these are a few of my favorite things...

today marks the last day of my holiday. during a year, I am allowed to have 30 days of annual leave. I took only five, and so I've got 25 more to go. I don't know when I will take more time (~much needed) time off from work, but at least I still have my weekends off. 

during this holiday, I've done a lot of things. mostly gardening-related, but I had a great time just sitting and relaxing and even doing some blogging. 

I was going to travel with my mom, but it didn't work out; so we hung out after she got back from her "vacation".

I took her to my favorite place in Kuwait: the old Souk. **"Souk" is an Arabic word that means "market".

the old Souk is the place to be. I used to not like going there so much when I was younger because it was a place for "poor" people to hang out. look, it's a terrible thing to say. no one is really "poor", but it's sometimes a term we use to describe certain people of a certain background or cultural taste. it's nothing personal, but it's just the norm. I don't like to use the word myself, because it degrades all of us. no one is better that the other, as we are equal in the eyes of God. and therefore the words we use are a mere reflection of who we are. who's to say who is really poor and who is not. at the end of the day, it's not about who is penniless and who is well off because we all eventually interchange within those states - and we can all use a good bargain any way, so why not go to a place where "cheap" things are sold!

when you actually get to the old Souk, located in the downtown area, Mubarakeya, you can find that the things sold there are in fact of a low price (and sometimes, low quality too), but you can see people from all walks of life. over the years, I began to accept the place, and now I'm fully immersed in the Mubarakeya culture. so much so, in fact, that I recommend that place to all those I know. I even love going there alone. it's not as fun as being there with people, but I like to go just for the hell of it.

lots of people (~the new generation) are loving that place too. in fact, they've build a more modern looking part of the old Souk to suit their modern day needs - like burgers, for example; and Syphon coffee.

here's what the So-Mu looks like.

they're calling it "so-mu" because it's the cool, new way of talking and naming this. think, "J-lo" or "YOLO" and all that. it's short for SOuk MUbarakeya. just like, MADO, the Turkish restaurant. the name is almost like an acronym for the place in Turkey called ... something that starts with "MA"...and the "DO" part comes from "donderma", which means "ice-cream". 

the idea of the SoMu is simple: it's a place in Muarakeya souk where you can dine after a long shopping spree at the old shops. or you can just come for the food.

it's an area that was once-upon-a-time a neglected and filthy. and so what would have been another waste land became the go-to location for the young hipster generation. even "old" folks like can enjoy the place. I love it so much, that I wish I could go there every day! 

I like making the trip to the old Souk; not just for the food at SoMu, but for the culture. it's so much fun walking around the area and exploring the old Kuwait with new, fresh eyes.

it was really refreshing for my tired soul to go there and be reminded of the good things in life.

I'm so happy that I let go of my past prejudices about the old Souk. it would have such a shame to let go of such a valuable land mark. at the end of the day, it's all about what you need and no about what others are influencing you to need. a lot of my past hatred towards the idea of going to Mubarakeya to buy things was due to my classmates being the awful, little spoiled brats that they are and not letting me enjoy the culture that was presented to me. to them, everything that they owed had to come from the US or Switzerland, but they owned nothing that was local. to them, that's the epitome of shame. so in order to impress them, I had to shun the idea of shopping at the old Souk. but since that's all we had, then I had to live with their constant shaming of my "local" items.  I'm so happy that now I'm older and wiser and more aware of how buying local is the best option for us and for the economy. I'm happy that I used to go to Souk and get things - at least I saved a lot of money and helped some locals too! 

as I always say : there is a lot to learn from plants that applies to real life. watching them grow that helped me to grow as well. and there is even more to learn from looking what's around me and appreciating it. it's not right to be upset over the past. like, I used to hate the old Souk, but now I love it. it's when you let go of old ways of thinking and embrace the reality that good things will come your way.

I've been too consumed with the past and too concerned about the future that I forgot to enjoy the present. it's a great life.