I’ve recently returned from a visit to Bahrain. It was good to take off from a wet, windy, wintery Manchester and arrive somewhere warm and sunny. Being the winter, the climate was very pleasant.
I went to work but did manage to see something of the island. Getting around isn’t easy as there isn’t really a public transport system other than buses used by workers which weren’t practical for sight seeing and taxis are expensive, especially as sights of interest are spread around the island. I was staying to was the south of the island near where I was working, but I had some spare time and one of my hosts generously offered to show me around.
Bahrain is an island in the Arabian Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia (to which it’s connected by a causeway) and Qatar. It was here in the 1930’s that oil was first discovered in the Gulf. Originally the population lived by fishing, peal fishing and farming. Today the country is quite different with a largely urban population in rapidly growing towns and with many modern buildings in the capital city, Manama.
My host, a local who was clearly proud of his country, was keen to show me modern Bahrain. So we spent quite a lot of time looking at some of the modern developments and shopping centres. But we did also manage to visit the national museum which I found particularly interesting.
I met both expatriates and locals during my stay, all of whom were hospitable. It was interesting talking to them about their lives out there. The way of life of locals, European professional expats and the (mainly) Indian workers I met were quite different.
It was nice to experience some winter sun and warmth. However, although short visits are enjoyable, the life of an expat out there would not appeal to me.