Katrin requested to stay at my place, giving me a week’s notice, as her host in Doha suggested she stay with Melanie, whom I know, but who didn’t want to be bothered just two days before her skiing trip in Italy. I can understand that, and I was nervous at my first chance to show someone around the island as I had plans to stay in Friday and didn’t want to bore her. I finally agreed and gave her my whatsapp number. I was excited about the opportunity to host someone who also blogs and has taken advantage of her youth and freedom to travel – learning so much and doing what she loves.
Her flight is due to arrive Thursday morning at 12:30am. I pick up Ali and Caleb around 6:30pm for dinner at Rendezvous, an Indian buffet for 6BD. We shared the hari chutney with papadum and the plate of dessert, but I left the men to their meaty diets while I stuck to the salads. Caleb had to work in the morning and wasn’t in the mood to keep us company till midnight, so I dropped him at the house and we went to Farid’s at 9pm.
We shared juice and stories and then settled in for some Weird Al parodies on YouTube before the guys got on their phones at 11:30 – one tired and the other bored. Time to go -I’ve got to be at the airport at midnight. I offered to drop Ali back to his car, but he was willing to stick out the wait with me. I would appreciate this more after Katrin landed at 12:30, but wouldn’t get through customs till 2am. She told them she’s a travel writer who does tour guides via horse in Iceland. She could honestly leave her blog out as she doesn’t get paid for it and isn’t going to use it politically.
Ali bought a Lindt HELLO Strawberry Cheesecake bar that we cracked open as Katrin walked up. She was awesome from the second we met, even when Ali was coming on a bit strong in the beginning with the cussing and insults – whether serious or not. I dropped him to his car and then we enjoyed a more quieted conversation that would last till 3:30am when she would shower and I would walk dogs. She thinks the blind dogs are cute and gifted me with a bottle of white wine.
I woke up at 10am and knocked on her door. She wanted to exchange cash so we walked on base (another to add to her list) and were done at 11:20am. We went to Ric’s Kountry Kitchen for breakfast and she ordered the combo platter – Tex Mex on nachos, and a blueberry short-stack for me. We finish breakfast at 12:40pm and go by the house to drop the leftovers. I use the wifi to call Casa Mexicana and make a reservation for eight people at 8pm – Mel wants to meet Katrin who will be in the mood for margaritas later.
Caleb walks in the door at 1pm and I invite him along but he has work to do. We leave for the Royal Camel Farm in Janabiyah and Katrin’s the one to notice the triangular camel penis sheath that’s pointing backwards to pee – and we watch it do so for three minutes. Ali meets us there at 2pm, and we drop his car at Alosra where we buy plenty of drinks and him some lunch and a blueberry cheesecake to share at Abu Subh Beach – more of a harbor and park, but we stand and talk in the wind enjoying the view.
Ali agrees to drive us to the causeway where the fee has gone up 500 fils. He has to do this for work; but for us it’s a chance to see ocean, drive without traffic, and get as close to Saudi as possible without having family or a job to get us a visa in. We get a few pictures, walk through McD’s to see the traffic side, and she’s ready to go. We get to the Qal’at al-Bahrain at 4:30pm and walk around for 40 minutes. We drive around the village to find horses to ride and the chicken farmer is no help with directions. We’ll get to watch some cowboys ride by on the beach near the fort at sunset.
Katrin had her Mexican food fix this morning so she wants to change dinner plans. We agree to Da Rae Jung – a mix of Korean and Thai, and walking distance from Farid’s who decides not to join us, but Caleb does. We get there at 7pm and order beef broccoli, vermicelli noodles, and something with rice. The food disappears and we’re done by 8pm and on our way to Casa Mexicana. We’re late, but the others aren’t here to know that. We order a margarita pitcher and a neapolitan ice cream with banana while we wait.
Mel and Karim show up, and he leaves before the sombrero pictures are taken. Mel and Caleb order food, and Ali sings karaoke while we wait on Julie and Dustin to arrive at 9:20pm before we leave. Caleb has to work in the morning and we’ve got other plans. Mel brought her PADI manual and I’m grateful, though she’s upset we’re not eating and I’m ok with taking the blame so my guest doesn’t have to.
I drop Katrin and Ali at Baan Saeng Thai to meet with Pascal and the guys while I drop Caleb which takes 30 minutes – great timing for a weekend. Frank, Azazel, and Chris, and a lady friend who was a bit reserved when the personal questions (college lesbian experience) came about had joined Pascal for dinner. I was surprised to see Chris so debatable with Katrin, but she blends into any situation. They had finished the buffet and Frank and Azazel went for more oranges and sweets to share before we left at 11:30pm and split ways to continue with our plans for the evening.
Ozzy and Said had been waiting at Farid’s because they didn’t have a ride, but when we got there they had already walked to Old Beams, so we did too. We met them downstairs, along with one of Ozzy’s friends, and moved upstairs to our own non-smoking room – no vaping either. Farid ordered a burger, Ali biryani, and Ozzy a sizzling chicken, but sadly with no bread. The girls ordered a glass of wine each and for the second time this evening I had to tell Katrin to chug her drink because it was time to go.
Ali had brought his car after the fort to our place when we picked up Caleb, so it was easy to drop him after we walked back to my car at Farid’s at 1:30am. I know Caleb has duty in the morning and I’m hoping he’ll let me sleep in because he doesn’t have turnover till late or because he’ll take his bike and I’m going to bed at 2am.