Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Day Five in Bahrain
On Friday morning we awoke early for a field trip to an ancient house, once occupied by the King of Bahrain's father.
The house was built of stone and elaborate carved wooden doors. No air conditioning or electricity, the rooms were cool from the dark stone. The structure was two levels, with a central gravel courtyard. We were there at the right time to listen to the Friday afternoon call to prayer.
In Bahrain, the weekend begins Thursday night with Friday being the holy day of the week. We saw scored of people running towards the mosque - our tour guide told us they were late!
We went to visit a different souk in a much more conservative area. The women were completely covered, many wearing additional veils over their faces to cover their eyes. Turning down a side street, we found some lovely jewelry stores. Intricate 22k gold designs, unfortunately it was too expensive for my budget, but it was lovely to look at. An elaborate natural pearl necklace was over 2,000 dinar, which is more than $5,000 USD.
I bought some perfume in a lovely crystal bottle, and made some friends with the shop keepers. I told them I was a singer from the USA, and they asked me if I was famous. I told them, "not yet," but they insisted on taking my picture to hang up on the wall by their other notable visitors. Now my picture is hanging on the wall of a jewelry and fake handbag shop in Bahrain.
Our second and finals show had an even better audience than the night before, with I'm estimating about 1,000 people. They were great laughers.
After a satisfying closing, we ate a quick dinner at the hotel and went out for shisha at a swanky hookah bar. The bar was outdoors and on the water, and I couldn't resist putting my toes in. I have touched the Arabian sea.
Many of the men bought custom made suits and the souk, and wore them out for the first time. They were sitting very tall, and we were a good looking bunch. On the way home to the hotel, the van pulled to the side of the highway to take a picture in front of our huge billboard with Tia's faced it. (Tia didn't travel with us to Bahrain because of conflicting projects, but her face sure traveled abroad. She was all over the highway, the tickets, and the fliers. I got some for you, Tia!)