The Slowest Morning

desert coffee, anyone?

desert coffee, anyone?

checking to see what we need to get the rental car on base

the must haves for a base pass (for our rental car)

I slept in, ordered a pancake so I could listen to the foreign guys a bit longer, and sat by Sparky’s bowl to make sure he ate breakfast. I took the dogs out for their afternoon walk and there was Sara’s Pampered Pets Paradise Mobile Grooming van. I asked if she had nail clippers. She stopped what she was doing, trimming a large dog with lots of little black hairs, to cut Piggy’s long nails – free of charge! I made sure to find her on Facebook and share the news of how friendly and knowledgeable she is about the pet world.

gym class schedule

gym class schedule

stairs in the Freedom Souq

stairs in the Freedom Souq

I leave the house after 11am, go by the Personal Property Office and get some paperwork about the arrival of our things. They are due here on July 22, but we need to give them 7-10 days to go through customs. They must be more thorough with shipments than they are with what people sneak in their bags through the airport. We will see. Went by housing and turned in TLA, then went to the NEX to look at perfume, purses, and PlayStation’s – all the things I don’t usually shop for. I would’ve gotten a new clutch if it hadn’t cost $40. I can get two purses for that price. The perfume on base is $60 and off base can be bought for $12.

more advice on base

more advice on base

walking down American Alley

walking down American Alley

I sat in one of the big chairs along the wall, the ones with someone else’s butt marks already in them, to read through the MWR monthly for July and saw Nikki who was also running errands while waiting on her husband. I decided to walk American Alley while I waited. Inside a store that sells all handmade items – rugs, lamps, trinkets – I noticed a cup similar to the one we had bought the other day and texted Caleb that we need to haggle better because we overpaid.

just another brick in the wall

just another brick in the wall

just another plant in the desert

just another plant in the desert

I walked through a small mart that sold drinks, candy, ice cream, canned meats, chips and all things in-between. I bought two drinks to try – lychee and a Freez – and some jelly beans because I knew they wouldn’t melt in my bag. Then I walked into Mega Mart and went upstairs where I tried on a green swimsuit. The body was cute, but the top didn’t fit right. Then I looked through their kitchen, bathroom, and kid sections. I was hoping to find more books, but I did get a woman to smile at me when she said hi. Downstairs I saw curry flavoured noodles, along with the tomato ones Sonal sells at Indo-Euro, and cheesy ones too.

just another unwanted cone

just another unwanted cone

just another sign on a fence

just another sign on a fence

I walked back to base with my liquid treat. At the gate the first guard told me the second guard would ask me a question. The first one was, “You don’t know the answer?” to what? The second was, “How many stripes are on the American Flag?” and of course I gave a smart-ass remark. That would be cool though if it was like Life of Brian where you have to get the answer right to proceed.

just more stickers on a window

military stickers on a shop window

just another hand carved wooden chandelier

hand carved wooden chandelier

I opened my drink inside the gate, downed half of its bubbly goodness, thought I screwed the top back on, put it in my bag, and took it back out again when I felt it running down my back. I only lost an ounce or two, but I suppose now is as good a time as any to wash my bag. I know it needs it, especially now that it’s covered in sticky drink. I walked over to the NEX where the early bingo was starting and saw Nikki standing in line. I texted Caleb and he was getting off the boat and was ready to go home. I met him in the car in the parking lot.

sign on Mega Mart door

sign on MegaMart door

MegaMart's bulk section

MegaMart’s bulk section

Fed the dogs and gave myself some water and the rest of the Port Salut cheese. We watched some movie to pass the time until about 8:30. We headed to the Bab Al Bahrain Mall aka Manama Souq. We went inside, went upstairs, and the Lantern Event (advertised on fliers on light poles) was still setting up. We went into the first store on the corner and looked at wooden holders for fruits and candies, rugs, a tea set that I want, jewelry, and some cologne. I ended up getting a small shiny bottle full of Tea Rose oil. Downstairs we got a bowl of strawberry-lemon and cheesecake gelato to share.

MegaMart clothing

MegaMart clothing

school supplies with sampling wall

school supplies with sampling wall

Outside I showed Caleb where Amy had bought cologne for her husband and he didn’t decline the offer to buy both when the guy started selling to us. The more frequent the customer, the better the deal. Then we passed a guy selling water for 100 fils. I gave him 200. We walked around some more to enjoy the sights and smells. We had parked in the dirt lot and got the chance to walk by the open mosque and hear the praying. I don’t think the men appreciated us staring in as they put their shoes on, but that’s all we could see and no pictures were taken.

water selection: fumitory, palm, pollen, diabetic, alheaj, olive

water selection: fumitory, palm, pollen, diabetic, alheaj, olive

perhaps another park

perhaps another park

I was going to take Caleb past the lit up sports center, but it’s closer to the Souq than I realised, which would mean turning around so close to home, and it was already 10:30 – not that it’s late, but we do have a schedule to keep tomorrow.

a traditional caffee shop

a traditional caffee shop

part of the souq

part of the souq

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