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Monday, September 6, 2010

Settling in...

Well, we can see how this goes! I decided to start a blog for my friends and family to keep track of our adventures.

As displaced as moving can make you feel, this has been baptism by fire more so than usual. Shortly after moving the family to Bahrain and getting settled in a villa, Ramadan started. You may ask how this affects the day to day life of a non-Muslim housewife and her brood. August is oppressively hot, hotter then many can fathom with the exception of our boys in uniform. It is not, thank the Lord, as hot as Iraq. Keeping that in mind, it is illegal to drink or eat anything in public after sunrise or before sunset. Not even water. The are exemptions- the elderly, children, and pregnant or nursing women. However, that will not be stamped on your forehead. It will not stop someone from scolding you or worse, getting pulled over. So we must take intermittent sips between stop lights or in parking lots while hiding and slouching in the seat. Bob says it reminds him of High School, only the can of beer is replaced with our Camelbak water bottles.

The other issue is restaurants. NOTHING is open until sundown. Then the feasting begins. Before that, there is nary a cup of coffee or snack to be found unless you are in your own kitchen.
The Iftar buffets are plentiful and offered in varying cuisines and prices. They range from grand feasts under beachfront, air-conditioned tents or penthouse restaurants for 14 BD (about $38) to a small Indian/ Chinese buffet in a little local place for 2.5 BD(about $6.50). Regardless, the food is plentiful and the traffic is frantic at sundown. Even McDonald's offers an Iftar meal, not a buffet of course.

Because of these restrictions, we have been limited during the weekend for family adventures. There are camel farms, water parks, a wildlife preserve, pottery villages, and some decent beaches. But the fact that Bob would not be allowed to drink any water (or myself with any comfort) we must bide our time.

We are happy with our new home. It is big to the silly degree and we have a good rapport with our landlord.Our part-time housemaid Najma is a blessing with all of these floors and toilets!
We had our first social gathering this passed weekend. We had a rug flop hosted by Abdul and Abdul from Oasis Carpets. It was great fun and we had a lot of people in our home! Abdul caters the event from a local restaurant. Then while the guest are eating drinking and mingling, he unloads 200 rugs into my living room. We get a lesson on the different types of rugs. There are rug regions,styles, and qualities throughout the Middle East and Asia. He sold a lot of rugs and gave out even more business cards. I think it was a fun evening for all of us.

The girls have started school at the Bahrain School in Juffair. This is a Dept. of Defense School that also takes international students. It seems to be a good school. The grounds are stunning. Lush and green unlike the rest of the island. There is also a huge swimming pool.The girls take the bus which is guarded by two armed Ghurkas (Nepalese troops). They have quickly made friends and are adjusting nicely as I knew they would.

So, considering that it took us three days to arrive, a month to find a house, and almost 2 months to get our car, I think I am doing OK. I have the book club up and running, our first meeting next week. I have met a lot of great ladies and know that this will be a very interesting 2 years. Camel sausages are a no, date syrup is a yes. Shwarma yes, Vitmo no. Rugs, sheesha, rose water,the mixed grill...yes,yes,yes,yes. The McTasty no, the chicken Big Mac yes. Any questions?

6 comments:

  1. Love this...
    Can't wait to see more writings of your adventures!
    Peace and Blessings!
    ~Terri McIntosh-Matus

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  2. I love tellin hubby what you're up to... mostly because almost every time he pauses with this "you know someone in Bahrain?!?" look :-P I admire you - there's no way I'd survive in the heat you're experiencing. Everyone says I would adjust... I'm pretty sure I'd voluntarily lay down and die. lol.

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  3. In Bob's jar-head terms... "practice solar avoidance discipline". In other word stay out of the sun when at all possible. Run to the shade...walk...run to the next shade...walk. No playing outside, period. The pool on base and the playground at school are covered.With Clara's Scandinavian coloring (total cracker)she would be doomed.

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  4. I just wanna know what yer doing there!!!! You said you're an O-wife, but for him to be in charge of the embassy I thought he had to be a SNCO. ????

    Do tell!!!!

    Ps.. yes, I'm a former Marine married to a former Marine who now has a Marine at DLI. WOOT!!! Looking forward to your stories...and tell your husband we said HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARINE... it might already be Wednesday your-time. :)

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  5. Sorry I didn't see your comment. He is not on embassy "duty" but here in another capacity. Security forces which includes all the embassies in the ME.

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