Saturday Lunch

22 Feb

In the states Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter are the big important meals. In addition to Mother’s day and Father’s day. And maybe Birthday dinners.

In Kuwait however, you bet your ass you better be at either Friday lunch or Saturday lunch every week. These meals are huge, normally there are 6-8 chickens, two different types of rice dishes, fish stew and a fish the size of my thigh, in addition to salads, fresh veggies, finger foods and red sauce. Kuwaitis (from my experience) really take family face-to-face time very seriously. Which can be really great, there is always someone who has an answer to your issue, or has at least some insight.

Yet it seems everyone is always meeting up for coffee, weekly men’s gatherings, weekly women’s gathering, lunches, dinners, breakfast…everything really is with family… Which can be really suffocating if you normally are independent. It just feels like you are expected to be present. Actually participate…maybe…but you must be present. An extra face…for example…I can show up to lunch say hello to everyone in turn, sit, and no one will talk to me, everyone will be speaking arabic (which is great because this is where I learn most of my new words) but I’m not included. I will ask how someone is, I’ll get an answer, and the conversation will end. We eat, have chai, everyone will talk more, say good bye and that will be that. 2+ hours of being an extra body. However, if Meshari or I happen to miss a lunch, either of us…we will be asked about it 4-8 times.

Some days I don’t want to see anyone…other days I would like to be around people… maybe it’s because I still don’t feel like they are family yet. Some of them are caring, don’t get me wrong…but I still can’t hold anyone in true confidence. Does that make sense?

I did say I would be more positive didn’t I? I’m being fair…which is MORE positive than being negative…yeah…let’s just roll with that…it is getting better. I have stopped directly comparing my side of family to Meshari’s side. There are more conversations…which is normal…I’m new to them…and they are new to me…anyway here are the left overs of today’s lunch…

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One Response to “Saturday Lunch”

  1. lostinriyadh February 26, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Nice post! A lot of it actually reminds me of my time in Kosovo (South East Europe). Albanians are very much into family gatherings and as for conversations, I have had the same experiences, too. I actually endured this for 3 years even during class in school but at least I learned some Albanian here and there. Don’t you worry. Sooner or later you won’t even notice it as much anymore. All the best!

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