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Renewing MOH health insurance online – FINALLY

Renewing MOH health insurance online – FINALLY

just go to
https://insonline.moh.gov.kw/Insurance/logaction

1- Create an account (including OTP SMS code, so make sure that you have a valid mobile number)

2-login and renew your health insurance or your family members health insurance in a finger click ūüôā

  • So far no need to upload any kind of documents, it’s just an online form.
  • Online Health Insurance service will be available from Saturday to Thursday from 7 AM to 10 PM.
  • Do not miss to check the user manual.

car cans

Some drivers feel it’s cool to do this.  Yeah, like this your car is clean and you do not feel as you throw it away in the street…
What a jerks!!!

Natural milk

Do you know? not all long life pasteurized milk available in Kuwait market is made from fresh cow milk 100% and not milk powder.

Be aware and check what you are buying!

Bus station

I will not say it was supposed to be air conditioned bus station but I really hope if it could be bigger and designed in proper way to offer maximum shade and protection from direct sunlight from all directions. To make a proper shade those who design and build it should get extra science lessons on Earth rotation and its path around the sun.

Filipino nanny OEC

Filipino-nanny-OEC

If you have house helper from Philippines and she is going home for vacation you must know that she needs to show her Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) at the airport in Manila before departure in order to be allowed to come back to Kuwait.
There are two ways to apply for OEC.

I heard from kabayan ¬†(nick name for Filipinos) ‚Äď that it takes forever to finish this especially during summer due to fact that large number of overseas workers is back home for vacation.

So, just to be on a safe side and to avoid any bad surprises I decided to finish our nanny’s OEC in the other way, from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. If you decide to do the same, please note the document is valid for 60 days only (meaning your helper needs to leave Philippines before expiry date).

Philippine Embassy-expatriates-in-kuwait

I went to embassy around 7:45 a.m. to avoid crowd. Please note that the person requesting OEC (in this case helper or nanny) needs to show up there with you. I got application for OEC and renewing contract for our nanny at the embassy entrance. Make sure that you have this filled along with copies of your civil ID card (3 copies), nanny’s passport copy (data page and residency page 2 copies), flight booking.

When you arrive early and have all the necessary paperwork ready it will save your day. It is easy to go out completely frustrated due to horrible crowd.

So, we went in around 8:00 a.m.  Employee checked our papers and gave us a number. There were only few people before us.

Then we went to the counter hall, there where may be 6 counters, we processed to counter 3 as I remember- it will be the 3rd one on your left hand after entering- they took renewing contract  from us and asked us to wait, we did not wait for long time before they call our number and we moved to the next counter where they took rest of the papers and asked us to proceed  to the last counter where I paid  12 KWD in cash. K net is not accepted. I was then given paying order and sent outside to UAE exchange vehicle service.

Filipino-nanny-OEC-kuwait

There I  paid something like  13 or 15 KWD in cash also. K net is not accepted either.  Finally, I returned to the same counter and took our nanny OEC. I was asked to come back later around 2 p.m. to pick the contract from counter 3 but as usual I prefer to go early morning.

So, make sure to:

– show up early and your domestic helper/nanny is with you

Рhave original Kuwaiti  civil ID  and  passport

– have 3 or 4 copies from all the above

– bring enough money in cash (25-30 KWD)

– bring flight booking copy

Please note:

– OEC validity is 60 days and it starts from the day of fee payment

-they accept applications until 12 p.m. only

In summer season you can find hundreds of people queuing from morning so go really EARLY. Parking place is a big issue there, there are limited parking slots in front of embassy on the main road but behind the embassy there is some more place

 

In case you need to make photocopy of any of your documents or withdraw money you can go to co-op market.

Update: Philippines embassy new location
Hateen area, block 2, street 217, house 42

 

Packing a Hospital Bag

expatriates-expats-in-kuwait-packing-up-your-hospital-bag
One of the most exciting things while waiting for your day D is packing your hospital bag. With my first son I had my bag ready as soon as I hit week 25 but with my second one I was more relaxed and had it done around week 35. I enjoyed buying every single item from the list as well as packing the bag. I bought travel bag on wheels (cabin size) in color I liked. I also had baby bag ready with four newborn sets, blanket and cream. Your hospital bag should have whatever works best for you and I hope my list will give you some ideas and be helpful in making your own.

So what do you need to pack?

