Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Water Water Everywhere

Building styles differ all over the world as do building standards, methods, grades, and quality. Kuwait is your typical Middle Eastern country when it comes to that. Nothing is truly square, standards are lax and you have to stay right on top of the local contractors to make sure they don't slip in shoddy products.
While all of this is a concern it is still a very interesting place to look at methods and designs. Things that we would never see in CONUS or Europe are common place here just as things common to us would be alien here. You never see an LPG tank in the yard like you do in the rural South and you don't see water towers with local sports teams names painted on them.

What you do see are individual water tanks. Water from the municipality is low pressure and won't hardly drive a shower head. The locals build pumps at ground level and pump the water up to these roof tanks. This provides gravity fed head pressure and gives them some storage capacity in the very likely event that water and/or electricity gets shut off at some point. Since it is gravity fed they don't have to rely on the city for water or power to have running water.

Neighborhoods can be drab and dreary or colorful. This shot shows an example of some of the color that is seen in some neighborhoods. If you look very carefully you will see the Persian Gulf (Arabian, as the locals insist on calling it) which is the saltiest body of sea water in the world.

This last photo is of the mosque you can see in the middle part of the second photo. Just after I took this shot the muzzein call to prayer began. Some of these are course and short but this one was a haunting melody. I believe it was probably taped and played through loudspeakers.
I really like the way the white of the mosque brightens the whole picture with all those sand colored buildings. There are splashes of color on some green building trim and the gulf is much clearer than in the previous photo.


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