Sunday, 2 March 2008

Small Animals

It’s camping time. Kuwaitis love camping in the desert. Eventually, they'll come back to their roots, the simple life in tents. Of course, with satellite dishes, diesel generators, go-carts. The nights are still chilly but the sun is warming-up the desert quickly.

When, for a couple of days only, flowers are blooming and spread sweet and heavy flavors, bees and bumble-bees, locusts (no, that kind of insect is not simply a grasshopper), large black beetles, and … lizards, of course, have a short season. The variety of small animals is surprising.

In a couple of weeks only, in July and August, this part of the desert will be more or less abiotic. Scorching winds from the nearby Iraqi deserts in the northwest and temperatures soaring to more than 50 degrees Celsius (122 F) will definitely prevent the ‘normal’ human, weak and spoiled, from leaving the heavily air-conditioned four-wheel-drive jeep when driving through the dusty and hazy furnace of one of the hottest spots on earth.

But now, tents are pitched everywhere. A strong desire for the simple Bedouin life of the good old days is definitely encoded in the Kuwaiti genes. Men are gathering in one tent, womenfolk and little children in the other. And the hospitable group of honorable Kuwaiti lawyers, physicians, businessmen and politicians who invited us for some chat and a bowl with fresh and still warm camel milk made sure that my colleague’s wife quickly got a telephone call from the nearby women’s tent to pass by and have fun there.

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