So after much travelling- some of it to exotic destinations in faraway places (until you get there, then they’re nearby) and some of it just to the supermarket, I have wound up in Bahrain, a desert island kingdom in the Middle East, off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
Not knowing Arabic, and far too lazy to actually look up the real meaning on wikipedia, I surmise there is something ironic about the Bahrain monicker. It being the desert, you’d expect “Oh goodie, rain!” or “Wowrain” or something equally representative of joy, but no. It’s “Bah, rain!” just like we’d say back in England.
The locals are genuinely happy when it does rain, however- to them it is as surprising as sunshine back home. They get really excited, like all their Christmasses had come at once. Not literally, obviously, as they’re all Muslims.
I have come here to teach English across the Causeway in the KSA – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I don’t want to expound on that place too much. I get up at 5am, travel to work, put in my hours then travel back here. It’s about as much fun as it sounds. There are no cinemas or alcohol or loose women. Or even pork. Which is about all I care about in my free time. So. Bahrain.
Here, there is pork. They sell it in a sectioned-off antechamber in Juffair’s Al Jazeera Supermarket behind a velvet curtain and a fluorescent display with the words “Naughty Porky” flashing feebly, the occasional heathen scurrying inside to talk pork.
Inside, it is a whole world of pig-related produce: purses made out of sows’ ears; piggyback rides for the kiddies; pork swords for the ladies. They even sell Smoky Bacon crisps, which as far as I am aware have nothing remotely to do with pigs at all.
When I told everybody I was going to live in Bahrain, some people were worried. “But isn’t it DANGEROUS over there? What about the TROUBLES?”
Well, they can rest assured. The most dangerous thing here is the boredom and the biggest trouble, as I can see it, is trying to find a reasonably attractive woman who doesn’t want to charge 50BHD for a night. But everyone is here for the money, I guess, me included.
I will ride the elephant of meh for as long as I can, all the while scooping up as much cash as my piggy little arms can carry.