week 3 week 3 week 3 week 3...

Some notes from yesterday morning downtown:

Friday morning in downtown Manama at Cafe Lilou waiting for some friends to arrive for our "Ladies who Brunch" brunch where we get to munch yummy food, yet prolly not drink adult libations... I'm not sure yet actually.  This is our second brunch session and I'm really enjoying getting out and about around the city and it's various nooks and crannies.
There is a lot to explore on Bahrain actually. Is such a small island, yet so many little neighborhoods and villages to explore. My trusty Sophie (GPS) gets me everywhere I need to go, yet there is so much construction around downtown that sometimes Sophie steers me awry... I went over a bridge this morning to another island and it was 7 km. before I could turn round...

This afternoon I plan on doing a reconnaissance survey to all the potential gyms/clubs I want to join.  I received some unexpected funds from my Fellowship for " settling in costs" and I plan to used them appropriately... Of course, my initial concern is to have. 2-in-1 gym + beach membership. I've noticed in my short time here (3 weeks last night!) that beaches are few and far between... I have a total of 3 choices for my 2-in-1 scheme to pan out, and 2 are downtown Manama- which is about 10 km from my apartment which, of course isn't far for someone from Hawaii to drive for some quality entertainment... Additionally, petrol is so cheap here. It takes about 4BD (Bahraini Dinar) to fill my tank- which is about 10 USD.

Saturday morning in bed.
Yesterday was busy.  I need my robot to bring me a cuppa joe right now. Hung with the Fulbright Crew last night.  Now that we're turning into Mall Rats, we went to the mall... Bahrain City Center to be exact. We went with the intentions of going bowling and catching a movie.  Now, all the other Mall Rats were out in force last night.  Driving there was madness.  Loads of cars with Saudi tags. We finally arrived and went to get our movie tickets so we could cruise around for a few hours first. The line was insanely long so... we aborted that mission to go eat.  We headed to a place called "Fuddruckers" which is, apparently, huge in the US... I've never heard of it, but they got some good burgers going on there for sure.

After we were all experiencing food paralysis, we thought about bowling to relieve some of the heaviness weighing us down.  It was about 10:30 and the place was packed so we had to abort this idea as well.  We dutifully headed to the air hockey station where we got our aggressions out.  Not long after we started though, it was all over.  Rather anticlimactic with game over so soon (I did make high scorer list though :), we thought about checking on the movie situation again.

Off we trotted back to the theatre and got some midnite tickets for "Runner Runner". With an hour to kill we agreed on heading to the sports store as we are all endorphin junkies (not sure about the newest Fulbrighter to debut in-country though as she was likely headed for jet-lag syndrome having just landed in country the previous evening).  After 45 minutes of cruising around in the store as if we had it all to ourselves, I walked out with:

a yoga mat
a weighted medicine ball
a swimming cap

We did have a ball in the store and L-netta even got on the inversion machine  (mind you this is at 11:45 pm and after eating HUGE food at Fuddruckers)... We trotted out and to the theatre to get our Ben Affleck/ J. Timberlake action par-tay on. Of course it's freezing in the movie theatre and I was prepared, but the newest addition to the crew wasn't ready for it. As well, her eyeballs were starting to roll to the back of her head as the jetlag was settling in to invade her body for a few days.  We got through it just fine, and the movie was pretty entertaining.  The drive home went much quicker and it was right about 3 AM that we arrived back at the ranch.

So, another great week went down last week.  No complaints here.  The weather is cooling down.  The air conditioner is getting ready to go on holiday... as well as myself actually.

Eid holidays are coming up.  This means a week of travel.  I'm thinking Oman. I'm thinking camping. I'm thinking mountain hikes. I'm thinking gorgeous beach sunsets.  I'm thinking medina wandering. I'm thinking FABRIC.  You all know how I love me some luxurious fabric...

On the subject of fabric, I hear the tailors here are awesome as well.  Back in Gaziantep, Settar took Solo_ojo and myself to an awesome tailor downtown by the kale.  Terzi Mehmet!  Mehmet made me quite a few things: pants, skirts, jackets... There is nothing more thrilling, when on a shop/hunt expedition, than to find a tailor and make appointments for fittings during each step of the process. The drinking of Turkish coffee or tea, the chit-chat, the important details that you don't know are being understood because your tailor can't speak English, and you don't speak Turkish very well... Yes, it is the THRILL of the hunt indeed.  Every trip to the tailor is like an unraveling of a unique present to yourself.

So in remembering this thrill, I bought a cool pair of Thai Silk palazzo pants on Maui before I left and I absolutely love them for over here.  Long, wide-leg, light-weight fabric that breathes, and the movement the fabric produces when I walk... well I just like the entire package.  So, on my trip into the medina, or souk here, I'm going to check out some fabric shops and tailors.

Well, my robot never showed up this morning. Must be some technical difficulties... so I got my arse outta bed and made my own cuppa joe.  It's damn good.

Today is day 2 of finding a gym/spa/club.  Yesterday didn't pan out too well.  The thing is, I want the entire package: beach/lap pool/gym/cafe/steam room, etc.  Proximity is important as well.  We'll see what today brings.  I might try to run with the Bahrain Hash House Harriers this evening. They are doing a run in Juffair.  I can't imagine running there as it seems so congested.  I know I don't feel like drinking a beer afterwards as I have loads of lesson planning to do so... might not happen...

That's all folks. I've got nothing.  Typing this even bored me, but I'll still post it just to make you all read through the normal-ness that I experienced this week in Bahrain!