Life in Kuwait: The Weekend

IMG_1117

“Yeah yeah it’s the weekend baby, whooo!”

When I heard this on the radio it would make my day. My weekend starts promptly on Thursday’s and ends abruptly on Saturday. It took time to get adjusted to the change and for the longest time I would say Thursday/Friday for the start of the weekend and Sunday/Monday for the start of the week.

Read More

Life in Kuwait: Work

What is it like teaching in Kuwait?
IMG_5235

I am in my second year of teaching in Kuwait and I plan on doing one more year. Teaching can be the most wonderful and challenging experiences, but it can also be the complete opposite. My experience in teaching is somewhere in between. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of great things about teaching in Kuwait. Here is a sample of a typical work day and some pros and cons.

Read More

Brunch in Bahrain

Now my favorite leisure activity is Brunch. Brunch is basically just a late breakfast. I can’t think of anything particularly special about brunch, I just love it. Now imagine all the food stations you could possibly think of plus unlimited drinks. This was brunch in Bahrain. There was a burger station, a soup station, a salad station, an international food station, a sushi station, and a dessert station, and there even was ice cream. There was so much food. When I first got there with my friends it was only us and another group of people there. I was worried that all that food would go to waste. After about 30 minutes people started piling in. People from all walks of life. That is one thing that makes Bahrain different from Kuwait – diversity. The brunch was half the day and after it was over there was a little after party.

Read More

Adventures in Dubai

 

“Disney World for Adults”

Since 2016 I have been hearing about this amazing place called Dubai. Songs were made about it. Influencers have beautiful photos taken here. I even heard that Dubai is the Disney  World for adults. I finally took a trip to Dubai and made my own discoveries. I went with two friends and we met up with another friend that lives there. Dubai is definitely a must see place if you have the money.

Read More

Lost Phone

_MG_5249

The other day I read a post called 3 things I like about my personality and the post was real and honest. I really felt where the author was coming from (you can read it here). This lead me to think about ways I can be more honest and more personal in my writing. I am happy for the people who decided to follow me on this journey called life. As I evolve so will my blog.

Our phones are like our lifelines and we practically can’t live without them. I have lost several phones in the past. Most of the time, I remember exactly where I lost my phone, but the moment it was lost I was too busy to be aware.

The first phone I lost was when I was in high school. This is etched in my memory because I was a senior and I had my drivers license for a while but did not have a car. There was a basketball game one night and my mom told me she would let me borrow her car. As a teenager having a car was the ultimate way to get cool points. I told a couple of my friends that I would pick them up. We planned on going to McDonald’s or something basic like that. The catch was I could only borrow her car if I had my phone. That was the day I lost my phone and I had to let my mom drive me to the game. I assume I Ieft it on the school bus because that was the last time I remember having it. Anyway, I can never forget that time. But imagine losing your phone in a foreign country where they don’t speak your language. This happened to one of my friends in Kuwait.

“What happens when you lose your phone in a foreign country?”

Last year I went to the movies with some friends. It was just a regular random night out. It was a little late – Kuwaitis are nocturnal. Most places close around 11:00pm or later. Me and my friends decided to go to the Mariana Mall to see Justice League. I fell asleep halfway through the movie because it was really boring.

By the time the movie was over it was probably around 11 or so. The mall was close but there was still one more viewing. We left and looked for a taxi. As soon as we got in the taxi one of my friends realized she forgot her phone in the theater. I thought since the mall was closed we would have better luck calling them the next day. But she wanted to try her luck while we were still there. We climbed out of the taxi and search for someone to help us.

We had to go through the parking lot since the mall was closed. We searched for some employees and finally came across some security guards. My friend walked up to the security guards and she tried to explain the situation. She clumsily made gestures with her hands simplifying her words trying to help them understand. I felt like they were a little dismissive, but we had to make them understand, this was her phone. I tried to help her explain to no avail.  Finally, my other friend who speaks Arabic told them and they immediately understood. So one of the security guards lead us back into the mall and he started speaking to my friend in Arabic. All I remember from the conversation was that she kept saying “American, no American.” I  made a mental note that I would ask her what that was about once the guard was gone.

“American, American”

We walked through the mall and to the doors of the theater were the employees slowly unlocked the doors with confused looks on their face. This time we didn’t have to bother trying to explain the problem, the security guard told the employee our situation. My friend went in the theater where we were sitting and after going over the spots a couple of times she found her phone. We were all relieved.

I was happy she didn’t listen to me and that we did it that night because the whole ordeal was stressful and it wasn’t even my phone. My friend that speaks Arabic ask us if we had our passports on us and she recommended that we keep a copy on us all the time. It didn’t alarm me at the moment because that is normal advice when in a foreign country.  Always, if you don’t want to have your passport, at least have a copy of your passport. When we got another taxi she told us what the guy was talking about and it really struck me.

Before I tell you what he said, I need to reveal our identities. Me and my friend that lost her phone are African American. Both of us are considered dark skin in the black community.   My Arabic speaking friend is Jordanian American. While in her community she is considered darker compared to other family members, she can easily pass for white in America. The security guy told her to “not hang with those Africans” – I was highly offended.

“Make sure you always have a copy of your passport.”

I was offended because of the implication that there is a problem hanging with us because we look African. I was also offended because I was called  African. Not only did this bother me because I was being stereotyped because of the color of my skin, but also that I was seen as just African and not American. With all of the negative stereotypes that come with American, being American comes with some privileges. When you look American, white and blonde hair you are like a prize in this country.

