Sunday, April 20, 2008

Queen Mum's Trip to Kuwait

My mom’s trip has been so much fun (hopefully for her, but for me too!). We have been so busy and going so many places, doing so many things.
Queen Mum's Dinner:

After a lot of searching, I found a great venue for a private, intimate dinner reception at the Moevenpick, Bidaa. What is perfect about the room is that it opens to a terrace that faces the garden and the sea beyond. It was a full moon (or close) last night and it was absolutely gorgeous with little fairy lights illuminating the trees. I anticipated 45 people (35 showed up), so the room was perfect. The banquet salesman tried to talk me into a heavier dinner menu, but I stuck to my guns (as I told him, ‘Its not a Bedouin wedding.’) with a cocktail menu consisting of a saj stationon the terrace and light food (salads, shrimp kebabs, deserts) and thank God I did. We had SO much food and it was a great selection. They also served sheesha on the terrace.

The Romanian, my mom and I went to decorate the room before the dinner. I bought purple fabric to cover the tables and to add bows to each of the chairs; I bought 25 meters of purple toule fabric from Salmiya for 11 KD (my best find!). I bought floating flower candles for the centerpieces, and added silk flower petals on the tables. The total cost for the room decorations was about 25 KD. It looked gorgeous with the lights dimmed. … I have been watching a lot of “Whose Wedding is It Anyways,” on the Style Channel (it is about the lives of wedding planners)!
The only thing I was really disappointed with was the oud player. I had been trying to find a Kuwaiti oud player (I asked everyone I could think of) who would just come in with the oud and play solo – no fancy audio equipment or anything. What I got (on a reference from a friend at the Hilton) was a very loud Syrian guy who couldn’t play Kuwaiti songs and who brought an organ and a big sound board with speakers. When I asked him just to play the oud and to cut out everything else, he actually told me that he couldn’t play without back-up. Bullshit. How can you not know how to play the oud solo? He was an oud poser. I told him to play for 1 hour; Kuwaiti songs only. (and for THAT he wanted to charge me 150 kd – I talked him down to 75). He started with an Egyptian song and I frickin lost it. I guess they think that foreigners wouldn’t understand. I sicced Bunny on him (who also calmed me down at the same time). Anger management. Ooooooh saaaaah.

Anyways, if anyone ever wants a nice place for a dinner gathering, I highly recommend the Moevenpick. Outstanding job. My friends all loved it and everyone was happy. My mother said, “If I had any doubt about your life here, I know now how many people love you.” I am truly blessed.

My mom leaves tomorrow night and I am already getting depressed. Desert Dawg is getting depressed because she’s seen the suitcases (I try to hide them before I travel because it is just too traumatic for her). My mom says, “You’ll have your normal life back.” What if I don’t WANT my normal life???

I love having her here. I love taking her places and showing her things and seeing everything through her eyes/perspective. Every view is like looking through the lens of a camera – you focus on things that you haven’t seen before. I love having her around to tell me what looks good on me and what doesn’t. I like that she gives me her opinion on my friends and people I know and pinpoints exactly what it is about them that has been in my head, but that no one has said out loud. Ironically (or not), she likes everyone I truly like and she tells me things about people in question that I knew, but perhaps didn’t pay attention to.

Well, as examples, people who didn’t bother to RSVP to her dinner or show up should be eliminated as friends. I knew that, but I didn’t know how strongly I should feel about it. Now I’m all fired up. Well, I understand that it is a cultural thing not to RSVP in this area, so I kind of didn’t worry to much about the Kuwaiti friends, but I’m talking about Westerners who shoulda known better. I’m also upset at friends who went ahead and invited their friends without asking me first. Similar to a wedding reception, I paid by the head. Two different friends invited their friends and then they didn’t show up – sticking me with a bill. I could have invited other people that I know and like. I think that if I have another party like this in the future (and I definitely will), I am going to add a disclaimer to the invitation: “If you don’t RSVP, please don’t show up. If you say you are going to come, please be considerate and show up or send a gift in an equal denomination.” Sheeeet, send flowers the next day with a note … something! That’s only fair, isn’t it? I don’t even know these people and yet they stiffed me for dinner! That just sucks. I wouldn’t do that to someone.

We did have a great mixture of cultures last night: American, Kuwaiti, Scottish, German, South African, Indian, Egyptian, Lebanese, and Italian. I love that.

I think my mom was really happy, so everything was worthwhile. She said that she has never had a party like that before. I’m glad I could do it for her.


Purgatory said...

Wait a sec.! you are 29! I thought you were my age!

Arabian lady said...

Allah ywafgich :)

Anonymous said...

hi can u help me find silk flower petal for my friends wedding to decor her room too thanks

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 11:02 - Em, this is a first for me. Well, sometimes Ikea has boxes of silk flower petals. You might also check with Gift Gate (any location - Salmiya, some of the co-ops including Rumaithiya). If they don't have them, they should be able to help you find some.

Why bother with silk, however? You can go to any florist and get bags of the real thing. Just ask them. They smell so much better and make a better impact.