I didn’t get out of bed until five minutes to 6am. It felt great. We’re on our way to the ship when Caleb gets a call from Douglas. He’s still at his hotel and needs the duty driver to come get him. I suggest it will be quicker if we do and I get them both to work by 6:30am. I eat an early breakfast, and notice someone else was in there before 6:50. I take a shower and then give the dogs their anti-bug chews and oily drops on their back. It will be nice to have their medication back – one small pill covered in peanut butter.
I let the internet suck away two hours of my life. I take the dogs out to pee and leave here at 9:30. I’m on my way to the library when two guys on a golf cart on base reverse and look my direction. I tell them I’ve seen rubbernecking before, but never reversing. They tell me they were looking at a sign. I bet, but it gave us all a good laugh.
I get to the library at 10am exactly and the two volunteers have no idea what the cross-stitch thing is. I ask the lady inside and she told me she cancelled because she has things to do – like talk to your friend and watch books!! You’re a librarian. I told her it was fine. I will wait till my things get here and do it by myself. I was just hoping someone else was interested so I could make a friend.
On my way to the NEX I pass the same two guys. I guess it’s their job to update the DUI sign with current numbers of the rank of who got in trouble, how many days it’s been since the last person got in trouble, etc. I’m really getting adjusted here as I don’t realize how hot it is until I step inside and can feel the sweat all over my body and beading down my forehead threatening to dive-bomb my eyes.
I walked all the way to the back to go in, so I walk to the gym side upstairs (closer to the gate and where I parked the car) and sit entertaining myself by people watching – who will take the elevator and who will take the stairs. I was going to get a picture of the sign downstairs that says, “Get exercise. The elevator is for handicap and heavy packages or carts” but the door opened and a small, very capable, guy stepped off as a woman approached and felt the need to tell me that she was feeling lazy today – like I care.
I leave my seat at 10:50 to head to Bennigan’s. I get there at 11:10 which gives me time to go to the bathroom and get seated in the air-conditioned bar with the smokers. I grab my stuff and get out of there to join the two guys enjoying their lunch. They were the ones that asked that the door be closed because it was starting to bother them. I text the girls to make sure I’m at the right one and then Yanell with Lucas and Nicki walk in.
We sit at a table for six and the waitress brings the boss’ fan down to help keep us (the baby and expectant mother) cool while the A/C gets cleaned. Amy and Nick show up the same time as Reika and we add another table, and then add another when Christie arrives with her three kids – Mark, Joselynne, Angel. Everyone brought presents but me… Oops! I thought we would be bringing them at dinner and I’m used to being invited across the street just to help eat cake. I’ve forgotten my party manners.
We order our drinks – me a lemonade that I fill half with my water – and then order our food. I’m not the only one to get the apple walnut salad. After some time the waitress comes out to tell us that they are out of mac-n-cheese – the whole reason we came because it’s Angel’s favorite dish. She seems to be ok with ordering not one, but two, burgers (sliders) and while we wait for the food Angel opens her presents. She got plenty of Play-Doh, a Hello Kitty swimsuit, a My Little Pony, three cute dresses, and some cash among other things. She liked the stickers the best.
All the sliders, a Reuben, and Monte Cristo’s come out before the two large salads. I eat all the romaine and Yanell eats all the spinach. I was wondering how we were going to split the check, but the waitress brought each of us our own. When I handed her the bill with cash she asked if I ordered a water – no, that’s the water I brought in and nothing else is said. That is, until she hands me Saudi riyals. Caleb told me to be careful of this because of the exchange rate so I asked for change. Their five ‘dollar’ bill is only worth 500 fils in Bahrain (half a dinar). I have fun enough with two currencies in my wallet.
We stood up to leave and grab all the bags when Christy remembered that she brought a cake. The waitress brought a candle and a lighter and Angel blew it out before we could sing. Once the song was done she got to do it again. Christy cut the cake open to see inside and we all agreed we could have it at the house later when we’re not so full.
I waste three hours at the house and then Reika sends me the address for Christie’s. I feel bad not bringing any gifts or drinks or snacks, but I did ask. She lives five minutes from my house in a large complex. I park out front next to a dumpster and ring the bell. It sounds extravagant and a man opens the gate. I stumble to tell him I must have the wrong door, but he is so kind as to tell me the lady I’m looking for with three kids lives next door.
I ring the bell and hear Angel’s voice. I’m glad to know I’m at the right door. I meet Christie’s husband, Sergio, and their friends Sabi from Pakistan and Aaron, nicknamed Courtney, from the Gladiator. Some other guys from the Gladiator show up to eat, have a drink, hang out with Angel and leave. On the menu is meat and more flesh and I’m wondering how to break the news, but I don’t want something like that to ruin the night when I’m surprised to hear that there will be camel to eat. Now I have something new to try. I have an appetizer of chips and spicy homemade salsa and a Yuengling.
I thought the other wives would show up, but the command policy keeps them from bringing their husbands – whom were all home tonight except mine, but even then he’s from a different ship. My time is split between playing doctor and building Lego houses with Angel, and talking with the adults. Angel got two orange ball things out of the fridge and told me to get my own so I could try it. Christie cut it open and I was expecting juice so some landed on the floor. It’s somewhat gelatinous and definitely a different texture, but nothing bad. I won’t need to try another one.
Christie’s kids are smart and respectful. We hang out while the host couple and others go to the bakery to watch the bread bake that will be used for dinner. I went to the third floor and listened to the prayers, got a panorama of the view, and saw the guys on the grill. The kids and some of the guys were in and out of the pool that is cooled in its own outdoor room. Christie’s house is phenomenal. It has three living rooms downstairs and one upstairs for the kids. Back in the kitchen with Angel, “My toe cut itself so I need a banana.” I love the excuse to eat something healthy, not thinking it might ruin her appetite for later.
I have a pineapple juice and coconut vodka drink with dinner – camel meat, some butter chicken that Sabi made, and fresh-baked tortilla-ish bread. I was able to sample the meat first and dip it in the sauce. It was nice when it was sliced thin. I was given a small chunk, but it’s been so long since I’ve had to tear meat apart with my teeth. It made me feel like a cave woman, part barbaric and part sexy; and I had a napkin to wipe my face instead of a loin cloth or my arm.
After that it was time for cake. It had a picture of Frozen characters on it and pineapple in the middle. It took Angel three times before she could settle down enough to eat half of hers. I was surprised to see her awake still at 11:30pm and hadn’t realised the time had flown by. I went to leave when Sabi went home, but Angel wanted me to stay a moment longer – just long enough to watch her fall in the pool trying to get one of the half air/half water balloons that her brother had thrown in there.
The balloons smelled like kerosene and were quite tough, and pink with white polka dots. Josie really likes my bag. I debate giving it to her when my other bags get here. Christie walked me out and we talked until 1:30. I wish I could’ve recorded more of the evening. I had a great time. As I drove away I smiled to myself – I was out past curfew again. I’m glad it’s a weekend but I still have to pick up Caleb in the morning. The guard was still able to find me a spot in the top lot and when I said thank you he said, “You’re always welcome.”