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essays | places


lower-key Muppety gulf kingdom


   Bahrain was one of those layover destinations for me. Don’t trip over that oxymoron. Layovers can be destinations if done right. And this one was done so right, it almost felt wrong. When I waltzed out of Manama airport, I was some 45 hours into a 65h beast of a journey. And if you think the next sentence is way too long, well, so was the trip. I’d left my room in Nong Khai, Thailand almost two days prior, killed an innocent day by the Mekong river, “slept” in a third-and-last class seat on a night train to Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport where I showered in a bathroom sink to look stellar for my role as transfer passenger, a show I put on to catch a free ride with a shuttle that crossed the city from airport to airport, munched some more time at BKK – mostly watching funny cleaning robots over breakfast, but also spontaneously linking up with my doofus of a partner in the transit zone after she’d casually forgotten to mention her layover that very same day at the very same airport – before embarking on my flight to Bahrain for a midnight arrival, “slept” some more in a fancy chair, ready to leave Manama airport around first light, unencumbered by the luggage that was being checked-through, to be back ten hours later for another sink shower in preparation of my flight to Cairo. Trippy.


With less than 10 hours in my daypack, I plunged into the island kingdom. Lives can change in 10 hours, but mine didn’t. And to claim with full confidence that my meanderings turned me into a highly decorated authority on Bahrain would make me an expert on claiming things at best. Well then, I will keep this essay and its implications adequately short. Take everything with a grain of sand.


places / stories


Manama / Do doo do doo do