The Centre of the Cup


Our bikes have been in the shadows on the island long enough and we decide to drag them out, me via elevator and Caleb down the stairs, into the Bahrain sunshine. First, we ride to Home Box in the Oasis Mall to look for a new dispenser for our tea jug because out of all the moves and different companies (this time) that is the only thing that got misplaced or broken… that we know of. There’s no way of knowing about the status of our stuff in storage for a few more years if Caleb gets the retirement plan he hopes for. 


I saw a nice double-stacked drink jug set that we could buy but we had left our trusty shopping backpack at the house so Caleb decided he would look for the part online. I’m glad he was determined to get me to see the Women’s Day inspired exhibit at the Art Centre so we rode our bikes there next. It still looked closed but there was a guy behind the counter, a security guard beside him, and a woman on the phone in an office. To the left, everything was written in Arabic and was about Abdullah Yousif and his career from visual arts to the theatre to TV and radio in the 70s. I’d love to see one of the plays performed today.


There were also a lot of women portrayed in the beautiful art amongst the collage and newspaper copies of the famous actor. A break in the middle of the centre has me looking through their shelves of books, half in English and half in Arabic, before walking to the right side where the exhibit shows what it means to be a successful Bahraini woman — some women without faces and others in work uniforms and posing with children. We don’t recognize the women being honored — Shaikha Marwa Al Khalifa, Captain Yasmeen Fraidoon, Shaikha Al Shaiba, Alia Al Moayed and the photographers who share their work — Waheeda Malullah, etc.


The ride home will end with me getting a small scab and a bruise from that time I almost got hit by a bus because it was the only vehicle at the intersection that didn’t go straight (no blinker either). I should concentrate on my virtues while atop my wheels. We will spend the evening playing Skip-Bo — a childhood favorite that I remember Mom teaching me how to play so I can beat Caleb most of the time — and Orbis by Chester Hendrix, made in 2003 with shiny rocks on a circular game mat that kill each other (like racing checkers), not the new 2018 Orbis by Tim Armstrong with 15 rounds of gods creating a universe.


In sports-related news, you can watch “the game” of whatever you’re into at a bar or happen to see guys playing cricket in a dirt lot. I was unaware of, until tonight, the 49-year history of the Arabian Gulf Cup in which Bahrain just won for the first time leaving Yemen the only one now out of the eight participating countries without a championship. I’m sure if I didn’t live so close to the three hours of honking that followed the win, I still might not know, but congratulations on the holiday awarded to the government, public offices, and schools the next day to celebrate the win.

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