Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kuwait - in the 80s!

Having spent a considerable amount of my childhood (1984 -90) in Kuwait, one can surely understand why I loved the eighties. Although my love for the era and the place was not evident back then (I always wanted to grow up and start shaving) looking at things presently, one can only turn to nostalgia of the yesteryears and remember the great times.

I remember the TV shows they used to show us. Mainly KTV and I have to admit compared to some of the other regional channels back then KTV was a hit. Bringing us hit shows like Silver Spoons, Macgyver, The A Team, Magnum PI, Knight Rider and the likes. I won't get into these since I've already posted on 80s shows earlier this month. Do you guys remember Chart Attack? Compared to channels like Dubai One and MBC, KTV is crap now!

I remember the old Salmiya shopping area even though I wasn't much of a Salmiya guy. We as kids loved going there and hanging out. The Gulf Road was barely ready (at least during the early eighties) and there weren't as many traffic lights.

My mom used to work at Safeway across from the Crowne Plaza (the Holiday inn back then). The sixth ring road was fairly new and less traveled and I remember waiting at least 5 minutes before I could cross it and go to Kids R us and Safeway!

Safeway and The Sultan Center were the only 2 supermarkets in the country that were open 24 hours. The co-ops were just crappy!

I don't quite remember if Pizza Hut was around but Pizza Italia was the best and they always had some kind of promos running. Of course Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hardees were some of the other few international fast-food joints and Hungry Bunny was THE place for burgers. I think there was an Arby's too but I didn’t go there that often. I remember Wimpy's too!

As an Indian the only live local band I knew of then was "Next of Kin" who I think are still in action (the old dinosaurs). DJing wasn't DJing, it was just playing a tape recorder connected to an amplifier. Walkmans were THE thing for us kids back then and so were Archie comics!

As an Indian I remember the rivalry between the Indian School Salmiya and New Indian School Jabriya. We used o get into a lot of fights with all the spray painting and stoning!

I remember Atari & Nintendo. Atari was more popular and I had about 3 sets that I eventually broke (due to overuse)

I also remember Like Cola and RC Cola. Vimto and Shaani were very popular and so was Sunkist!

The Holiday Inn had the first bowling alley (which I am told was a discotheque earlier) and was quite the hangout for young adults. And whatever happened to that boat they had turned into a hotel (was it the Marriott?)

I remember Muthanna Complex in Kuwait City being the only "cool" place to hang out with the clothing stores and the gaming arcades!

I remember the Rubick's cube being a major source of entertainment along with game-in-watches and those other Casio watched with calculators!

I remember Farwaniya and Hawalli being Palestinian ghettos and the Palestinians themselves were quite the kingpins driving Trans-Ams that were a tad bit noisy.

I don't remember the roads being as congested as they are today and people drove a lot better and with a lot more consideration & road sense.

I remember Kuwait – it was certainly a better place to live in. Maybe it's just because we were kids then and didn't have a care in the world except homework and collecting skittles for prizes! Things have definitely changed now.

All in all they were great times. Ah nostalgia – makes us grow old sometimes! Do you guys remember anything from the eighties in Kuwait?

18 comments:

sajay said...

dude...the 80's sure were a great time in kuwait....salmiya wasnt as congested as it is today..it actually looked a decent neighbourhood and not the ghetto it looks like today...kids actually played in the evenings...I still remember Chart Attack..the Vj was Simon potter and his team was called the Betacam boys...awesome...of course not in any waya comparison to top of the Pops..and of course Hungry Bunny..they made some awesome burgers...Starship Galactica, the A-team..world Cup Espana 82' trading cards were just pure fun..not to mention, the good music then...growing up..Heavy Metal was so in !! i dont remember too much of the rest of town...goin to Kuwait City on ur own was an event in itself..we took the bus in em days!! 80's rock, dude...and so did Q8..

Elvis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elvis said...

Nice post man, it surely gives us a feeling of Nostalgia...
I donno if you remember this but I used to love that Grounded cruise ship where they organised parties and weddings etc.. It was along the coast somewhere, I used to look forward to any parties over there.. It was fun running all over the ship checking out the whole thing, more than being a part of the function that I was actually there for hehe
I remember those fast food places, mainly Hardees, Hungry Bunny, those were cool places for kids back then, cuz we used to get gifts as well.. I loved the video cassetes we got as gifts, which were cartoons like voltron, thunder cats etc..
Talking about cartoons, yes KTV was a hit those days, we used to watch the best of cartoons like those I mentioned above and not forgetting transformers, bionic six etc etc, cant remember them all right now. Also a hit was those programs like Street Hawk, night rider, air wolf... awesome those days!

Anonymous said...

