First off...I have internet in my apartment! The process was rather hilarious actually. It involved a wireless company employee sitting in my apartment for 20 minutes smoking a cigarette over my pristine new coffee table and computer! As I watched the ash get longer and longer, visions of a huge burn stain in the middle of my coffee table danced through my head, and I rushed off to grab a cup from the kitchen to catch his dangerously dangling ash. By the time he left, my internet was miraculously working but my apartment smelled like an ash tray. Thank goodness I had bought some scented spray just last night for such a time as this...I've noticed that smoking etiquette is a bit different in this part of the world. So as I type this, I am choking on a combination of stale cigarette smell and the overwhelming scent of Marine one touch glade (which I mistakenly sprayed right in front of my face while I was loading the cartridge).
In other news, I successfully completed my first day of work! The weekend in Kuwait falls on Friday and Saturday, which means the work week is Sunday through Thursday. My taxi was a bit late picking me up this morning, but I managed to get to work in 7 minutes flat (a far cry from my 55 minute commutes in Orlando). I have an office (with a door!) and a view overlooking the Persian Gulf. The water is pristine blue, although the view is somewhat marred by the huge amounts of dust and sand that tend to settle on every single surface here- including my office window. I met several people that work in my department, and absolutely love the other women on my team. They seem fun, down to earth, competent, and very welcoming. Today was a whirlwind since my department is in the middle of academic advising for the new semester, which starts in a few weeks. I will primarily be learning that part of the job (not my primary job, but I'll be wearing a lot of hats outside of just career counseling) this week...and will start focusing more on career counseling next week when my supervisor returns from abroad.
The campus itself is nice...although I didn't get many chances to really look around in my rush to get from building to building in the freezing cold wind! Contrary to my expectations, Kuwait is COLD in January. It actually hit below freezing a couple nights ago, and there is no interior heating. That basically means that no one sheds their coats, scarves (gloves, hats, etc etc) during the work day. There are five buildings on the campus, which also houses a restaurant/cafeteria and a STARBUCKS! Of course, regular trips to the starbucks here will drain my paycheck since with the currency conversion, drinks cost $6-10!
So all in all, it was a good, maybe even great, day. It was my first truly good/great day in Kuwait. Thank God for good days after the hard days that have piled up over this past week. I think I'll sign off for the night, since my fingers are really cold right now and I can't have my computer and my tiny space heater plugged in at the same time (electric outlets are somewhat sparce in my apartment). I have the Simpsons muted in the background (I don't actually watch the simpsons...but I find it somewhat comforting to have an American show on my Kuwaiti television), and the Twilight series is calling my name. More to follow soon!...