I can’t believe I haven’t posted about Qout Market yet!
In my opinion, the atmosphere in Kuwait has changed a lot in the last 2+ years. I attribute it to the starting of Qout Market in November of 2013. Qout has helped move the underground culture above ground. New locally owned restaurants have opened, grocery stores have started carrying a larger variety of health food, other markets have started, there are shoot-off events like Nourish…it’s a beautiful thing!
Qout Market is the 1st Saturday of every month from November to April and is open 9am-5pm. Abby and I have been in attendance at every market since the first one. We seriously love it. I could spend the entire day on the rooftop just walking around, soaking in the atmosphere. And of course eating delicious food! In my opinion, Qout Market doesn’t happen often enough!
2013-14 Qout Market season:
There were a lot of upgrades this year. Everything just looked more put together and organized. And just plain beautiful. Emad (of eWood Woodworking) does amazing work and I loved seeing his touch all around the market. My favorite thing about the market being back was re-connecting with all the vendors. A new community is emerging and it truly keeps me going! Abby and I are now on a first name basis with several of the vendors and it’s been really fun getting to know new people outside of our school.
Some of my tried & true Qout favorites:
Here are some pictures from the first market of the 2014-15 season. Enjoy!
Bonus: Jeff made us awesome Halloween costumes 🙂
Halloween celebrations started last night (started this post Thursday :)! Staff children gathered at the school to carve pumpkins. Afterwards, they made their rounds to the teacher buildings to Trick or Treat. We ended up getting 15-20 kids – they were adorable! After the kids came, our neighbor (Arabic teacher here) told us about a tradition during the middle of Ramadan. She said kids dress up in traditional, formal clothing (not costumes) and go around getting candy. They do it after sunset so they aren’t breaking their fast. We love learning new things about the culture we live in!
Thursday was dress down day at school (once a month students don’t have to wear their uniforms and teachers can wear jeans). This week teachers and students were allowed to wear costumes. There were some impressive ones! A middle school boy had a wooden miniature house made and was from the movie Up!. There was a girl with a zipper on her face…really hard to explain but part of her face was normal and part was zombie – use your imagination. One teacher-friend was Ms. Frizzle, our esteemed colleague was Batman and another friend was Robin…they got all their costumes custom made by a tailor nearby! All the KG1 teachers were crayons and the KG2 teachers were highlighters (black outfits w/ neon yellow wigs)…they looked great! Jeff and I were super creative too – we went as muggles. Yupp, it was quite the costume 😉 I was actually most impressed with this costume (you can always count on Jenna Marbles for some crazy shit).
On Thursday morning at 8:45am, the pre-k, KG1 & KG2 students (2-6 year olds) paraded through the school. All the upper elementary and middle school students lined the parade route cheering them on. Jeff and I made it a priority to attend. It was one of the cutest things we’ve ever seen! Each class formed lines by either holding on to the classmate in front of them (see below)or they all held on to a rope led by the teacher. TOO cute!
Our colleague was the Grand Marshal of the parade 🙂 Masks added to protect privacy of students.
Throughout the day we were really surprised at the number of students who went all out with their costumes. Students of all ages came in full costume. In the US we’ve seen a huge decline in the Halloween celebrations at school since we were in elementary. Here, they are all about it! At the end of the day all the classes in the elementary school had parties. We took a stroll around during last 20 minutes of the school day…we’ve never seen anything like it! Each student brings enough for the entire class – the amount of food is INSANE! I heard about a student whose driver dropped off 30KD (~$100) so she could order KFC for her entire class. One student’s dad owns the local Baskin Robbins…so he brought enough single scoops for several classes. Another student’s dad owns the Subways…her class ate a little healthier. One class we stopped by had the biggest cupcake I’ve ever seen.
Stolen photo 🙂
The sheer amount of food was sickening. I wish I would have had my camera to capture the craziness! We tried to be responsible, but I will say I ate two of the best cake balls I’ve ever had!
The students went home to their parents (read: nannies) on a sugar high and the school maids went home with massive amounts of food. The rest went home with the teachers and we enjoyed it at our own Halloween party last night 🙂 There were several more impressive costumes…and Jeff and I rocked our muggle disguises. Happy (belated) Halloween everyone!