4:30 AM we were up! So every morning we would be ready and out the door by 7 to have our breakfast and then go out and explore by 8. This was great because we didn’t waste any time sleeping in (like our normal vacations) and was able to take in all the sites.

First Evening

By the time we arrived to our hotel it was already around 4 PM. We put our suitcases in our room, and quickly put our coats on to explore around our hotel. We didn’t want to restin our rooms since we just did a 14 hour flight direct from Toronto so we knew we’d just pass out and waste an evening. The evening was cold and as it grew dark the puddles were turning into ice. Also, . I was really scared of falling because I’m such a clutz! Thankfully my boots had a good grip. I loved walking around the streets of Sultanahmet area, seeing all the houses and streets was just beautiful. I took a few pictures of the streets which I’ll share.

We were starving and just kept walking trying to find the perfect place for dinner. We passed by many big places that had men standing outside trying to intice you into eating, but felt they were more like tourist traps. We kept walkig and stumbled upon a small place called Ziya Baba. Usually when we go on a trip we research the area and best places to eat and all, but since we were busy with our Canada/US visit, we were not able to do that. Thankfully we came across this amazing family run establishment that served AMAZING food. The food was amazing and the prices were even better! I really enjoyed eating here and also just the ambiance in general. The mom was behind the stove and the father and son would do the waitstaff job. The best part was it was warm inside so we were able to just relax and enjoy our first night in Turkey! I was so happy to have found this place on our first night.

If you haven’t realized by now, The Husband and I are complete foodies. So going to any place having great food is just as important as seeing the sites!

One thing I noticed about the area we stayed were the amount of stray dogs and cats. Stray dogs always scare me and I try to avoid them. Thankfully these dogs left us alone. The cats were the fattest stray cats that I have ever seen!

We we had a pretty laid back evening, but here’s a couple of pictures from our first day of Turkey.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi

Recently I had to go to Abu Dhabi for a work exhibition and I had a free evening so I was able to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Since I moved to the Middle East, this was one of the things on my bucket list to visit! I’ve read about the grand mosque, seen pictures, but I can say that words and pictures did not do it justice! I have never been in such awe of a structure in my life! The details of the building was just fascinating.

My only complaint was the staff of the mosque. I think the problem was they didn’t speak proper English and when they came to enforce rules, they were very rude! One example was, after I got the Abaya, The Husband and I took a picture together in front of the mosque. One security guard came running after us saying that he needs to see the picture and we have to delete it. He kept repeating we need to take “simple” pictures and finally when we were so confused he said we shouldn’t show any affection at the mosque, which confused us even more but we realized it’s because we were standing too close together. Thankfully we only got stopped twice, once for the picture and the second because I didn’t cover my head as I was walking around. But these guys were after all the people to make sure they followed the rules.

I really enjoyed this visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and happy I am able to cross another thing off my bucket list.

Here’s some pictures for you from my trip!

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Sawatdeekah

Sawatdeekah is hello, good bye, good morning, good evening in the Thai language.

Phuket, what can I say about this beautiful place?

I’ve always been to countries towards the west, and besides my last trip to India 5 years ago, this was my first venture into the Eastern side of the world!

As I sat on the plane going back to Kuwait from my Phuket vacation, I started thinking why is Thailand such a popular destination? What is it about the place that makes people travel from all over the world? (Not so many North Americans, but more British, European, and Russian people) Is it the food? Is it the people? Is it the beaches? Is it the shopping? Is it the crazy anything goes nightlife?

We just finished a 7 day vacation in the Phuket. We stayed in the Kata Beach area and I really enjoyed the place we stayed! Usually when The Husband and I book a vacation, we pick a huge resort by the beach. This time we picked something a bit different and chose a smaller place that had individual villas with pools and it was about a 10 minute walk to the beach. The area we stayed was pretty quiet compared to other tourist spots. I’m so happy we stayed where we did because it was beautiful and clean! We went to another area called Patong, and this place was packed, dirty, and crazy! So happy we didn’t stay there..

The food in Thailand is great! If you enjoy eating different flavors, spices, and chilies then you will enjoy the food in Thailand! My only complaint is that the different areas are surrounded by restaurants catered for tourists that you can’t really taste the “real” Thai food! Thankfully we found a few places and were able to enjoy the food and taste different things. Thai people love their food! Their passion revolves around their food! We went to a couple different open air markets and all these markets are all about the food! Different types of chicken, shrimp, fish, pork, etc. would be served. Another big thing was the desserts! They are ENDLESS! We went to a local market and we were given the chance to taste a few different types and I was in love! I am not a big dessert person, I always go for savory over sweet, but the things I tried were so good! More than anything, my favorite thing about Thailand was the fresh fruits! Every day we were able to try something new and delicious. Almost every day I was able to drink fresh coconut water and eat the flesh in the young coconut. For those of you who haven’t had that experience, please try it at least once! Having a drink of the cool water is just amazing when you are feeling so hot! We were able to have delicious fresh mangoes, rambutan, mangosteen, dragon fruit, pineapples, papayas, melons, and longan fruit. All these fruits were so tasty and I think it was my favorite part of Thailand!

The beaches in Phuket were nice, we only went to the beach a couple of times this time. I just didn’t feel they were as amazing as it has been described as. We couldn’t go to any of the islands because the water was too choppy and didn’t think it would be worth it. I am sure if we went to a more secluded area that wasn’t all run over by tourist it would have been nicer. But it was just nice to walk along the beach barefoot a couple times.

