Kuwait Essay, Research Paper
Sitting out by the front gate during the early evening I look toward the horizon, the sky is turning all different shades of yellow and orange as the sun begins to set. A nice gentle breeze begins to come in off the shore. It is a warm evening but the breeze helps to sooth the heat as it gently sweeps over my body. Lunchtime is just about over and the younger kids should start coming out anytime now. I look around and see that life has not really changed much since the days when I grew up here.
I sat back and took a long drag off my cigarrette, nobody was around. After all this time, the houses are still the same, lined up one by one next to each other. The homes sit away from the street, and all have high compound walls that divide property lines. Their gates open to the street and the continuous wall forms the large circular roundabout. In the center of the roundabout there is a large grassy area and a courtyard that has a playing field and playground set up usually after lunchtime the neighborhood kids gather to play soccer and games. I glance to the fountain built into the wall of the home directly across the street from us memories of icy water spouting out, and kids lining up for a refreshing sip after a long game on a hot afternoon, was the first thing that came to mind the pit stop that everyone has access to. I walked over to get a sip. The crisp icy water was too cold to drink and gave me a brain freeze.
My father s neighbor Mr. Mohammed and his grandchildren are the first to come out. Even when I was a child it seemed that Mohammed and his children were always the first to finish eating and meet the rest of the neighborhood in the courtyard. He has enough grandchildren to form two small soccer teams, they really don t need the rest of the neighborhood children. One by one the other families begin to trickle out. It is my first day back after three years in the United States I had returned for the summer break – many of my neighbors I have not seen, but all have been informed that I have returned. I lit up another cigarrette.
I see Mr. Mohammed s wife coming my way, she is an older woman in her late 40 s about my mother s age. As I stand to greet her I see that she has a large baking dish and this brings a smile to my face. She is the neighborhood baker. As children we would all invade their home in search of a delectable treat. It is always customary when someone returns to the neighborhood to welcome them back with little tokens of appreciation. Mrs. Mohammed s tokens were little pastries stuffed with pistachios and drenched in a heavy honey syrup flavor with rose water. I was counting on her pastries selfishly I thought, she did not let me down. As the other children came out so did their mothers. Like a trail of ants, one by one they made their way over to our home. There was the widow of Mr. Jamal and her baklava. I could not help but to feel sad for her. While I was away her husband had passed away, her children were all grown and loneliness what the expression on her face. Although she tried to hide he sadness with a smile, I could see beyond her mask. Part of me wished that I could have taken her pain and suffering away. Right behind her, were my best friend, Khalid and his mother. He was the neighborhood prankster but the entire neighborhood tolerated his jokes and pranks because his mother made a mean dessert of a cheesy philo-dough pastry sweetened with rose water syrup. They must have all known that I had returned with an insatiable sweet tooth they had brought all my favorite sweets. Another puff, followed by a drag to get full satisfaction of the nicotine, I had finished another cigarette.
I felt like the boy I was when I left a few years ago. My mother ushered the women in and I hung around the gate with Khalid and his brother Meeshal chatting and catching up with the neighbors. I was not the only one who had returned, there was also Adnan. Adnan and I left for the States at the same time. He went to California and I to Miami. I felt bad that I had not talked to him since I had left, but was eager to see him again.
The boy in me took control – maybe it was an attempt to go back in time and makeup for the time I had been gone – I ran out to the courtyard with the others to watch the friendly game of soccer. The younger kids were in playground. It was the neighborhood understanding that the older kids watched over the younger ones, so from time to time they would switch off team members to watch the younger ones. I debated whether I should light up a third cigarette. The only dangers to worry about were self-inflicted – there is virtually no crime in Kuwait. Thankfully we do not have to concern ourselves with kidnappers, child molesters, or murder it is not existent. The only harm was that which we brought to ourselves. As I watched the children play and listened to their laughter and joy, and I was glad to be home. The urge was not strong enough to light up again. I put the pack back into my pocket.
Sometime later that evening I saw a tall, slender and tan man walking over. I questioned who he was dressed in a sleek shirt and dark jean for the moment I could not figure out who he was, but his shiny shoes gave him away .it was my long awaited friend Adnan coming out to join us. I did not recognize him at first. California had been good to him he lost weight and looked healthier.
The sun had completely set, there was not light it was to dark to play – everyone just hung around talking they wanted to get the newest info on our trips and studies in the US. The chatter amongst us was long and seemed to never end. Question after question I never realize how nosy they were. Details, details, details is what they insisted. We have no clubs. Excitement is a game of cards and an old John Travolta movie. Naturally the questions were endless. What do you when you go? Who do you go with? How much do you drink? As I answered, they laughed. Some of them were on the lying on the floor and could not stop, the others mocked me as they stood up and danced to imaginary music it was obvious they did not believe me when I told them that I did not go -my answers entertained them. As it got darker and darker and the desert breeze began to blow in – they had more questions and so did we – I was down to my last cigarette. Missing the excitement and fun in the states, the neighborhood made me feel like I did not miss a thing.