Sunday, January 4, 2009

When in Rome

As we all went to bed around 8:00am, we Americans found cause to sleep until 3:00, and when asked later, it seems the natives reported to work at noon and worked their full shifts. When greeted by Skandaar at 5:00, he was still as spry and kind as he could be. Tonight we were headed to a family friend’s cocktail party followed by CafĂ© Italia. This cocktail party could only be related to something seem on MTV’s cribs, the show about celebrity mansions. With five tables of food on red satin table clothes, spread before their ocean front land, we were instructed to save room for dinner. Instead we strayed from the food all together and stuck to mingling.
The reoccurring question of the trip has been “how do you like Bahrain?” With such grandeur and kindness it is hard to answer anything less than amazing or incredible. Most follow-up statements are pleas to return home and promote their country. I have no reason to think that this beautiful island should have an identity complex and yet it seems to suffer from one. By 7:30 the doorbell to the three story house rings and Skandaar awaits once more to deliver us to another great meal.
It is traditional to eat very late in Bahrain, but for the American visitors they are willing to make an exception and start at 8:00 with the standard meal lasting four hours, and always resulting in our bellies being too full. After the meal we are taken to the Al-Sharif home and escorted to their pool side game room for poker and fun. The men are invited to join a 100BD game which is a currency of 1DB=2.6$, while the women were made drinks and praised. The game ended around 2:00 with no American man left in the final rounds. As we went home via Skandaar laughing about the loss of money we determined that it was like the old saying, “when in Rome…”

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