Why Write?

Originally, I created this blog to document my trip to India. Upon my return, I realized that I couldn't shake the writing bug.
So, feel free to read about my adventures in India and stay tuned for my traveling updates!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Car Batteries and Body Bags-Part 2

The clerk, eager to help, called Miss Amy a taxi as he shooed her towards the seedy looking couch in the hotel lobby. Being a proper lady and all, she cringed at the unsightly stains that had made their home on the sorry looking upholstery.

Finally, she found herself driving back to work in the sweet safety of a taxi cab. As she gazed out the window at her surroundings, she fumed at the fact that her “significant other” had left her behind to go on a vacation without her. "Where was he when she needed him the most" she thought to herself? Many thoughts plagued her fragile mind during that fifteen minute drive, like “Would a man who truly loves his woman, leave her in the Middle East by herself for a month?” I should think NOT! More on that later.

Miss Amy eventually arrived back to work, frazzled, dazed, and dripping in sweat. She was frustrated that her India visa mission had failed. It was a miracle that she made it through the rest of the day without falling apart. Unfortunately, Miss Amy’s car troubles were far from over. With the help of her friend, they concluded that the car battery needed to be replaced.

She tried desperately to keep her spirits up. Having little contact with the outside world, besides work, she spent the next five days car-less, cooped up in the house, and lonely. Being trapped in the house was a little too much for a bubbly people person like herself. Looking back, she probably had a little too much time on her hands to dwell on the fact that her significant other had pretty much abandoned her to go on his "solo" month long vacation. He had told her they couldn't afford it and that she would "ruin his vacation." Meanwhile, he proceeded to squander his money on partying and purchasing semi automatic weapons. 

Over the phone he told her things like, "She was irresponsible in the way she was handling the car situation and that she was making a big deal out of nothing." Once, while he was away, Miss Amy called him because she had gotten lost on her drive home from work (prior to the car breaking down). Miss Amy had gotten stuck in a traffic jam and there were tire burning protests on either side of the road. She was scared. He responded by saying, "Don't call me for stuff like this, I can't help you." So, in addition to being stuck in the house, feeling lonely, and lacking support; now, she had the car situation to deal with!  It was a little too much to handle for Miss Amy.

The only thing that kept her going through one of the most difficult months of her life was her upcoming trip to India where she planned on freeing herself of all bad energy.

Okay, on with the story folks! Miss Amy continued her mission to find a car battery. She made an excursion to the mall to search for a car battery. Surely Carrefour would have one? They sell everything under the sun. Right? Negative. No car batteries there! She followed every possible lead her work friends gave her. But her efforts to find a place that sold batteries were in vain as the shops were either closed for the holiday or the person on the other end of the phone did not understand English.

Eventually, after five long days of phone calls, she found a place that sold car batteries. On her day off, she took a long, costly, 45 minute taxi drive out to the town of Sitra. American’s are advised to steer clear of this often shady town. But, at this point, Miss Amy would have sold her kidney to have her car up and running again. 

To be continued

Car Batteries and Body Bags-Part 1

Friday, November 23, 2012

Car Batteries and Body Bags-Part 1

There once was a girl name Miss Amy.  And one day miss Amy's car broke down. Now, in normal circumstances, this might seem like an ordinary everyday type of problem. But, Miss Amy lived in Bahrain, a Middle Eastern country near Saudi Arabia. And her car broke down, during the scorching month of August. It gets so hot during the summer that one literally gets drenched in sweat the moment they step out the door. Eating ice cream cones outside, impossible. Morning stroll around the block, torturous. And don't even think about wearing makeup because it will melt off your face before you can say butter and biscuits.

Bahrain is a predominately Muslim country and the month of August not only marks the hottest month on the calendar but it also marks the celebration of Ramadan. During this time the country comes to a standstill and most of the stores are closed until sunset. Miss Amy found it difficult to do much during that time and she spent an awful amount of time indoors. Most of the restaurants are closed until sundown. You can't eat out. The bars are locked up. You can't drink water in public. And forget about chewing gum in public or you will get deathly stares from the locals. 

So, one blissful day in August, Miss Amy ventured out into the sweltering heat during her lunch break at work. Her mission? To apply for an Indian visa at the Indian Embassy. Forgetting that complications could possibly arise due to the holiday, she set out makeup-less in search of the Embassy. She parked her car. Check. She locked the car door. Check.  And she proceeded to the Embassy doors, excitement rising as she thought about her upcoming trip to India. As she got closer to the entryway, she noticed that the gates were locked. Disappointed, she squinted to read the notice on the embassy doors that stated the office was closed due to the holiday. Strike one for Ramadan.

As she walked back to her car, she sadly concluded that her trip would have to be postponed to allow time for the visa approval. While deep in thought, she went through the motions of unlocking the car door, throwing her bag in the bag seat out of habit, and pushing the keys into the ignition. The only thing that awoke her from her thoughts was the fact that the car wasn't starting, She held her breath, shrugged her shoulders, and told herself that it must be her imagination. After several unsuccessful attempts to start the car, her fears became a reality. It was time for Miss Amy to face the cold hard facts; her car had died. 

Not quite sure what to do, as she felt panic rising in her heart, she called the taxi company she had previously entered into her phone for emergencies. The voice on the phone sounded sleepy as he informed her that there were no working taxis due to the holiday. "Okay." She thought in her mind, strike two for Ramadan. So, she did the only thing a girl could do in that moment…start walking. Mind you, she was wearing her work clothes and high heels. Sweat drenched down her face as she started walking back to work which was a few miles away. While walking, she was propositioned by an Arab man. "As if?" She thought to herself. Walking outside in the Middle East has its own complications. Men seem to think they can buy anything, including a professional looking woman, sweating to death, and walking outside in the 130 degree weather. Strike three for Ramadan. 

Eventually, she found herself out of breath, desperate, and at the doorstep of a shabby hotel. In she walked, relieved to be in the presence of air-conditioning. She rushed to the desk clerk and proceeded to sputter, "PLEASE HELP ME."

To be continued…

Car Batteries and Body Bags- Part 2
Car Batteries and Body Bags-Part 3