The shopping in Phuket cracks me up! You walk into any store and the first thing the person will ask you is “Hello my friend where are you from?” I didn’t understand why they needed to know that information.. It started getting to be irritating when you hear this day after day! Were they going to jack up the price depending on where we are from? The Husband kept saying we came from India (this was not a lie, we are technically from India!), and then they’ll just shut their mouth afterwards. Most of the stores you can bargain for everything, all the stores pretty much carry the same stuff but with a couple hundred Baht price difference! I didn’t understand that either, one knick-knack I saw in the mall for 300 Baht and then at one small shop 200 Baht and another store was having it for 100 Baht! All were the same product!

The massages were great! Every corner you turn there will be a massage shop and most of them the ladies are just sitting outside waiting for people. Every time you pass by they will say “Hellooo masssaaage” I didn’t do the traditional Thai massage, but I did the foot massage and foot scrub. This was great! I had the opportunity to do this on the day we landed and on the day we were leaving! I wish I could take one of the lady’s home with me because it felt so good! The Husband also did it, but I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of him getting his sexy legs massaged! 😛  The price of a one hour leg massage was 300 Baht, which is not even 3 KD or less than $10!

The Thai people in general are really nice and friendly, I feel bad for them because I see how some of the tourists treat them and it’s just horrible! Many of them were saying how one set of people treat them really badly and are so rude to them, but they can’t do anything because they survive with the tourist money!

We got to know one taxi driver (We kept calling him to take us to different places) and he was telling us his story, all he cares about is working hard for his two kids! He’s a Masters in Environmental engineering, but works as a taxi driver because after the tsunami he lost his job. You can tell how much he cares for his family because he talks about them all the time and how proud he is of his two kids! We were able to meet his wife and son on one of our trips and it was nice to peak a bit into his life. This is one of my favorite things about traveling to a different country. I love to get to know the locals and understand their life, their struggles, know what their goals are, etc. I think learning about the culture and understanding how people live is one of the best things about traveling to a new country!

The nightlife in Phuket especially a place called Patong is crazy. We didn’t experience this because it’s really not our thing, but as we were driving back to the hotel one night we passed by the infamous “Bangla Road” and it was just ridiculous how packed and crazy it was! I guess many people just go there to have fun…

Another thing you see is the countless amounts of Mopeds and Motorcycles on the road! You can identify the tourists from the locals because most tourists are wearing helmets and the locals don’t. Driving in Phuket is very scary because of all the motorbikes weaving around the road and there are lots of curves along the road. Our taxi driver was saying how there’s so many accidents because of all the motorbikes. The day before we were leaving we saw many police check points where they were pulling people who were not wearing helmets.

All in all, our Phuket trip was nice and relaxing! It was great to get away for a bit from the stress of life and relax and unwind and just take a mental break. I have way too many pictures to post on this so sharing a few with y’all!

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Get your Moushakel while it’s hot!

I love Middle Eastern food! I’ve also learned not to call it Middle Eastern food, instead call it Arabic food. One of my favorite go to meals is eating a Moushakel! I am not sure how to spell it, but it’s one of my favorite go to foods! There are two places in Kuwait that I like to go to to have this. One is a place in the city on the corner close to the Mubarakia, unfortunately I have no idea what the street name is! All I know is they’re so popular and the food is always so fresh and delicious! I took a picture of the place if that will help! The second place I like to eat my moushakel is at the restaraunt Canary. Their moushakleis also pretty good. It’s not as soft because the pita bread is not soft like the samoon bun, but it’s still a great fresh taste!

Moushakel Locations

Y’all might be wondering now what in the world is a Moushakel?? A moushakel is a type of vegetarian wrap or sandwich. You might be thinking, UUMMM vegeterian? I know at first I was apprehensive also, but I love this sandwich! A Moushakel can come as a wrap using a pita bread or as a sandwich in a bun(samoon). Both ways it’s called a sandwich. I like it both ways, but I like it only from two places in Kuwait so far! The inside comprises of a nice crispy falafels that are smashed, french fries, roasted eggplant, some cucumber slices, tomatoes, and then a nice heaping of tahini. A falafel is made out of chickpeas and parsley with spices along with it. So this sandwich is full of protein and also delicious veggies!

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Canary Wrap before bite

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After a bite

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You can see the veggies and fries sticking out and inside is the yummy falafels all inside this bun

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We usually order the wraps with a side order of falafels because you can never have enough falafels! The place in the city gives you a few falafels along with the moushakel sandwich.

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Our free falafels from the place in the city!

I found another blogger who also likes Moushakels and you can check out his post here.

I hope if you ever try this sandwich you will enjoy it as much as I do!

 

 

 

This distractify link popped up on my Facebook news-feed and I clicked on it because it had to do with travel and so when I saw that of course I had to click on it!

It’s about 33 Places to visit before you die! I clicked and I was just blown away by the images that I saw! I hope that I will be able to see a couple of these places in my lifetime!

As I scrolled down the page looking at the different places, I just looked in awe. Every single one of these places is like a perfect portrait. As I was viewing, I couldn’t help but think wow how amazing is God’s creation! I don’t want to get all preachy, but I was just flabbergasted by how amazing these pictures were.

Here’s the link for the site, I hope you will enjoy the pictures as much as I have!

http://news.distractify.com/culture/32-surreal-places-that-actually-exist-on-earth-i-cant-believe-this-isnt-photoshopped/

I don’t have a favorite because every time I look at one the next one is even better!

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