I am beyond thrilled to be back in the Homeland, no doubt. But there were some pretty sweet perks of living overseas. We had a great year in Bahrain for a lot of reasons. One day soon, I’ll attempt to put some of that into words. But for now, here are a few things that I’m already missing about our life in Bahrain.
1. Cheap ethnic food. Each weekend, we’d trek it out to our favorite Indian place, located in a particularly non-American (but safe, don’t worry Marmy!) part of town. I’m missing it. We walked out of Khazana not having spent $5 for our family on GOOD food. The waiters loved Campbell, and they were kind to us. Quality food, solid service, minimal cost. Thankfully, we have some old favorite spots in NOVA, but our Bahraini haunts will always be close to my heart. I became very attached to our weekend routine that always involved these places.
2. Small town living. In Bahrain, especially within the military community, everyone was connected to everyone. I was buddies with my hair dresser. The hubs played soccer with the husband of our kind day care director (got that?), so we hung out weekly. Our babysitter’s mother sewed us some pillows, and their family became sweet friends of mine. My colleague, who recruited and helped get me hired, became one of my closest friends. Community was close and all around. We never wanted for a social outlet–our weekends were booked, but not in an overwhelming way. DC has always felt more anonymous and less personal for us. If we have multiple “things” per weekend, they’re with different groups of people who are all disconnected. Somehow, that feels more exhausting.
3. Space. We have downsized by a couple thousand feet. So there’s that. We are a wee bit stressed about where our furniture is going to fit in our 900 square foot row house. Currently, I’m in denial and avoiding thinking about it. (Our temporary furniture currently consists of one recliner, one table, and a bed, which feels sparse. Our shipment of furniture should be here in a few weeks, and that will be interesting.)
4. Sunlight. I woke up (most days) at 5:30 to run in Bahrain, and it was always a beautiful and peaceful time . The sun started to peak out at 4:30 am, so I always caught a lovely sunrise without feeling like I was running in the dark. Since being home, I’ve been shocked that it has stayed dark until 7 am! So my attempts at an early morning jog have been foiled by uncooperative sun/light patterns.
And so, we are missing many aspects of life in Bahrain. Mostly for me, though, I miss the relationships. The friends I developed there were unique, fun, and really special. This includes the kind staff at Campbell’s day care, who treated all of us more like friends and family than students/parents. We bonded quickly with these friends due to living abroad and sharing the craziness of that experience. The families we came to know will always be so dear to my heart.