OnCost – Wholesale Supermarket

Hearing about OnCost for a little while, its sort of a wholesale supermarket just the same as Costco in the US. I knew that it was in Sulaibiya in a large warehouse type building that currently sells vegetables of every kind. OnCost is a little different, they sell cleaning materials, cooking materials, meats, fish, and a few other house hold items. The main part in this case is that they are about 20 to 30% cheaper then the coops which really surprised me, some items are less but overall it is a very big difference.

The place is slightly out of the way but if you have some bulk shopping in mind it is the place to go. You go down 6th ring road until exit 604 then you take a left under the bridge at the traffic light. You can’t miss the place going straight, you will see it on your right hand side. Other then OnCost the vegetable section is just huge, I’m going to check it out another time again.


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Pretty Little Things @ Dar Al Sadu

Usually I don’t have time to go to events like these, always something that comes up but this time around I had the free time and decided to go, I went a bit early but it was really worth it. Last time Pretty Little Things was held in a house in one of the residential locations, this time around it was done in Dar Al Sadu just opposite Al Seef Palace. I haven’t been to Dar Al Sadu for a long time and I have to say that I was impressed how well done the place was, I’m going to visit it again at a later time but for now I was checking out some of the stalls and displays on these very talented people.

There was a charity event for the of the Orphans in Kuwait which I think was a fantastic idea, it is being run by Mabarat Khair Al Kuwait. The Orphans are currently in a housing area which is desperate need of reconstruction and refurbishment. They have taken it upon themselves to get this done through the support of this charity. There are about 17 buildings for these Orphans, they are more like prisons in the dilapidated state then they are homes for Children. and the renovation of each building costs around 30’000 KWD so through the help of this charity you can help. You can pick a room to install new tiles, or a new water system, or several areas. They are basically completely overhauling the place and then I think there would be another round to help with the essentials of the homes, and I was really surprised to hear how bad it was, I’m honestly curious to visit them and see if a person can enter them. I honestly always wondered how well Orphans in Kuwait fare and how many are there, and I was very happy to hear that Mabarat Khair Al Kuwait was doing something to help them. And with the help of Pretty Little Things they can help get them there.

Now for the stores that were there it was a mix of several types of stores from different nations other then Kuwait. These are some of the names that I passed by and my favorites are starred, keeping in mind that this is somewhat aimed towards women, more then men. I still liked the overall atmosphere and the people that I met, honestly it does make me proud to see people doing these things and I like the was Dar Al Sadu looked.

Stalls:

  • SO LULU – Lubna Al Nakib Jewelry
  • Lina Jewelry Design
  • Fyunka
  • Pieces By Farah – One Of My Favorites
  • The Yard – The Other Favorite
  • Camellia – Bukhour & Oud
  • Paper Design

Honestly there are somethings there that really impressed me, I do like seem cool designed furniture and thats the one that I liked the most. I think that I was probably one of the only men at that event, but luckily I went just at their opening. One of things that impressed me was the the CashToGo from Ahli Bank, so you could withdraw cash right there to pay for any items.


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Amazon – Facelift

It seems that Amazon got a face light to their whole front end, and I like the update. It feels like and easy, makes me want to hit the buy it now button more then before. Now its clear the number of items in my checkout cart, this isn’t helping my credit card. Keeping my credit card at a zero balance is an uphill battle every month, and Amazon is no help.

The Art of Shaving in NYC

While in NYC I wanted to get a shave and a quick hair cut, my problem is that I have gotten used to how they shave in Kuwait. With a single blade and they do it very well, honestly I haven’t found very many places that know how to shave your beard and give you that cut that the barbers in Kuwait do. Well I have known about The Art Of Shaving for a very long time and some of those stores have barber shops, not all of them do. It started off as a mom and pop business that grew to several locations across the US and was bought out by Proctor and Gamble who spread it all across the US and with them barbershops.

It has this old Gentlemen’s club feel to it and they have some fantastic products, especially their aftershaves which put out the fire on my skin after a shave. I shaved here once in February and the Barber was Puerto Rican and his name was Azreal, so I called and the guy was there. To say that he was an Artist with the a single shaving blade is an understatement, this guy was good, he was so good that I really enjoyed the shave and booked to come back a week later. For me its a pleasure to get a shave, you lay down, close your eyes get a warm towel and you get rid of that very annoying itch on your neck and cheek. He used the shaving cream and oils from the line of products that I like, and I always end up getting a few things from them on the way to take back to Kuwait with me.

They call their Barbershop the Barber Spa, and it deserves to because these guys are really good and talented. If you are ever in New York stop by the Art Of Shaving on 520 Madison Avenue, best place for a man to get a cut and shave. And I always want to buy some of their blades even though I rarely shave at home, still they have some great products which I use with my barber in Kuwait.


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Geekaphone – Power Search for Smartphones

Web site Geekaphone lets you check off the platform, price range, and features you want from a smartphone and tells you which phones match your criteria.

Geekaphone acts like most other “power search” functions you’d find on shopping sites, only it focuses on smartphone features and is incredibly easy to use. Just tell it what platform you want to use (Android, iOS, etc.), let it know your price range, and it will spit out a list of phones. I was impressed with the depth of the search features, you really go into every detail of the phone and specify everything to get what you want. You can then click on different features in the top row (like “hardware keyboard”, “4G”, or “front camera”) and it will narrow down that list for you, featuring the best phone at the top. Instead roaming about all the different sites to find the right phone Geekaphone can help you to choose your next phone, I’m still amazed how they managed to drill down on all the data & Specifications of a phone in a very simple way.