Up until this point, I was aware that ignorant people see African woman as being prostitutes and I felt comfortable knowing that me being American, people wouldn’t think that of me. However, this situation helped me to realize that no one knows where I’m from just by looking at me. I realize that I could not find comfort in knowing that I am American because I don’t look American.

This is the first time in my life when I felt stereotyped because of my skin color. This is not about being African or American, this is simply about having dark skin. The bottom of the totem pole, what people try to make seem like the scum of the earth. The least liked, the most envied for our features, fetishized, but not claimed. Not loved in the world’s eyes. I haven’t felt like this since I was a child. It made me feel helpless because I realized that it doesn’t matter where I am – black is black no matter where you are from.

Lucky for me I have been black all my life and I am aware of the way other’s may see me. But most importantly I am aware of the way I see myself. I know myself better than ignorant people who see white as right and black as wack. I know better than those people who only have images of the media to define me by my skin. I know who I am and I am still learning, so while it bothered me and made me feel small, it helped me to open my eyes. I was reminded that I am black and people will see me negatively, but what’s new?

#Adulting#YOLO

Life in Kuwait: Home

20190213_214754

I have been in Kuwait for about a year and a half and it took me this long to consider it home. It took me a while to get adjusted to life in Kuwait in general, but I’m now starting to realize that this is where I live. One of the biggest changes I made from last year was moving into the apartment I’m in now. My old apartment didn’t feel like home because I didn’t take the time to make it a home. I made very little changes to my old apartment. I figured it was only temporary so there was not a point in personalizing it.

Read More

My First Love

_MG_3829
My writing tools

If you think this is about a person stop here. I don’t want to mislead you. No seriously.

Read More

Living the 4c Life in a Bone Straight World

Rarely do I ever hear a woman boast about the fact that they have perfect hair. No matter what texture a woman has, there is always a problem she has with her hair. I want to make a point to say when I talk about having 4c hair, I am not complaining. I am also not trying to say that I have it worst, although I’m sure if people got to choose their hair most wouldn’t choose 4c. As always I am simply talking about my experience. I wrote about the inner struggle and external struggle in this post. Now I am going to talk about the battle with my hair and how I learned to manage it.

Read More

The Challenges of Being Natural

People say everyone can not wear short or rock natural​ hair. The truth is – if someone decides to do it, it is their choice and it is up to them to decide if they like it or not. I know we value our looks and looks are important, but when someone makes a decision that affects them, then that is their decision. If a person wants short hair, who are we to tell them it doesn’t look good because we don’t like it. At the same time,​ I have learned that when you make a change to your appearance you have to be aware that everyone is not going to accept it. I am a strong believer in not putting too much thought into​ what anyone thinks. As an adult,​ you have to realize that you can do whatever you want with your hair. Whatever you choose will come with a price literally and figuratively speaking, but it’s your choice.

Read More

Spending the Holidays in my Hometown

I have been MIA for a while and I left off with a natural hair post. I have not forgotten about it. Actually, writing on this blog is always on my to-do list,  but more urgent task always pop up. Anyway enough of that.

I went back to the DMV for the holidays. For those of you who do not know the DMV stands for D.C,  Maryland, and Virginia and includes the surrounding areas near D.C. There are D.C. natives who police those who say they are from the DMV, but even airports that are far from D.C. claim they are in D.C. Take Dulles for example, it is located 26 miles from the city and if you look up airports in D.C., this is one of three to pop up.

Read More

My Natural Hair Journey

I am a black women teaching and living in Kuwait with natural hair. I point those specific things out not to separate myself from others, but to explain that these are parts of me. I am not sure why you are here reading but is to my purpose to present my perspective on life. My hope is that you will finish reading feeling encouraged to be yourself and want to come back for more inspiration. I have many stories to tell and at this moment I want to open up about my natural hair journey. It is my intention to be transparent about my life and share things along the way. So the next couple of weeks my natural hair journey will be the focus.

Read More

Why Kuwait Part 2

In Why Kuwait Part 1 I wrote about my desire to teach abroad. Part 2 will be about how I ultimately made the decision to choose Kuwait.

When I was searching for overseas teaching jobs on Teach Away, everybody was talking about Dubai. I heard that Dubai was like Disneyland for adults. I mention in my other post how I watched videos about what’s it like to live in Dubai. I put my search to rest to get through my first year of teaching. I finished my first year successfully passing all the necessary test. As soon as I started my second year teaching I started my job search again. This time I was sure I would find something. 

Read More

Why Kuwait Part 1

I get asked why I chose Kuwait as a place to teach and the simple answer is because I wanted to teach abroad. I love being in Kuwait and I love my experience, but Kuwait wasn’t my first choice. Here is the story of how I choose Kuwait. I had a lot to say about this so I broke it up into two parts. This part will be about how and why I decided to teach abroad.

Read More

Things they don’t tell you about being a teacher

This will be my fourth year of teaching and I will not lie and say that the past three years have been easy. People think that it’s easy being a teacher because we have breaks and summers off, but what about the energy we exert the rest of the year? We teachers need those breaks. Think about most jobs, do you take work home and deal with twenty-five different personalities daily? Anyone who thinks teaching is easy should be a teacher for a couple of hours. It will not take long to see that teaching is not an easy job, we just have a nice schedule. While I get summers and holidays off, there are 10 things that some people don’t know about teaching.  Read More