Sunday, November 04, 2007

day 4

Just so that people don't think I'm in some lush island paradise, where everyone lies around the pool drinking beer all of the time, I thought I'd show what the scenery around the plant(s) look like. We're on the back of the industrial park with the world's largest aluminum smelting plant on one side and dusty land on the other. The funny thing to me is that the new offices at the other plant (we're supposed to be moving today - in sha' allah) have green grass out front. A narrow belt, but still.... Very unusual here - it's the only grass I've seen here.

The tarps at the bottom of the picture are shading the parking spaces. During the middle of the summer the temps hit @115 - 120F with 75% humidity so cars left in the sun will have internal temps that would cook you. BIT - not right now. Temps in the low 90s during the day, nights are getting cool. And breezy. You see these tarp/tent covers outside of any building of size - the hospital nearby, the mall, etc. Many buildings also are built with underground parking under them. Makes sense in this climate.

While traffic is wild around here, it is predictably wild. Everyone takes it in stride, a few horn blows if there's some unpredictable move, maybe a hand jesture - no big deal. But today coming to work we saw an episode of road rage. We came up on a car with Bahraini tags that had slowed beside a car with Saudi tags, windows were down and the drivers were yelling at each other. We came up behind the Bahraini, who then sped up, changed lanes pulling in front of the Saudi and then slammed on his brakes, practically stopping - in the middle of a 3 lane highway. From what I'm told, Saudi drivers are C.R.A.Z.Y and Bahrainis hate them. I've seen a few cars with Saudi plates doing twice the speed of traffic, weaving in and out like it's a formula one race. I asked if there are a lot of hand guns here, and was told no, but knives are a different matter. I figure if my driving here (which has yet to happen, but is coming I think) ever causes that level of ire, best to cut and run than stay and get cut.

Yesterday was a half-day of work at the plant. (This is the normal schedule). We went back to the apartment where I worked most of the afternoon - so Toto is still a mystery land to me. One of the big wigs here is leaving Wednesday to go home for a few weeks, he's the guy who've I've been riding around with. He's got a map he's promised me, so maybe I'll be able to use his car and map and start exploring. We'll see.

**note: I usually make a point of replying to all comments to my posts. I want to apologize for not doing so lately. I have very little time for blogging right now, and what I have is reserved for posting here during nablopomo. I do, however, read them all. I will resume doing so as I find the time.

4 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

meno said...

Is that just sand, and more sand? Man, i can see why grass there is such a rarity.

Leave a pan of cookie dough in the car?

Anonymous said...

Meno, that's the first use for that stuff that comes already made at the store I can agree to! If it didn't work, no loss.

Yikes, be careful exploring, Bob.

JCK said...

Let's hope you don't have to drive! Hire a driver. in sha' allah indeed!

liv said...

It's such a shame you're there post season and thus missing the Bahrain F1 circuit! ((hugs))