Krispi, Krimi

The first chance I got, I readily bought me a half-dozen box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, when I learned from a local magazine that they have branches here. We found this one at Bahrain City Center (supposedly the largest and newest mall in the kingdom).



Eve of Christmas. Nothing significant. Spent, I just slept the night away. We worked late to finish up furnishing the Adliya project flats so we'd have the day off for Christmas Day. It's not a holiday here, obviously. But well-meaning bosses would give their Christian employees the day off to celebrate. Some for a full day. Some for a half. So Pinoys usually celebrate the night of Christmas Day. More like the Christmas Dinner of westerners, not our tradish noche buena. I think.

Christmas Day. Joel has invited me to celebrate Christmas at Tom and Marlyn's with their cute 6-month-old baby Claire and Kuya Boy, their flatmate, whom I just met there that night. It's not my first Christmas away from home. But it's my first Christmas celeb with people I barely know. I've met Tom and Marlyn previously, though, but it could feel like I was crashing a party or something. I made sure though that we brought something, Joel and I could share the bill. A box of Popeye's chicken isn't much, but it is something.

But it is Christmas. And we were all Pinoys. So the party went on. Dinner and drinks and what else, karaoke. After midnight, conversations of nothing-ness. It was a sleep-over party.

Day after Christmas was a Friday. Rest Day in Arabic countries. We didn't have anything planned. DVDs were there waiting to be viewed. We watched about 2. The Day the Earth Stood Still. And Hero Wanted. So so.

That Christmas celeb was not, though. It was in fact pretty merry. Thanks to the kindness and graciousness of our hosts. They keep doing this, we just might keep coming back. Haha! Now that's the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Dinner.

Grilled Fish.

Pho c/o Kuya Boy.

Our Popeye's contribution.

Assorted Grilled Tikka.

Pulutan (Thai something) c/o Kuya Boy.

And for the drinks, ehem, Bombay Sapphire.


Food That I Eat

Sandwich wrap.

First few days (free from OT work).

First cooked meals

Food to get by.

Lutong bahay c/o Joel.


Pinoy Photographers in No Man's Land

The groups needs a little getting used to. They're cool people I'm sure. But then again, it's not the best time to join a group when they're in a party or anything celebratory. I expected to be left out. (Especially that's they're mostly Tagalogs and I didn't notice anyone sporting a Lomo)

GPN celebrated their 1st Anniversary (cum Xmas party) at a hotel in Juffair last 11th December 2008.

The not so little group of GPN in Bahrain. Gulf Photographers Network is a Photographic Network of Enthusiasts in the Gulf (as written in their Flickr Home - http://www.flickr.com/groups/gulfphoto/ ).


My Room

Company accommodation. In a 3-bedroom flat. I was supposed to room with an office mate and saw this one, vacant, and opted for it. Don't laugh, the bedsheets and rug came with the room.


My Zain eZee

My Bahrain mobile number: (+973)36****70.

Apparently I bought it at a much higher price. 5BD at the Seef Mall. 1BD at one's friendly neighborhood cold store.

SMS is charged the same as a call. So people call more often here.

I brought my Phil sim with me. My Globe roaming is supposedly active. But I've received no messages since I got here. Either nobody's texting or the roaming's not working.


Now in Bahrain

I finally arrive in Bahrain.

After the gruelling hours at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (almost 10 hours), watching the coming and going of Pinoy OFWs in the waiting area inside the terminal, most of them headed for the Middle East, most of the ones I talked with, DH, Mindanaoan Muslims, plus the hours of actual air travel via Cathay Pacific, Manila to Hongkong, waited a little more than an hour in Chek Lap Kok (not a long wait because I was able to access free WiFi and spent most of it YMing anyone who's island that I was in HK) with a connecting flight to Bahrain, which had one stop in Dubai, pausing there for not more than an hour, and after 3 sets of full airline meals plus 2 sets of refreshments, and chatting with at least 6 fellow travellers, I finally arrive in Bahrain.

It's about 7 in the morning. Bahrain is cold. Colder than I expected.

But there is barely any time to meander. I had to get to work that same day if I wanted to be oriented with the job. Elsie, my referrer and supposedly direct superior would be leaving for a 2-month vacation back in Pinaz.

I have definitely arrived in Bahrain.