Monday, September 8, 2008

new view...



this is the view from my new office that I started moving into today... you can see the Persian Gulf just beyond the buildings... I got a lot more done today than usual, perhaps because I am starting to feel a bit better... talked with HR about taking an apartment in the new AUK housing building... finally picked up my ATM card after two failed attempts already... it works too! although they spelled my name Milliam Andersen (they told me they would have to shut down my account for 3 days if I wanted to correct the spelling)... the ATM machines are quite interesting... you can stick in almost any amount of cash and it will count up all of the various bills and deposit it for you... I was hesitant depositing my cash this way but since the computers always break down when I go up to the teller, it was the only way to do it today... I did not want to deposit any cash until my ATM card was working since if you go to a teller to take out any money under 2000 KD (around $7000 USD) they charge you! ...also, when you hit the "fast cash" button on the ATM machine, the lowest you can take out is 200 KD (around $700 USD) (if I remember correctly, the "fast cash" button in the US is usually around $20 USD)... I've been told that Kuwaitis typically carry around a lot of cash... the bank would still not exchange my US dollars unless it was a $100 bill (although all of the guide books and even the exchange desk at the airport said they would) so I went off on an adventure to find an exchange shop... it was not far, but when I found it, it was closed because of Ramadan... many stores are open only in the mornings (until about 1pm) and then do not open again until after 7pm or even 9pm... between about 1pm and 7pm, pretty much everything is closed, no one is out on the streets and there is little traffic... also no restaurants are open during the day until after dark when the mosques call out that the fast has been broken... I still felt like I had some energy so walked down to the Sultan Center and went up to the second floor for the first time... they have just about any household item you might want... I got a rice cooker (since I am still being cautious about my stomach, I am only eating rice), some capri pants or long shorts (even men are expected to not show their knees or above), electrical plug adapters and some food... it was a pretty good day...
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