Sunday, September 10, 2006

 

Week Sixteen

Al-salaam alaykum,

It’s back to work again, but this week it’s just 4 days. Work hasn’t changed much, soon we will be moving out to the village which will be good. The rotational dinner was at Woody’s this week. A really good meal I must say.

I took Thursday off to go to Bahrain with Vic, Disco, Murray and others. What an experience. We flew into the airport around 1.30pm. Our flight was delayed by around 40 minutes after a couple of local women didn’t want to move out of the emergency exit seat. Eventually they moved and we took off. Within 5 minutes of being in the air Murray had already got up to organise some beers for us. We don’t think the seat belt sign was even off. Very nice work. One group of lads missed their flight, but they eventually arrived later that afternoon.

That night, for the 12 of us it was off to Bam-Bu, an all you can eat and drink Chinese restaurant. The good thing is it’s not a buffet. You order from a menu just like a normal restaurant. They keep bringing you courses until you can’t eat anymore. It’s great. We decided that after every round of food was delivered to the table, someone had to make a speech. There were some absolute hilarious ones. After each speech we had to sing a song. The definite winner was Sweet Caroline, one of loudest sung songs for sure. It was almost like we landed in the middle of a musical, ‘Bahrain Bedlam – The Musical’. After that it was off to JJ’s, an Irish Bar. The night was huge. Murray led the way for sure. The bar was great fun, a great first of two nights.

Friday we went out for a champagne buffet brunch. Bacon, eggs, sausages, hash browns, roast pork, ice cream, you name it. It was really nice, not quite ‘The Burj’, but still nice. We spent around 3 hours eating. They had a guy who made balloon animals. He made a monkey with oversized tackle. I’m sure you can imagine the photos that were taken later aren’t really for public viewing.

Friday night we decided to stay in and have a few beverages. We played a few card games and the rest is history. Big night, that's all I can say.

Saturday it was off to tour the countryside. It was great fun. We decided that we had to go and see the Tree of Life. We headed off to the south of Bahrain where we found the Formula 1 Race Track. The security took us up to the VIP Tower where we could see the entire track. There are two different tracks, both with their own pit lane, along with a drag racing track. The track is amazing, and the view is even better.

We then continued along our way to the Tree of Life. Once again we stopped off along the way. This time we saw the first oil well in Bahrain. It wasn’t very exciting. We continued on, except this time we found the Bahrain Royal Air Force base, and this is where the fun stopped. We had trouble finding the Tree of Life and ended up at the entrance to the base. There wasn’t a problem until one of the people in the car leant out the window and took a photo of an oryx (a local animal, also the mascot of our games). Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact we were sitting at a military checkpoint. Two hours later and including an hour of me negotiating with the air force, we were allowed to leave. Unfortunately we left without our video camera and two other cameras which were confiscated by the air force. We are hoping to get them back soon.

Once the fun that was the air force was over we finally found the Tree of Life. It is really big, and the only tree around. It probably would have been better and more exciting had the two hours prior not happened.

Next it was off to the Saudi border. Although Bahrain is an island, they have built a bridge that connects the two countries. It takes around 10 mins to cross the bridge from one side to the other. We stopped on the Bahrain side of the border. There is a tower you can go up which gives you a great view of Saudi. With the cameras that were left we took some photos of Saudi, including a Mc Donalds.

That night we flew out of Bahrain back to Doha, once again on a flight that was delayed. I arrived at the airport and was actually was glad to be back. After 5 ½ weeks travelling, 14 different flights and 7 different countries I was glad for life to return to normal. Now it’s back to work.

Until next time…..

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