Well I have been living in Bahrain for about 50 days now, and I am ready to head back to the United States. It is a little different living over here, most of the people are very nice, many cannot drive let alone stay in any lane on the road. Many drivers like to honk their horns; which can get a little annoying at times, especially when the light is just about to turn green and just incase you had not noticed that it was turning green they wanted to let you know by honking their horn. I have learned that if you can drive on it people will, no matter if it is the road or not, shoulders are almost like an extra lane for many people, even the dirt along the road can become an extension of the road for many people. I have seen a 3 lane road turn into a 5 lane road, with people all over the place, and as close to each other as possible with out hitting one another.
The dust in the air is awful at times and my eyes have been red the entire time I have been here, and my nose has been stopped up as well on several occasions. The weather has been fairly nice, compared to Knoxville Tennessee, which it has been snowing and raining there.
Have not had too many problems finding something to eat, there are dozens of American restaurants here. There is even a street referred to as American Alley (next to the Navy Base) and another called Shawarma Alley due to the multiple ( I believe 4) food stands located to each other on the small road.
- Pizza Hut
- Papa Johns
- Burger King
- Polo Campero
- PotBelly sandwiches
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Gloria Jeans
- Aunt Annie
- Baskin Robins
- Cold Stone Creamery
There are probably places I am forgetting but these are the ones I have seen an can remember at the present time. I was actually surprised at the amount of American food places to eat at. Plus they all seem to have delivery which is usually guys on motorcycles and a box attached to the back of the bike.
Chili's Delivery driver, would love to have this back home, getting chips and salsa delivered would be awsome.
There is a large Police and Military presence around town, and at times there are demonstrations.
Police and Military parked along the road all over the place.
Small demonstration I ran into driving down the road one day. police where shooting tear gas, demonstrators throwing rocks.
All in all it has been a decent trip, seen many interesting places, and people, but it is time to head home. The prices are not any cheaper like many people have told me they would be, in some cases they are the same or a little higher. It does seem to be cheaper due to the prices but when 1 Dinar is equal to 2.5624 US Dollars, that 5 Dinar item is actually 13.26 USD. I can get a Big Mac combo meal (small drink and fries) for 1.500BHD which is $3.98 USD a little cheaper than the US prices I believe, but the drink and fry sizes are smaller portions which would make up the difference in price.
Purchasing local items can be fairly cheap, but anything that is shipped in from other countries, is generally not cheaper. Purchasing Kraft cheese compared to local cheese is about double the price in some cases.
Many of the local shops (not grocery stores, or food places) expect you to haggle with them over prices of some items, so they will give you a high price when you ask. You have to know the value of the item before hand to get a good price, which is not always easy to do. Places near the Navy base, or other Expat areas are generally going to try to get you to pay more than it is worth, because they know you will pay it.
Picked up some snack to bring back with me, samboosa, mahtai, and some Fisthakiya.
Picked up a few items for my oldest son who is getting into cooking for his friends, and himself. He can cook an Indian style meal for his friends to try.
Picked up a few smal rugs for family and friends as gifts, they were 3BHD a piece or about $8.00 USD, they are about 12'x12' in size, and are all hand made locally .
Spent a lot of time traveling around to all of the shop areas, and looking at all of the different items that are for sale, many are fakes of original items, or cheap knock offs. Some items are cheap tourst items, that they try to sell for a premium. There are many shops located all over the city, and can be as small as a single room or as large as a full department store. You name it you can probably find it here, not sure if it will be an original version of what you are looking for but you can find at least a fake version of it.
I have picked up enough items to fill a full size suitcase, and had to purchase a small duffle bag to bring items back with me to the US. I am hoping I have not gone over my $800 limit of tax free items, or I will have to pay tax on anything over the amount. Will have to check my total count of money spent and make sure I am not over. Since I have a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam I am sure I will find some more items there that I want to pick up for the family.
Well getting ready to head home, for a few weeks of relaxation, and some normalcy, then back over here for another 35 days of fun.