Friday, November 02, 2007

day 2

One consequence of an arid climate with little ground cover is the dust. IT IS EVERYWHERE. Guys hang around popular places offering to wash (wipe down) your car while you eat/shop/whatever. It's been windy for the past two days, so everything is extra dusty. Today, being Friday, is the weekend. Everyone parties on Thursday night. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper downtown. That in and of itself is a topic. There are few intersections where roads cross, with traffic taking turns to go. Instead there are traffic circles everywhere. They are each of them a race, everyone jockeying to enter the circle. Nowhere else is the axiom "he who hesitates is lost" more true. You've got to be aggressive in order to get anywhere.

De asked about the food - well, since I've been here I've had Hardee's, Benegans, Rick's American, Japanese steak house, and - pakistani at a food court called the Yum Yum. The guys I'm here with have been here many times before for 3-4 weeks at a time and they all want american food. The only real arabic food I've had since being here was on the Gulf Air flight from Dubai to Bahrain. But - I've got some time, I've made known my wishes for local food.

So far, all of the boning up I did on my arabic has come to naught. Most of the people where I'm working are Pakistani. When you go to a restaurant the help is frequently Filipino. Most of the laborers here are foreign. Apparently the Bahraini are paid by the government (oil revenues, etc) so there aren't many that are laborers. This isn't unusual in this part of the world, from what I've been told and heard in the past.

Anyway, since today is a day off I'm hoping the other guys'll get up soon and we can sightsee.

And the maid - he is an unseen presence who comes during the day while we're at work. I'll post pictures of the apartment sometime soon. It's nice.

6 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

Susanne said...

Usually I find NaBloPoMo a little too much to read but I'm glad that you're doing it. I love your writing about Bahrain. (And the pictures from your post before.)

Your description of traffic reminds me of Brazil. Kamikaze driving with frightened pedestrians running for cover in the middle.

meno said...

I hope you will get your wish for local food. It's a crime to fly that far and eat at Hardees.

Anonymous said...

That's why I asked - I thought you might be stuck with American.

Glad to hear the apartment is nice. Thank you for a picture that includes a TON of palm trees. What is that building? (Am I revealing my ignorance of something i should recognize?)

Lee said...

I hate, hate, hate that there's a Hooters in Chinatown in DC.

Sending you warm wishes!

JCK said...

Your description of the traffic made me laugh. I see nothing has changed since I lived in the Middle East all those years ago. I hope you get some good arabic food! It is yummy. See if they have something called Maneesh. It is usually found at a bakery. It is arabic bread (pita bread) with an unusual spread of spices and olive oil, baked in the oven and usually rolled up. It is YUMMY!

amusing said...

Once upon a time, I spent Christmas in Paris. What shall we have for dinner? I asked my friends? And off we went to the McDonald's on the Champs Elysee!