Link: Geekaphone

DHL Customs Disaster

Things have gotten very ridonkulous with Customs in Kuwait, everybody faced problems but I have never had a package stuck in the Ministry of Information for over a month and a half, and I only had Gears of War 3 and Toy Model in the box, nothing else. I kept calling DHL they keep telling me two days later again and again, it was a headache. The items arrived in Kuwait on September 16th, they said the items had to go to Ministry of Information since they shutdown their desk at the airport so they said that would take a 7 to 10 days, I said thats fine so 10 days went buy and nothing, then they told me a few days later it cleared then they said it would take another week in customs because of the mess they have. Then they were on Strike and I was told my package was lost and it would take a few more days to find it then a few days more to clear it.

It went on week to week like this, until I decided to go check in Customs and they said they never received any package back from MoI. I asked where it would be and went to MoI, and I found the items were still there and never taken back. It was a disaster, I basically went to so many different offices asking what they wanted and nobody knew. At one point I spoke to one sensible guy and told him you have had the package for a month and half and havne’t decided what you want to do with it. He spoke to another guy and signed a few random papers and gave the package to me. DHL don’t have a clue about it and I’m not paying them anything for it, I wanted to blow up and rip the guys at DHL to shreds but at that point I have my package and I’m not going to bother with them, but for over a month for a toy and video is ridiculous.

New Shipping Rules From Customs

A lot of us order lots of items from outside of Kuwait, and now with the arrival of the iPhone 4S people will be making a ton of orders to satisfy their Apple addiction, I for one am addicted to Amazon. Now things have gotten a lot worse then before with customs and I’m not sure if this will get any better.

Ministry of Information shutdown their desk at the Customs Airport Counter. So what does that mean, it means every package has to be taken from the Airport to the Ministry and checked out so the process was long before but now its even more ridiculous.

Previously:

  • 3-5 Days International Delivery
  • 3-5 Days Kuwait Customs Clear

Total 10 Days

Now:

  • 3-5 Days International Delivery
  • 3-5 Days Kuwait Customs
  • 4-7 Days Ministry Of Interior
  • 4-7 Days in Custom for the Delivery Company to Pick it UP

Total 24 Days

The Ministry of Information is going through to check what is or isn’t banned but they are going through everything and they don’t have a clue what anything is. I had a very difficult time explaining to them what Gears Of War 3 was, I don’t think they have seen a PS3 or XBox before.

Quick Update
Airport and Port Customs are on strike, good luck getting any of your packages any time soon.

MyUS Quick Shipping

The one thing that we all live by is online purchases in my case I buy movies, electronics, hardware , books, and pretty much anything else that comes to mind. The only issue I have is when it gets stuck in customs, there were times that it would get stuck for weeks with Aramex and a few times they would lose my product which drove me nuts.

In this case I switched to MyUS and I was very happy with them, quick to reply always taking care of my shipments. I could combine items and ship certain items, and you get choices to ship through FedEx, DHL, or a combination.

After shipping so many different kinds of items through multiple ways I figured out that the best way is to ship through DHL in somewhat of medium to small size package. Sometimes I combined a lot of packages into one big package and that would get stuck for at least 10 days, and with Aramex the smallest packages take at least four days. Now with DHL & FedEx if I ship it in a more compact size even if its combined it flies under their radar and I get it out of customs the second day.

Ramadan Delivery

I had somethings on hold for a while in my mailbox and my Amazon cart was full for a good two months, I was trying to hold off on making any purchases. Two weeks ago I decided to go ahead with the purchase, got to my mailbox and shipped it with all the items there. It was shipped two weeks back at this point, four days to deliver and the rest it got stuck in customs for while only to be delivered on the first day of Ramadan, a nice start to the day, I didn’t have a chance to open all the stuff up until later in the day but it felt like Christmas.

The items delivered:

  • Two Green Lantern Models
  • Game of Thrones – Goerge RR Martin Book Set
  • Two Batman Begins Pieces
  • Lord of the Rings Model
  • Three Large Volume Transformers Comic Books
  • Red Robin (Cool New Comic)
  • 007 Carte Blanche (A preorder that I forgot about and its my third copy! lol! I love James Bond novels)
  • Two Lens Caps to replace the missing ones
  • LifeHacker Book Volume 3 updated

Gazelle – Cash For Gadgets

Gazelle

Cash for Electronics has been around for a while but doing it effeciently online has been a difficult task for a few and usually your best bet is to sell it on Ebay. Best Buy have been taking used electronics for a long time now and giving semi crappy prices, and just recently Amazon have launched a trade in service which seems like an excellent idea. Now there is Gazelle a website that gives you cash right away and better value for your product, especially if you have a lot of items. I put a good amount of items on it and it was fantastic, it would be a smart idea to do it especially if you are living in the US, I would honestly trade in a lot of items. Check it out you can even get an estimated value for your electronics, my cart added up to over $2000, I’m just calculating the cost of shipping to see if its worth it to ship the things.

What is Gazelle?

Gazelle provides an easy, fast, and safe way for you to sell or recycle electronics. When you gazelle cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, or other gadgets, you’ll earn cash and help save the environment by keeping electronics moving and out of landfills.

Link: Gazelle