Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Carpet and Adventure on the Road

Wednesday is ML’s 4th day in Bahrain and it started absolutely wonderful.  ML slept in just a bit – not too much but enough I thought maybe she would feel better. Last night she stayed up really late doing a physics assignment.

We went over to what I call “carpet alley” where there are a large number of carpet stores grouped together. My favorite is Oasis Carpets. Abdulla, the owner has helped me with several of my own carpets and I have taken many new expats to him for carpets.

The Oasis shop is a treat for the senses. 

Abdulla helped educate ML on carpets while his helpers pulled out a bunch of rugs. ML finally narrowed it down to 4 rugs and then only 2. It took a while but she finally picked her favorite.

ML learned about the regions where carpets are made.
She finally went with the one on the right because it has some navy in it to match her room in the honors dorm at college.
We visited a little antique shop next door for some souvenirs and then headed out to explore the island just a bit.  We made a tour of Awaji Island and then a trip to Lu Lu Hypermart.

We stopped in at Geant Market and picked up a few things and then headed towards the flat.

Picture was taken in 2007 and nothing much has changed.

ML reminded me we were to make a stop at the “sin closet.”  This is what we call the pork room at a few of the grocery stores. Pork is forbidden in the Muslim faith so only a couple of grocery stores carry it and they only carry a little.  The “closet” where they hide it is always hard to find and small.

D likes ham sandwiches so I always try to keep some sliced ham in the refrigerator.  ML loves bacon, so we had to have bacon on hand while she is visiting.

We turned the car in the direction of the biggest Alosra store on the island down the Budaiya Highway.

Usually I avoid Budaiya Highway after 2PM because you never now when the local thugs might light tires on fire in the road.  “Thugs” is how the local newspaper refers to the young people who protest the government in Bahrain. Most of the expats don’t pay much attention to them. In fact, one young man told me he drove his SUV over the burning tires one time when they were on fire.

The police always come and arrest the thugs, but they seem to burn tires on the road all the time as a way of protesting something, I am just not sure what.

ML and I are driving down Budaiya Highway and I point out to her where the road is really rough and black. “Here is where they have burned some tires in the road.”

And, then she points ahead and says, “They are burning tires right there.”

Sure enough right in front of us on the other side of the 4 lane divided road there are 6 or 8 people dressed all in black throwing gasoline over the top of a row of tires laying across the road. We are actually driving right by them as they tossed more gasoline on the pile of tires.

NO!  I did not take these photos.  However, this is how it looked.  These photos came from images online.
I panicked and turned off at the very next road away from Budaiya Highway thinking I might be able to double back and just go home.  However the road eventually was blocked with construction and we could not find our way back to the Budaiya Highway.

Nervously, I finally turned the car around and headed back the way we came.

Back on Budaiya Highway the traffic was moving and I could not see any heavy smoke on the road. I drove on towards the grocery store and away from the tires.  ML got mad at me when I nervously laughed about the incident. I think she was stressed out.  Inside I was as well.

We purchased our pork and started back towards home on the Budaiya Highway. I had my fingers crossed the tires would be gone.

I think ML was getting tired of posing for me. So here is the ham section with a reluctant ML standing in front of it.
As we came back to the place in the road where the tires had been, I saw 3 large police vehicles over on the side of the road and fragments of rubber still smoldering on the center island and shoulder on the right side of the road. The fire was not completely out but traffic was moving at speed. We passed on by.

I think I will return to my policy of not going down Budaiya Highway after 2PM.

Tomorrow we leave for Dubai and our trip there to visit the Burj Kalif. We are all very excited.

I feel great relief to have avoided the tire burning. I don’t think ML will forget that experience.



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