Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 20: Sweeping Generalizations of High Significance

Rashid al Khalifa, perhaps the most influential artist in Bahrain, creates mesmerizing works by painting on convex canvasses. Thank you, arts patrons, and art museums.

In Islamic architecture, buildings are simple and symmetrical on the exterior and richly adorned inside, symbolizing their spirituality. Modern American homes favor ostentatious exteriors and massive, ill-conceived interior spaces, reflecting ours.

The rich have the good shit. The main public beach in Bahrain is unsightly and trashy. Yet the sea is (mainly) the same for rich and poor alike here: crystalline bathwater. I am thankful that the rich in American don't own all the good beach property, just most of it.

Women wear full black robes and veils on the beach, and even in the water. I doubt this can be comfortable, but is it less comfortable (physically and spiritually) than butt floss and pasties?

No one else on the beach had a pink belly, but maybe no one noticed.

The best meal I’ve had in the Mideast was the 50 cent shawarma from street vendors: fresh, tasty, and cheap. The shawarma, not the vendors.

Doha is a jewel box; Manama is a junk drawer. Jewel boxes are to be admired and junk drawers are to be explored.

The towns south of Manama along the coast remind me of my mind: cluttered, with lots of projects half completed and then abandoned due to lack of interest.

A veil that entirely covers a woman’s face seems like overkill to me. Any man who advocates it for reasons of modestly should have to wear one also. On the other hand, next to the woman in the full veil was one in tight black jeans, long silken locks, and smoldering black eyes, and I totally lusted after her.

The airport security guard didn’t bother to look at my bag going through the x-ray machine, so my can of diet coke was successfully smuggled. Qatar Air provides you a free snack and a drink, even on a 30 minute flight, and it doesn’t care if you leave your iPod on during the landing. The rule stating that you must remain buckled until you reach the gate is widely ignored.

It's good to explore, and it's good to be back home.


  1. The Qatari Airlines know what the people want.

  2. Okay I am disappointed I didn't get to take you around time - love your observations...