A substantial part of my holidays was spent at the beach. With all friends at work, I was there often alone. Or well, not really alone. Every day the guy from A Kuwaiti Declaration of Love stopped by. Then there was the elderly Egyptian gentleman, who had offered himself as my protector, to chase away all other interested folks. The Jordanian guy, who despite that still tried to start a conversation at least a few times a week. And then there was also the Lebanese guy, who confessed to having watched me for THREE FULL DAYS from his window before coming to chat to me. But those are not the ones I want to tell you about now. Here I want to discuss another Kuwaiti beach phenomena: the jet ski guy.
Jet ski guys are bored rich kids, who, when everybody else is at work, roam the coasts of Kuwait with their jet skis. Racing, making dangerous moves and hitting on girls: it’s all part of the fun. As a single girl at the beach, you make the perfect target. You don’t even need to do any work: as soon as they see you have noticed them (which is fairly quickly, as those jet skis make a hell of a noise and produce sizable waves too) they will slow down, turn their jet ski and come up to you. “Russia?”, is a common phrase to start a conversation. “Wanna go for a ride?” usually seems to work as well.
Now, however tempting that idea might sound, DO NOT go for a ride. Yes, riding a jet ski is fun. And yes, a local guy might have some charms, despite his broken English. But unfortunately things work a bit differently in Kuwait. No local girl would ever consider going for a jet ski ride with a stranger, and therefore you shouldn’t either. After all you wouldn’t want your behaviour to be interpreted in the wrong way, would you?
On most days I was approached by jet ski guys at least once. Sometimes that lead to funny situations. One day a guy came up to me to ask whether I had a spare bottle of water. Not for himself, but for his friend, who was waiting with two others somewhat further away. I inquired why this friend didn’t come to ask me himself, sending his friend instead. The logic behind the arrangement? It was very simple actually, “The others are all married”. Oh jet ski boys, you certainly lifted my spirits up!
Expats in Kuwait sometimes complain it is hard to meet locals, as they all remain within their own circle. And yes, to some extent this is true. But during this visit I also discovered how surprisingly easy it is to meet locals, all you need to do is to go to the beach! In the course of a few weeks I met more locals than during my previous six months in Kuwait. I am telling you, Salmiya beach is definitely the place to be!
Photo credits: Blok 70 (CC BY 2.0)