  • If you did not discuss your birth plan with your doctor make sure you have few copies handy (I brought mine even I did)
  • Valid marriage certificate and civil ID’s for you and your husband is a must (pack all documents you think you may need such as insurance cards and forms, medical history etc.)
  • Clothes: As I had my both babies delivered in Royale Hayat Hospital I did not have nightgown for labor as they provide it there. I had three nightgowns with bathrobes and slippers for after delivery. Make sure that you pack set of comfortable loose fitting clothes for going home as you will probably look as 6 months pregnant on discharge (I did not know this first time lol) Bring few nursing bras and breast pads. I think most hospitals nowadays provide disposable maternity briefs (my advice is to use them as long as you have bleeding as they are so convenient) and maternity pads. (I did not pack these, they were provided) It is good idea to bring slippers or flip flops to use in shower and throw away later.
  • Toiletries: Also mostly provided by the hospital but I like to have my favorite brands of my shower gel, oil, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, face creams, face wash, tooth paste and tooth brush, deodorant, perfume, make up, hairbrush, hairclips and ties, don’t forget nipple cream if you are planning to breast feed
  • Your phone, IPod, IPad, camera and chargers as well as all favorite applications downloaded
  • Any snacks that you like and you know hospital will not provide (I had dates and Zamzam* water), vitamins and food supplements that you are taking or planning to take after delivery
  • Breast pump if you are planning to use it
  • Massage oil, scented candle
  • If you are religious or spiritual any item or text of your choice
  • Make sure that car seat will be placed in car before your ride home

If you are planning to have visitors you may want to have plan about catering if you want to serve something. Since we have been in Kuwait for over 7  years a lot of my guests were Kuwaitis and other Arabs so I wanted to offer Arabic coffee, dates and sweets. I taught my nanny ahead of time how to prepare coffee and my husband brought it to hospital. Being as prepared as possible will greatly reduce stress for you and your loved one and make experience enjoyable. Just pack your bags and have them ready to grab in the hallway.

Happy packing mommies to be!

* Zamzam water: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamzam_Well

Friday market -Haraj-

expats-expatriates-in-kuwait-friday-market-haraj
Last Friday I went to¬†Friday market or locally called –¬†Haraj. My original plan was to buy what I need quickly and run before the big crowd after the Friday prayer. It didn’t happen and I ended up looking around and taking photos. Most of people think it’s a second hand market where only crap could be found. ¬†Actually, this is not true and while second hand section exists, there are also loads of new stuff that ranges from low to high quality.

What could be found there:

  • carpets
  • new and second hand furniture (no one can beat them in prices but quality varies)
  • aluminum kitchen cabinets
  • textile
  • mattress & pillows
  • blankets & buddings
  • bathroom appliances
  • variety of cheap Chinese made stuff from electric appliances to¬†toys
  • tools
  • amazing new and second hand souvenirs and collectibles
  • second hand clothes and shoes
  • TV’s, DVD’s, receivers, satellites
  • car accessories
  • second hand sports equipment such as weights, trampolines, treadmills
  • mobile phones, accessories and routers
  • water filters and much more

You just can’t miss visiting this market at least once during your stay in Kuwait. They open Thursday evening and this is mostly a quiet time. If u want last hour deal ¬†go there on¬†Saturdays between 6 and 8 pm. just before they close. This is the time when they are¬†packing up to go and you are ¬†likely to get discount. In all cases ALWAYS negotiate the prices and don’t buy until you check what others offer. If you are buying something more expensive such as furniture make sure that you have receipt and to save location of the seller. Last moment deals on Saturday might not be¬†the best idea in case you need to exchange your items.

If you need ATM you will find one in SAVECO  market or if you are at the back side of the market where they sell animals you will find KFH bank ATM cars on the street by the gates.

Snacks and drinks are available for purchase.

There are parking areas all around the market  but my favorite is the big one opposite to Lu-Lu hypermarket Р blue rectangle on the map.

Location

 

 

 

 

baby essentials

expats-expatriates-in-kuwait-baby-essential

Let’s be honest, there is nothing more cute than baby outfits except babies themselves. I know that you might be tempted to buy whole store for your newborn (especially if it is your first time around) but trust me that is a big no, no and most of the parents (including me with my son No.1) end up with whole lot of unnecessary items. I will here try to make a list of necessary and handy items to help you through first six week with your newborn in Kuwait. I started shopping as soon as I found out that I am pregnant and I bought most of the items on sales in Mothercare, Next, H&M,Centrepoint and online.

