Friday, 24 August 2012

Round 2: Kuwait

What: Blogging
I'm back...Officially. For those of you who don't know, I began a blog while living in Japan (2005-2006) because it was easier to update my family and friends by simply giving periodic updates using one platform. I deleted the blog once I began applying to do my master's degree; people advised me not to leave it up because it could potentially affect my admittance.

Who: The Epps, me
It was two of the most wonderful people, a Canadian couple from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, who inspired me to start blogging. I met the Epps while living in Ota-shi, Gunma-ken, Japan. They lived only five minutes away from me and worked for the same company as I did. We instantly hit it off and quickly learned we had many similarities. It’s always seemed incredible to me that we met on the other side of the world yet had lived close to each other our entire lives (I’m in London, Ontario, a 2.5 hour drive away). For six years, the Epps have been amazing friends and feel more like the older siblings I never had. We reunited in Canada once I returned (they’d returned a few months before I did), and they are now working in Doha, Qatar. They have been my mentors and when I think of people who have influenced me, who I look up to and respect, I think of them. Check out their blog at http://epps-injapan.blogspot.ca/
I did appear periodically in their blog while they were in Japan…There are embarrassing photos and entertaining stories to go along with them:

Where & When: Kuwait, September 2012-?
I’m starting to blog again because I have recently been hired as an English instructor for a Kuwaiti university. I’m not in Kuwait yet, but I will be in the next two weeks. I am very excited to be living abroad again, but I have had to remind myself that this trip will not be like the one to Japan. I know that this should be obvious, but sometimes I forget. There were many perks about living in Japan: I was living (relatively) close to (extended) family, I already knew some Japanese, I already knew a lot about the culture, lifestyle, food, climate, people, etc. This time, not so. I travelled to Kuwait once for ONE WHOLE DAY, and as much as people would like to believe that the Middle East and the Far East have many similarities, they are profoundly different. As most of you know, I have been in the company of my Middle Eastern friends for many years, so I do know a bit about the culture, but I don’t have Kuwaiti friends, nor do I know anyone in Kuwait. It will be interesting for sure and I’m sure absolutely hilarious (we all know what a goof I am!). I know it’s going to be a wonderful experience because I'm going to make it a wonderful experience. I've been blessed with this opportunity and I hope that you’ll all take advantage of having a (free) place to stay over there...*smile* Yes, that’s an invitation.

Why: A New Job
Why is it so friggin’ difficult finding, and landing, a good job in this country?!? Since graduating from UVic, I have been looking for work. Eventually I thought about going back to Japan, but since the earthquake and nuclear disaster, I’ve ruled out moving back there. The Epps had been trying to convince me to apply to teaching positions in Qatar, but the position in Kuwait popped up, and I couldn’t turn it down. Despite my excitement, I’m never fond of leaving my family and friends behind. However, a lot of my friends are in the same position I am, and I can’t rely on someone else to pay back my student loans, so it’s off to Kuwait I go!

How: Flying. How the heck else would I get to Kuwait? Nuff said.

By the way, any advice or information about Kuwait is welcome!

Khalas ("That's it"/خلاص), we’ll chat again once I’m in Kuwait and can give you some first...And second impressions.

"A traveller without observation is a bird without wings." -Moslih Eddin Saadi

"Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things-air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky-all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it." - Cesare Pavese