Published: March 1st 2010March 1st 2010
Racing this time....
Durable outdoor furniture!
Bring on Twenty Ten!
Well, after a fantastic break in Chiang Mai, we eased back in to life here in Bahrain - a change of currency, back to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, and, for Jude at least, WORK!
We have managed to have some fun tho, “as you do” when away from home and friends, we tend to knock around with fellow expats and share birthdays, etc - and “socialise with selected refreshments” when appropriate.
One outing recently was to the Horse Races - held every Friday over “winter”, remembering our weekend is Fri/Sat, back to work Sunday. Entry is free, and it gave us the opportunity to pull on some glad rags (why do we call them glad rags? More likely they are glad when we take them off) and head ”down country” to the gallops. The drive alone is a novelty - with the island around 35 k’s long, a 25 k drive was most pleasant - a rare occurrence as the bottom 80% of the island is mainly desert!
On the way there we spotted some locals picnicking in the desert - a favourite winter past time evidently - why
they don't do it on grass escapes me, but there ya go - further evidence of the effects of sobriety.
There wasn’t a big crowd when we got there, - but it did grow - and being in the less than 1% of Westerners there, we were accorded every courtesy, including admission to the Royal Stand area, once we got past the guards with AK47’s. The track itself was nice and green with gardens surrounding the stand areas, but when you sit in the stand you are mainly confronted by a desert view. There was, of course, no bar, - and there was no totalisater - but there was a very busy “Predictions Booth” where you could place a 1 Dinar bet ($NZ3.80).
After a few races where they used only the front straight of the track, our interest ‘dried up’, so after a good look around we headed back to town looking for some action.
When one has a hangover in Bahrain, one could do much worse than proceeding to the well known Brit Club for recuperation via their sturdy cooked breakfast menu. There are a sprinkling of such outlets in Manama and they are reasonably well
known amongst the Expats here, strangely enough. The Brit Club wins on value for money, that’s for sure; the major ticket item, Full English Breakfast will set out back around BHD2.500 or $NZ9.50, and consists: a pot of tea or coffee, toast and spreads, followed by generous proportions of English sausages, hash browns, mushrooms, baked beans (yum), egg, tomatoes and bacon - all with a pleasant view of the pool. Recommended. Almost worth getting a hangover for. Available all day.
We had another Kiwi’s versus Aussie cricket game at the dust ball oval, but they won, so that’s enough said about that.
Jude and I took a visit to the Royal Camel Farm for a squizz and really enjoyed ourselves.
Entry was once again free - and we were also free to roam around on our own, tho a tip was rewarded with being shown recently born baby Camels which were very cute - and the offer of a camel ride - which we declined as we’d had one in Dubai and that particular camel is still undergoing counselling. The condition of your Camel herd is of the utmost importance in the Gulf - and auctions recently held
Weight for Age...
in UAE resulted in camels being sold for hundreds of thousands of US dollars each, as well as an annual camel beauty contest which is hotly contested.
Another we discovery we have made is the Bahrain Yacht Club, - situated in Sitra (Sitra means secret, or hidden) - as indeed was the Yacht Club, tucked away beyond the oil tanks and abattoir in a very nice western beach setting. On the whole, the beaches in Bahrain are not patch on a Kiwi or Aussie beach - and of course “modesty dress” means that females may only swim in public beaches fully clothed, ie in an abaya - the traditional black gown and head-dress! So the private beach/sun bathing/ dining area in the club was a real find, as bikini’s are “all go”.
Makes for a nice view while sampling the beers or having lunch as well.
Pimp my Ride: Myrtle the hurtling push bike has been the subject of some ‘sooping up’ lately - and the feedback I’m getting is that Myrtle should almost have her own Facebook page soon, so thought you would be interested in her progress.
Recent mods have included after market tyre valves.
...Lining up at the "Predictions Booth".
Might not sound very sexy, but it saves me wheeling her across the road to the service station every 2 weeks (And they ARE service stations here - no getting out of the car, no siree - just wind the window down, say fill ‘er up, and hand them the $NZ12 a full tank costs and zoom off. Of course on Myrtle, I don’t even need to wind the window down, - very convenient).
The next mod was in order to increase cargo carrying capacity, and came in the form of a vege crate I found on the road in Budaiaya - that’s where all the Pom’s live, and home to the Dilmin Club, otherwise known as The Dilly (See you at the Dilly Billy?) The Dilly is a sister club to the Brit Club, with better facilities, as in there is a great non smoking bar. Even the patrons in the bar don’t smoke.
It didn’t look wanted in the middle of the road in this particular street, and I was assured by my Indian friend in the bike shop, they are there for the taking. Easily secured by some cable ties, the crate has already been
The Bird Cage
Great to see some grass!
put to good use - refer photo’s. One minor complication, is the difficulty I now have “getting a leg over” whilst mounting Myrtle. Even with the crate empty, there is still a fair bit of height required to swing the inner thigh over, however this is generally achieved with the help of one of the deep local kerb’s.
Watch this space for further Myrtle News.
Coming up next issue:
• Goa to Woah - News and pics of our Feb hols in India
• Moving apartments - yep, we’re ‘movin on up’ - a side apartment in our block upstairs has become
available and they have much less road noise, so we’re moving - pics next issue.
• Late May we’re looking forward to our first Kiwi Visitor to stay, then…
• August we’ll be home for a break ½ way through our 2 year stint - we are WAY lookin forward to that!
Keep in touch Trendsetters, drop us a line/blog message/e-mail - and thanks for reading!
Pete and Jude and Myrtle
There are more photos below