Do you remember when I said that I will be moving to Bahrain? That was done in a month, I managed to rent out my place in Dubai, ship the personal effect and cars, rent a place in Bahrain, arrange everything, get the electricity and internet, get the visa for the house keeper and so on. I must admit though that the most tedious thing was not that most of my stuff reached in a pathetically damaged way, but in hanging my paintings on the walls, the last piece was hung only a week ago, and almost everything got repaired too except my favourite oven, so we will have to make do without cakes and baked things.
This is not the subject of my blog, what has been nagging in my head that although three and a half months had passed, I didn’t get bored, as I have lots to do and sometimes I go to sleep with still a lot on my plate, and second I didn’t miss Dubai yet. why?
Ok, here is my theory, when we lived in England, we had schools to go to and studies to do, so apart from the occasional weekends where one would go for some shopping or some sightseeing, we didn’t have much to do with the country itself. When we lived in New Zealand, again apart from work, schools, universities, teaching, and travelling to destinations within New Zealand to see and enjoy, it was basically another place that we lived in. In Dubai, even though we stayed for 35 years, but it was much of th same, a place to live in, we must work to pay bills and the little outings that we did were for necessary things. So I cannot say that I miss it. So my theory is “unless you get involved with the community and help out in one way or the other on a daily, weekly or a monthly basis, the place cannot be called home” and community doesn’t mean a group of emirates, a group of Brits, a group of Indians and so on, I mean a group that cares about a current affair or a subject.
Hence my move to Bahrain is called “Home”! the guy that pours petrol is Bahraini, he tells you things about Bahrain, the hairdresser is Bahraini, the artists that paint portions of the roads are Bahrainis, the schools are inhabited by Bahrainis, the teachers are all Bahrainis. The indian guy that sells the veggies and fish on the street is Bahraini and speaks Bahraini. The fish is caught by Bahrainis. The teller in the bank is Bahraini and so is the doorman; The workers in the streets are Bahrainis. So when you decide to help the community, and call for assistance, everyone joins in, as they all believe in the country. On a daily basis there are things to do here (we do not have a What’s on magazine to show what is going on, and I think one needs to be done) like I happen to find out that the sport club next to where I live and where every night they have a football game, had an art course for kids, pity that I didn’t hear about it early enough to register the grandkids, as being a nice and small country we think that we just have to shout and everyone will hear 🙂 of course it doesn’t happen this way, we must tell each other things by some sort of publications.
Few anecdotes, a friend added me to 5 whatsapp groups that talks about various things, each one has over 50 people (different people) and that way I found out about a nice course that I did on law of attraction (the attendees and the speaker were all Bahrainis), about the wall drawing that I joined in (also all Bahrainis), and a camp for kids that I jumped to work in (also all Bahrainis), The Aqua aerobic and Yoga that I joined in, where mostly are Bahrainis (apart from the instructors, which I suspect are also Bahrainis as they have been living here for a long time)
For some, this blog may show some prejudices, which is not meant to be, what I am trying to say here is the cohesiveness of any country and those that live in it comes from joining in the activities that the community does; comes from feeling that we belong, and that we miss going out of the place. Maybe I cannot explain it very well, but mostly the people and the activities that happen in a place is what makes you want to stay and gives one a sense of belonging.
I remembered my friend who was telling me about the umpteen things that she did when she was in India, and how she managed to help layers of the community in a single project (the artist community and the children) and this is the sort of things I am talking about, the sense of belonging that will project care and love for all. I think if I leave this place again, I will for sure miss it and feel nostalgic.