Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are dry countries, and I’m not talking about the weather. I mean that these two countries are dry, as in, alcohol-free. It is illegal to have and consume alcohol. Dry countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, certain parts of India, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, parts of the UAE, and Yemen (ref)
To be honest, I never felt the lack of it because my family and I were never really big drinkers. Sleep would overtake my father before he finished a glass of anything alcoholic, and I never really liked the taste. But growing up in dry countries, we always heard of stories about people trying to brew their own beer or wine and getting arrested or having a bar in their home and being popular for it. However, life in these countries never seemed different or odd because of that (ask me about the difference associated with no women drivers in Saudi Arabia – now that’s a difference I’ll talk about in another post!)
I remember in my first year of university in Canada, I overheard someone tell their friend that they were looking forward to getting wasted from alcohol. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. Why would someone want to get wasted? -lose control? -risk their lives in the hands of strangers at the darkest hours of the night? Of course she said this following her vent of an exam she failed at preparing for. I later learned that the reason for over-drinking was similar to my reason for over-eating; an attempt to drown the pains of the moment.
Eating is what we did in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. To deal with our daily stresses and griefs, we would go to a new restaurant and order an over-sized dish. Or, we would check out the new buffet restaurant, and this would somehow battle the pains of the day; if mind is unhappy, make stomach happy! Enter, the emotional eater.
I must also add that the summers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can get so hot that it is unbearable to go outside, so enter, inactivity. With that combination, if you are moving to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, be prepared to gain weight if you are not careful.
Sure, you will not lose control if you over-eat like you may if you over-drink, but you will lose your balance from the extra weight packed on. But the food was good!