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20140118 New Friends

Today (Saturday) is my day off, and I was going to Bahrain with a colleague. However it rained cats and dogs all day. A local Saudi friend took me out and about to the area called Khott. This is a geographic area that once included the Kingdom of Bahrain, Hassa (Arabia) and Qateef (Arabia). The area has changed since oil was found and the oil sheiks turned parts of the old Persian Gulf into landfilled islands that are being built on. Many years ago much of the land was farmed and it was famous for producing delicious vegetables.

Tarout Ottoman castle
There are older parts in the general geographic area that used to be dominated a very long time ago by the Turkish Ottomans. Nowadays there are highways, and many housing communities, as well as some old fishing villages. I captured a photo of an ancient Ottoman fortress that is called Tarout Castle. The walls look remarkably intact, but I was not able to go inside. Next to it is a beautiful mosque.

Qatif fishing port
Qatif is an old fishing port, and the boats are still in the traditional style. They remind me of Chinese junks without the sails. They look robust enough to live aboard, but I don't know that the fishermen do that.

I had the privilege to visit a traditional Saudi home. The youngest child was awake, and his sister and brothers were still asleep. The family was hospitable since I was with their good friend. After a while of drinking the traditional sweet tea and taking some cookies, the little guy came to me to get a photo taken. He was very sweet and I envy his lovely curly hair. Of course holding this little boy made me miss my grandchildren so much!

The locals love sweets, and Galaxy is a big favourite brand. When I feel like having my usual indulgence, which of course is not available, I find myself gravitating to the naughty but nice chocolates placed strategically at the supermarket checkout counter - as they are everywhere in the world. About the right height for a toddler to spot - and they never fail to do so.

I think I see a chink in the clouds, so I may go walk off my chocolate bar. At least make a start.

All the best from my neck of the woods!
Wee Shufti