“Where are you moving to?”
Trying to tell people where I was moving to was futile. No one had ever heard of a country called Bahrain. I would usually tell them it’s a small island in the Arabian Gulf. Or I would tell them it’s near Dubai (since they’d all heard of Dubai). I did not tell them that the island floats offshore of Saudi Arabia, which would probably make them associate it with all the negative (and, I have learned, not necessarily true) stuff Americans generally associate with Saudi Arabia.
Yet despite the doubtful existance of a tiny island kingdom named Bahrain, I’ve been here exactly three months, al-hamdulilah, and reflecting on those three months has left me with a few observations….
Bahrain is a great place to live. I’m not sure if I’m happier, but my life is definitely a lot more comfortable than it was in New York. For example, apartments are relatively cheap to rent, even when they’re inclusive and furnished. They often come with washing machines. This makes New York Me very happy.
It’s a small world after all. Turns out you can move thousands of miles around the globe and still find people that you know from university and your tiny hometown.
Summer and winter are reversed. No, not like Australia, where it is summer during the USA’s winter and vice versa. I mean, it’s always warm here. But summertime in Bahrain is like winter back home in that you don’t want to go outside because you.will.die. So, basically, its summer and I am totally pale and have not gone to a proper beach.
No Adjustment. People keep asking me how I am adjusting and such. My response is, what is there to adjust to? There’s no real language barrier. I am already familiar with Arab cultures and Islam. Unlike Egypt, I really havent stumbled upon any uniquely-Bahraini “inconveniences.” Living in Bahrain is kind of like living in a small American city. I don’t know why people expected me to leave after three months but I’m much stronger than that.
Conquering fears. I fear and loath driving. Before coming here, I rarely ever drove, and certainly not in New York City. I had never driven on a proper highway! Yet in Bahrain, it is a necessity. I never would have thought I’d have the guts to drive in a city, yet here I am, cruising around in my little lime-green Geely Chinese car. Just don’t get too close to me.