Said moved to Riyadh after getting married to his wife in Turkey (she has family there) and had driven the four and a half hours to come visit. We agreed to meet at 10ish and I was on schedule to meet that time until I went on base to get the utilities check since Visa wouldn’t approve our card through the Electricity and Water Authority (plus municipality tax of 10% total rent) and got sidetracked by a “health” fair where there was candy at every booth except the dentist and it was more of a services offered awareness where I was able to get a reflective band for Caleb when he’s able to ride his bike to work, as it’s required along with a helmet and a bell.
The event looked more like a science fair to me but I was able to look into a machine that gauged my eyesight (still good), get a quarter of a wheat bagel with egg and cheese, and get a book recommendation from the lady running the air quality booth — cities have a long way to go in cleaning up one of the fundamental needs of human survival, such as the case with Bahrain allowing cars to idle for hours and block traffic as they honk for service from cold stores and restaurants.
Anyway, Said picks me up to join him on a trip to a government office to get his residence sticker put into his new passport. We walk up to a man at the service counter and he says this should be done on the causeway or at the airport to save time, but he’ll see what he can do. He comes back after two minutes and tells Said to go home and then we have a laugh as we realize just how quickly we were able to bypass going back and forth to ‘merge’ the data and paid nothing without waiting in line or on the system that is down.
We celebrate by having lunch at Hash House in Adliya and split some wonton tacos and rice wrapped in banana leaf. We’ll get some matcha tea across the street at Dose Cafe before he’s off to a business meeting and I’m hand-in-hand with Caleb on our way to yet another sale and deal on base — anything to keep us coming back for more and I’m not going to complain. I got a new pair of owl earrings from one of their pop-up booths and the man rewired the fish hook backs to ensure my ears wouldn’t get irritated.