I like to cook but sometimes it takes a bit too long if I’m doing it myself, thats why I love to grill, you get to see what your cooking as it happens, plus I love meats. One of the problems we have BBQing in Kuwait is that in the summer it becomes a little too hot to cook outdoors so I don’t BBQ as much. With the Element Indoor Smokeless BBQ I can easily BBQ indoors on a gas stove. Its an ingenious product currently being developed you have to pledge for it to be made over at ideacious.com (Same Idea as Kickstarter). I think there is a minimum order of 500 units to go into production, I’m not sure how close they are to getting there but I hope they get there but I really like the idea.

Link: Ideacious

This unique cooking system uses a gas or electric stove element to heat a bed of lava rocks, creating the flavor of a traditional grill without the smoke or charcoal dust. Other features include a specific section for catching grease — making for easy cleanup — an adjustable grill height, and a removable handle.

Al Oula Gas Station – The People At The Pump

I think everyone has filled up at an Al Oula Gas Station at some point or another, and their employees in their green uniform come up and fill your car. I usually like filling my car unless I’m wearing a dishdasha and don’t want to get it messed up. They fill up your car if you stopped for any sort of gas, some of them are young men and some of them are older men. And their nationalities range from East Asian all the way to East African. I remember when it was public owned you would only see a few guys and not in uniform so its good to see they have a brand and stick to it, but I always wonder what they are paid and how they are managed.

One time I was at the gas station I was talking to one of the men working outside and I guessed he was from Somalia which I guessed right. He was giving me details on my car which were very specific, he seemed to be educated and when I was talking to him sounded like any normal guy. So I asked him about the details of the job, they are paid 60 KD per month for working 8 hours a day 6 days a week, and they provided with a place to stay but not food. If they work 12 hours a day its 95 KD per month for 6 days a week. That is substantially low, and I honestly thought they would be a lot higher since the minimum wage for help working in the household has gone up and they get more then that, but it depends from which country they are from. I stood their talking to the man for about 15 mins and thought it was a waste that he is in this job and not something else, but he said this is a job and he needed it so I can’t blame him.

Just to be clear the staff don’t look mistreated and Al Oula have done a decent job of cleaning up and rebranding these gas stations. I think they want to open more services in their gas stations but the Baladiya won’t let them even though it was originally part of the deal. Still I think they should raise the minimum wage and find a business case to justify it or work it out, they wouldn’t be in this business to loose money, and they operating within the law but still I think sometimes they should have the chance for a better wage.

So tip them if they filled your gas, that one or two KD adds up and makes the world of a difference to them. I usually tip between 1 to 2 KD per fill up when I’m filling up my car and 1/2 to 1 KD when filling up the bike even though its the same amount. One thing that surprises me is that sometimes they are really surprised when they are tipped. I know a lot of people take these men for granted and assume its their right to get a fill up, but they are less fortunate and it a laborious job with sometimes long hours and the summer is coming along which will be excruciating to work outdoors which they are all the time.

My Toy Company – Tamiyaa RC Cars

After Mark‘s visit of the place I had to go check it out, I had the urge to take a look at some RC cars before futoor and luckily they are open from 10 am to 1pm and 5 pm to 12 am. They are odd hours but work out nicely, and its just as Mark described it, the place is huge, its an RC Car enthusiast’s dream come true. They moved it up to the 1st floor right next to Rouche Boubios, not exactly sure of that spelling though.

They have all forms of cars which are ready to race or the buildable ones. The ready to race cars range from 70KD up to 180KD depending which model you take, size and speed have a matter as well, and that doesn’t include that you can get accessories for them and improve them. I was tempted to get a small one which looked really cool and is meant for drifting but I thought I would think about it for now. And then there were the models which had to be built and you can get those in gas or electric and those range from 250 KD up to 600 KD plus with lots of different configurations and types, and some of these machines can go faster then most consumer cars.

There were so many spare parts available for all kinds of vehicles, and you can customize them in many ways. As Mark stated you can have a building area as well as a paint booth and a photography booth. Then they are building a track on the roof right next to them which is going to be huge and perfect for those drifting cars, they can even make some interesting jumps for those off-road machines, I’m curious how they are gonna design the track. This is all located in Tilal Center in Shuweikh right after City Center on Pepsi Street and opposite Home Center.

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Tamiya @ Tilal

I was passing by Al Sabih Marine to check out a few items, while I was there I just crossed the road into Tilal to check the Tamiya store. I have had the urge for a very long time but I don’t know why I haven’t been there. Its a very nice store with a nice selection of cars, looks like they will be moving to the first floor into My Toy Company. I looked around the moment I walked in, it reminds me of the R/C Stores in Muthana that used to go to as a kid but a lot cleaner and a smaller selection. They have some interesting cars which are ready made and some to be built.

The ready built cars range from 120 to 180 KD, different models had different sizes and I really enjoyed looking around. There was a cool Humvee with the green camouflage colors and then there was Nissan GT-R which looked like it would be a lot of fun on a smooth street. I walked in just talking a look around and ended up asking these guys a ton of questions. There was an old Landcruiser which is built on a rock crawler chassis and its really cool, and a few other ones are cool like that but the price of it starts at 200 KD and goes up to 400 KD depending if you get the full electric kit which has lights horns and other things. Turns out these complex trucks like the red Landcruiser seem to have gear boxes and you can put it into gear with the remote, it seems they have gotten a lot more complex over the years but still looks like fun.

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