I was mostly in my teens in the eighties. We used to play football with some goans and kerelites near the church in kuwait city on fridays during the winter. Thats where a lot many people went fishing too.
I dont really remember gulf road that much but we used to hang out in salmiya and hawalli. I had a few palestinian friends with ATVs and we would normally go the the New English school to cruise for chicks in them. This was before I got my car.
I remember getting my driving licence back then, i think it was 88 or 89. Had a red Mitsubishi GT for my first car which was awesome. Most of my friends thought i was insane not getting a trans-am. But i loved my car. Driving was a pleasure in the 80s and i think a lot less people had cars then.
Even hanging out with girls was much easier and everyone was more adventurous.
Overall it sure was a great time. Im still in touch with a few of my old friends and some of them get shocked looking at the change and the development when they visit for a short while!

BarryUno said...

Sajay, You bet I remember Simon Potter and his gang. Most of the pop music I got hooked on to was thanks to that show.

Do you remember the show Big League Soccer? They used to show highlights of the English Premier League. Awesome show. As for the world cups I remember watching Mexico 86 and Italia 90.

Anon, I think I went to that part of the beach behind the church with a few friends and relatives a couple of times. A Mitsubishi GT was cool for those days mate. In fact any sports car was cool cos I don't think car finance was as easy to obtain as it is now and driving in itself was considered a big deal!

Oveall I think people were a lot kinder and approachable. I mean Kuwaitis and the expats. Now everyone just seems so full of themselves!

BarryUno said...

Yo Elvis, I remember the free stuff we used to get at KFC & Pizza Italia promotions. IN fact I had an entire collection of all the tapes from KFC from 97 to 90. Mostly cartoons like Thundercats and the Incredible Hulk.

Rubick said...

Though I was born in kuwait i left immedeately and only got back in 86.Being a big soccer fan I remember watching big league soccer and the mexico world cup as I just got to kuwait when it started.It was fun watching it on tv as it was one of the first live events I watched & i loved staying up late cos of the time defference.
Sajay u r right, salmiya was a much nicer & cleaner place since i used to live there as a kid.It was more close knit community & we as kids had a lot of fun.

Rayboy said...

in my days .. i used to remmeber

Kids'r'us .. the never ending toy shop . i remember coming to school and exchanging knight rider and A team cards. I remember going for every show(all of them) "Next of Kin" the live band played. my dad plays for them.

i remmeber RC cars and monopoly being our past times. i love Chicken tikka. used to sing their ad.. "I love it spicy, its very nicey" all the time.

Kuwait will never be the same than those days....

Lord Raj said...

Dude, the old template was better..

Jus a suggestion.

rubick said...

Where did everyone go? It's getting boring without ur comments dude. In case u're abandoning the blog, we shoyuld have a burial!;)

BarryUno said...

I just chanced upon finding the last comment from Rubick....no way in hell am I going to abandon the blog mate. Just took a breather.

Don't you worry people......

BarryUno is back!!!

Anonymous said...

I can remember most of those things.. simon potter... i havent thought of him for quite a while... dubai had a neat channel called 33 and so did bahrain... they had cooler cartoons than KTV...

but hah... i also remembering barry being my bench mate in the 2nd grade... haha barry i bet u dont remember that!!!

BarryUno said...

I remember a dude called Jarvind Baretto being my benchmate in 2nd grade. His mom was a teacher in school too!

Who is this mate? Cyberspace is a great place to meet old friends.....not a great place to be playing 20 questions! ;-)

BarryUno said...

I remember a dude called Jarvind Baretto being my benchmate in 2nd grade. His mom was a teacher in school too!

Who is this mate? Cyberspace is a great place to meet old friends.....not a great place to be playing 20 questions! ;-)

Anonymous said...

was his name Jarvind? i got it was gilroy barretto or something... he sat around us i think.. but I quite specifically no we sat together for most of the second grade...

btw i am not a dude... u so don't remember me!!!!arrgghhssss!!!

BarryUno said...

Curiosity can sometimes kill the cat.....but it makes Barry a very irritable person! ;-)

Tell me who this is please!!! I only remember sharing a bench with one girl in school...her name was either Farzana or Fazika and that was in 4th grade! My memory's going to the dogs! :p If you give me a name I'm sure I'll remember you.....maybe even mention a few characteristics and quirks? ;-)

Anonymous said...

hey barry,
how u doin dont know if ur still using this but buddy i still remember u from kwt nice reading all these posts it reminded of time back then when we kids time flew fast keep in touch cheers jarvind

BarryUno said...

Hey Jarvind,

Fancy meeting you here! It's good to hear from you too mate. Drop me a line or two and maybe we can chat and catch up on old times.

Cheers,