We got home last night and sat at the table to unwind. I checked Facebook – a great way to keep in touch with people in the States and with what’s current here. San Diego had a lot of websites for things to do there, but it was overwhelming, not always current, and particular about what places it covered. Here, the websites all have the same information, though sometimes vague, and all those links have Facebook pages so I can be in the know.
On my home page were some pictures of Amy and her son, Nick, enjoying the Fourth of July event on base. There was a watermelon eating competition that he won, a large bounce house, and pictures with the captain of the base with his eyes closed for all the winners – chili and apple pie eating too. Plenty of red, white, and blue and laughing and music. I heard one of the guys on base was supposed to be flying to Germany to enjoy fireworks – something about flaming tires and Molotov cocktails make them a bit more scary here.
So this morning… I roll over and look at my pillow. Piggy has curled herself up there and is busy sleeping. I tap Caleb’s arm furiously to get his attention before she moves. When I realize she’s not going anywhere I sneak out of bed and grab my phone, turn on the flash, and take a picture of a black square. My phone reproduces her image in a bright white light reflected off the place where my head just was. I could go back to sleep at 4:45, but decide to get up and Sparky goes to sleep on the couch – so he can keep an eye on me.
We go for a walk at 7:15am, Sparky and I. We are passed by Caleb and Piggy on our way in. I wait for Caleb to come back from the hotel lobby with our dog that he was showing to some lady, grab a banana and the room key, and walk to breakfast past the men who are filling the corner between our room, the office, and parking lot. Puppies will get a boiled egg and hash brown. There are a lot of things I would like to do today, but they are either closed or off-limits for the holiday.
We head towards the Saar Burial Mounds and I turn at a sign for an archeological site. A man in a booth points out the window for us to park in the shade behind his car. He comes out to greet us and asks what nationality we are. I enjoy that he points to himself saying, “Bahrain” and then points to us. The language barrier can be fun as long as no violence (i.e. car accident) is involved. We walk around a site built in 1900 BC and walk up these modern steps for a wide view and realize those pretty looking flower-stickers we saw earlier are now stuck in our shoes and have given us new soles. I take out the large pieces, most of them, and then we leave.
There is a wall enclosing the mounds about a block or two away, but we see no way of getting in other than climbing over the brick wall, so we drive instead to the A’ali Burial Mounds where we can walk around and peek into some of the holes. I would be using a long prosthetic arm to reach in there as my claustrophobia would get the better of me in the tiny, dark, rock-covered hole in the desert. It feels neat to be among these large piles knowing little of what is buried underneath.
I backed into the parking spot so the shade gives us some reprieve from the heat as we can only imagine the water we will be drinking later. We stop at Waqif Central Market on the way home, where I think we may buy some fruit, but when we walk up all the men stand up by their fruit stands – and there are ten of them in each direction. The cherries and mangoes look good, but buying temptation and carrying it around just seems wrong. In the back is the bird (cages) stores – ducks, pigeons, chickens, and doves.
At home we can guzzle some water down, eat some crackers with guacamole and Port Salut cheese while we cool off and relax. We’ve decided to spend the rest of the day shopping. Caleb needs pants and I’m still in the market for a long sleeve swimsuit. He ends up with five shirts, I get three outfits, we haggle for some onyx mini-goblets, and buy some more body wash. We can smell ourselves and need to wash more often – like every time we come inside covered in sweat.
It’s 4:30 when a little girl passes us holding her dad’s hand and complaining slowly, “I want food.” And that just gets us thinking about it. Matters aren’t helped much when we see kids pass us eating cookies and chips and candies because kids don’t have to fast, but get rewarded if they do. Restaurants start setting up and the smell is what gets us. I quickly switch from spending mode to must find food and water now. We went first to the Bahrain Mall – all too expensive for us, and ended up spending most of our time wandering the three levels of the City Centre.
We are able to find a quick exit and the parking lot is emptying into the streets so people can get in line at the buffet. It’s 6 o’clock. When we get home our mindset is temporarily changed. We walk the dogs, take a shower, and then I feed the dogs while Caleb makes dinner – a large pot of Ramen with mixed veggies and eggs. We eat that and try to watch The Source Code – a burned DVD – ones that are popularly sold around here, but the movie kept skipping and pausing on its own, so we turned it off. I put on the Simpsons while we put away our new clothes and reorganised our closet. After that we settled down to watch The Juror – a film with a young Alec Baldwin in it.