Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pinch me. Am I dreaming?

I find it hard to believe that I am really here in the Middle East, that I sold my company and I put all my worldly belongings into storage for an adventure of two years or more.  It’s almost an out of body experience.

Early this morning I looked out the living room windows of the flat (condos are called flats here – I am trying to adopt the language) at a fantastic sunrise and pinched myself to make sure it was real.

I only have two nights under my belt, but so far I seem to be avoiding jet lag.  There is a 7 hour time difference and I have slept through the night both nights.  Doug is impressed.  I am shocked.

I have only had a couple of notes from my old staff at FAMILY Magazine back in Virginia.  Nothing major but I feel like they are not asking me what they really need to know.  I keep worrying about them!

Watching a fantastic red sunrise and sipping hot coffee, we plan the first day of fun.  It is Saturday.  However, in the ME, Friday is the religious day of the week and Saturday is the day you relax and do something pleasurable.  We plan a trip to the Manama Souq for fun.  Souq means an open-air market place.  The Manama Souq has many, many streets lined with shops.

When Doug has been in the ME before, he went to the gold Souq in Saudi Arabia and purchased a gold ankle bracelet for me.  Today we are going to a Souq that has a myriad of types of stores.  It is a very strange place.  Row after row of vendors that often are selling the very same merchandise.

When we arrive, l laugh because the very first place we see is a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.  There is a Hardee's restaurant, Papa John’s and Dairy Queen.  The western world has found it’s way around the globe.


Spices and grains.

The fabrics are fascinating.  I wish I could think of a great use for some of the fabrics.  Maybe I will have a dress made before I leave.

The only purchase I make is a set of 5 bowls that I call the camel bowels. I ask a clerk the price for 4. The merchant (his boss) says they are only sold in groups of 5.  And, the price he quotes me is less than the price originally quoted by the clerk for only 4 bowls.  Ok, I will take the 5 at the lower price. I am a visitor in a strange land, and I won't ask questions.

I think they are adorable and an item I want to take home with me when we leave.  Doug thinks they are silly.  The shopkeeper assures me they are dishwasher and microwave safe.  I am already thinking of going back to buy a bigger camel bowl and making it a salad bowl set.  Doug is not sure it is a safe place for me to go alone or to go alone with another woman.  I guess I will have to drag him out again.

My first shopping experience in Bahrain is a success.  I am not surprised.  Shopping is something I do well.  Maybe another trip to the gold Souq is something I should put on Doug’s calendar.


No comments:

Post a Comment