Clothes:

  • ¬†6-10 baby sleeveless bodysuits
  • 6-10 baby sleepers with feet (go for one with zippers or buttons between legs, you will thank me for this later)
  • 3-6 long sleeved and/or short sleeved onesies
  • 3-5 pairs of pants
  • 3-5 pairs of socks and scratch mittens
  • 3-4 special going out outfits
  • 2-3 hats
  • 2-3 cardigans or jackets if it is winter
  • 5-10 bibs
  • a lot of burp cloths
  • a lot of receiving blankets and cotton diapers (really handy)

Diapering:

  • Changing table with changing mat and lots of storage area
  • Stock of diapers
  • Container for messy diapers
  • Favorite baby wipes
  • Disposable bags
  • Diaper cream
  • Cotton balls/ wash cloth and water bowl
  • Hand sanitizer

Bathing:

  • Favorite baby soap
  • Favorite baby shampoo
  • Baby oil/lotion
  • 2-4 towels (hooded)
  • Brush/comb
  • Padded bath tub
  • Nail clipper

Sleeping:

  • Crib
  • Mattress
  • 2-3 waterproof mattress covers
  • 2-5 fitted bed-sheets
  • bumpers
  • 3-5 big cotton blankets (that could be tucked)
  • sleep sack
  • Mobiles
  • Soft night light

Feeding:

  • Breast pump (if you are planning to use)
  • Nipple cream
  • Sterilizer
  • Bottles and/or breast milk containers
  • Pacifiers
  • Bottle brush
  • Milk formula
  • Thermos bottle

Other:

  • Baby monitor
  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Diaper bag
  • Baby sling or carrier
  • Nasal aspirator or bulb syringe for cleaning nose
  • Saline nasal drops/spray
  • Digital baby thermometer
  • Fever medication like Panadol, Adol or Advil
  • Antiseptic for cord care
  • Soft toys and stories
  • Drops for gases
  • Vitamin D3 drops

 

Kuwait car scrap

kuwait-car-scrap
So I’ve been to car scrap and¬†decided to write about it as ¬†there’s really lack of info on¬†this topic.
This place is a heaven for anyone looking for reasonably priced car spare parts.

I went there with couple of my friends and¬†one of them got touch screen with GPS+ screen chassis for his Mitsubishi Galant 2011 for only 20 KWD -this screen is not widely available in market and dealer sells it for over hundred¬†KWD… golden deal, right? ¬†The other friend found genuine¬†Xenon head lights manufactured in Germany for his VW Passat 2009 for only 70 KWD only.

The place organization reflects car market in Kuwait; one side for American cars, other side for Japanese and Korean cars and few places for German cars etc.

What can be found there

1-used car spare parts
2-new but not genuine car spare parts
3-some new not Chinese made car spare parts such as Korean, Japanese and German

Kinds of spare parts that you can find

Almost all parts are  available there.
1-body parts such as engine hood, bumper, door…
2-mechanic parts such as engine, gear, pump…
3-electrical & electronic parts
4-accessories such as Xenon head lights, screens,¬†rings…

Hints

1-go there early in the morning
2-check & compare the prices and  quality in different garages before buying
3-ask for discount and don’t accept the first price
4-ask for detailed receipt that specifies part name, model, color etc.
5-ask seller to specify the warranty period (sometimes available)
6-if you are buying a lot of spare parts delivery charges should be included in price
7-don’t pay full amount if your parts are to be dismantled and delivered to workshop that is working on your car, this should be done upon delivery and checking all the parts
8-pick up cars for deliveries are available there

This place is real heaven for people who still decide to fix their cars after major accidents and don’t want to be ripped off by dealers. If you are about to buy car but you’re not sure which model to choose maybe heading to scrap could help you to make a decision as you will get idea about spare parts prices.

Location

Please note that the scrap location is  in desert so the entrance from highway will be bumpy and sandy as well as all roads in the place itself.


It took me around 70 minutes driving  from Salmiya to scrap. Please be very careful as u join road No.70 -Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah Rd- Salmi road- as it is camping area and lots of pick up trucks are crossing the road randomly!

 

 

 

Baqala

kuwait-expats-baqala

Baqala is one of the things in Kuwait  that one living here cannot imagine his/her  life without.

Baqala = grocery shop = mini grocery shop = mini market

The most geographically covered service available in Kuwait is baqala.
You will find them everywhere around you, you will see baqala between two baqalas. ūüôā

What can you find in baqala? Well, almost anything but almost all are selling bread and pastries, snacks, milk products, water, soft drinks and juices, chocolates, ice-cream, newspapers, cigarettes, telecom cards, products for personal care and cleaning, canned food, cooking oil, some spices etc. Some baqalas are selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

Its common here to have a baqala in your building or in one next to you that offers home delivery free of charge ‚Äď it is also nice to tip delivery boy- They deliver only to the buildings around them so do not expect this from baqala on another street to do this.

Most baqalas are open 24 hours especially if near to main road.

Some baqalas have car delivery service, just stop your car and give a horn and they come to take your order- we do not like to do this especially when the weather is hot.

Products in baqalas are normally more expensive than in supermarkets but not really overpriced. It is real life savior at times!