So this is one of those posts that took about 4 years to make. Its a long story but to cut it short, I took these photos in 2013 and I shot all of them in RAW. Now thing about me shooting in RAW is that I sometimes get OCD about tweaking and processing and sometimes I overthink certain shots to the extent that I end up deleting all the processed ones and start from scratch. Finally these ended up in my archives I forgot about them till recently.
Since this was an aerial show I used the ‘spray and pray’ technique in the hope that I’d get at least a dozen or so good ones. I ended up with around 300 frames and finally just worked on two dozen and finally 19 made the final cut. So here they are 4 years later and was it worth the wait? Heck no! I’m quite disappointed in them actually since I was using my 55-200mm that had poor contrast and vignetting around the edges. Here you go!
A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to the Dino Park Exhibition that had been operating in Mishref since March. The exhibit was in an open area behind Hall 6 in Mishref International Fairgrounds. The main attraction was about a dozen or so animatronic Dinosaur puppets that had some basic movement and sound effects.
I grew tired of it after a while but the kids had a great time and after we had seen all the dinosaurs in action they had some fun on the amusement rides at the venue. If the park is still open I’d suggest you take your young children there as they’ll get a kick out of it.
The ticket prices were advertised as 4KD but when we visited it was 2.5 KD per person and children below 3 went in free. I was also trying out a new lens and took some strategically angled photos there to avoid the cluttered background but some of them needed some photoshop manipulation as well.
I’m surprised there hasn’t been any blog reviews for Mais Alghanim in all these years. Maybe because the place has been there for a long time and almost everyone I know has been there. Everyone except me, that is. In all my years in Kuwait I’ve actually never dined there and it has always been takeout orders, whether at the office or at client meetings.
Last week a few friends and I went there to celebrate a recent event and we had a good time there and some of them enjoyed the items I suggested so I thought I’d post them here. This isn’t a full review of the place but rather a list of stuff I always order from there. I wish I were a little more adventurous and order the Kibbeh Nayyeh but maybe next time.
For starters we ordered the Hummous Beiruty, Assorted pastries platter and Fried Chicken Livers in Pomegranate Syrup. The last one is a personal favorite of mine and I’d decided on that even before we reached the venue. A few of my friends loved it too. For drinks we had some mint lemonades, colas and our old friend, the Saudi Champagne, that I wrote about a few years ago.
The restaurant seems to be very smoker friendly and most of the tables around us had men and women lighting up and we ordered a bunch of Sheeshas for ourselves. I don’t smoke generally but I did enjoy puffing occasionally on the apple flavored sheesha.
The main course consisted of several orders of Mais Alghanim Grill platters that consisted of Shish Tawouk, Kababs, Tikkas, slices of Kentakli bread and French Fries and their Charcoal Grilled Chicken.
We ended the night with assorted desserts for everyone but I convinced a few friends to order the Um Ali which is one of my favorite Arabic desserts. For all the pictures you can click on the album link [here]
Mais AlGhanim is located on Gulf Road, opposite the Kuwait Towers and they have a location in Mahboula as well. Locations and maps [here] and the full menu is [here]
In a previous post I’d mentioned how my friends would go out into the desert to shoot the local wildlife and migratory birds. During the last couple of outings they had also come across instances where birds where shot with shotguns and other live ammunition and left there to die in the desert.
It’s a shame that people get a kick out of shooting these rare birds for fun then and leave them to die. A few months back there was even a news report of a crane shot on Gulf road, which is not only a danger to the birds itself but to passersby on the street.
As you can see from the pictures below, the desert habitats of these local and migratory birds are something that needs to be cherished and maintained in pristine condition. All photos taken by my friend Manoj Olikara.
As a long time automobile enthusiast I’ve often looked at global auto trends and compared them with the local market here in Kuwait. The most glaring difference is in the area of best sellers in both sedan and Crossover categories. One of these is the Honda CRV. Honda has three SUVs in their portfolio starting with the MRV, the CRV and the HRV and I’ve seen all three vehicles even in Dubai but in Kuwait they don’t appear on the roads as much.
Last week I got an email from my contact at Honda asking if I’d like to take out the 2015 CRV for a spin. It was a great coincidence as one of my colleagues was looking to trade in his 2007 CRV and get the new one. I spent a weekend with the car and here’s my review on it but with a little difference this time.
Up until now I’ve only reviewed the sedans from Honda and this is the first Crossover I’ve received to review. I’m a married man and father of two kids and we’re a single car household so a crossover makes pretty good sense for a family man. I’ve had my own Outlander for 7 years now and it’s perfect for my kind of use.
Whats new in the 2015 CRV? Externally the CRV has undergone changes to the front that brings it more in line with its Honda siblings. The front grill and the headlights have styling elements that’s common in the Honda lineup. The new front is an improvement I must say, I didn’t like previous generation CRV that looked like it was missing something in the front bumper. The rear though is a love it or hate it affair and I’m not a big fan of the bulbous look. It may be functional in terms of increasing load area but looks-wise its not for me.
It’s been a while since I’d joined a group on a photo-shoot, so in January when some friends were out exploring the ‘wilderness’ in Kuwait I tagged along. Apparently there are a lot of bird species in places like Wafra and Abdali and several other places like the nature reserve. The group I was with, Q8Clicks, has a bunch of avid birders and they manage to get some great shots of birds on most outings.
Here’s some from my trip with them.
One word of advise though, if you’re gonna spend time in the desert, be sure to clean up after yourself. It’s disgusting to see the amount of garbage left behind by campers and visitors.
A friend of mine recently started a blog that covers a few of his passions, Bollywood, Movies and Idie music, to name a few. During a chat with him about the blog he mentioned that he wanted to dive into the expatriate subcultures in Kuwait and cover as much as possible about the various foreign communities in Kuwait.
He’s also a movie buff as I soon discovered and has an in-depth knowledge of Bollywood movies and stars. His blog posts will cover movie reviews, filmi updates and also cover Indie music. Head on over to Kuwaiti Trail Mix and subscribe to the blog feed.
I love a good pizza, especially if its baked in a proper oven since it gives the crust a very unique texture. A friend of mine, Nasser Al Sulaihim, is so passionate about the art of pizza making that recently he actually made his own pizza oven. The oven is similar to the one I’d posted about in my Pizza Connection post but while that one was flown in from Italy, Nasser made his own oven himself!
I’ve made a collage of the oven in its various stages of design and production and its really impressive. He’s a really talented guy and you can follow him on Instagram to see how good he is at building stuff.
Yesterday a family member needed to renew their passport so we went to the newly opened Cox and Kings Global Services office in Sharq to submit an application. The visa and passport services of the Indian Embassy have been moved from BLS International to Cox and Kings.
The good thing about the move is that they’re now in 3 locations in Kuwait so that makes it easier for those living in the suburbs. We went to the branch in Behbehani Complex in Sharq and got our work done in less than 15 minutes.
They’ve got a whole bunch of value added services [link] including passport delivery which I think is quite convenient if you don’t have the time to go there or work in a double shift job. There are 6 counters to submit your applications and a mini snack counter that also serves coffee.
A couple of weeks ago the local Honda dealer contacted me asking if I wanted to take out the new 2014 Honda City for a test drive. So I picked up the car first thing on a weekend morning and used till noon for some personal errands.
Now the Honda rep informed me that the new 2014 was a radical change from the previous model but I thought it was just the usual marketing jazz. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The 2014 model looks leaner and with each iteration it’s catching up to the design cues of its bigger siblings.