We've been in the Land of the Free...Home of the Brave...Country of the Perpetual Paperwork...for just over 2 weeks now. Its been a busy busy time for us trying to get ourselves all sorted out and on track to a somewhat normal life. Its been hectic with a capital H!!!
I'm going to use this post to point out some differences I notice in general...and to either vent or praise something depending on the topic.
So, lets see. It SNOWED!!! full blown blizzard. Practically a white out. It was awesome...and freezing...but mostly awesome. My kids were amazed but were not about to go outside and experience it first hand. They viewed the white storm from the safety of the house and behind storm glass...lol. Wusses!! By the next day the sky was clear blue, the temps were "warm" (one day jackets and hats the next t shirts...lol) and there was beautiful snow on everything. The sticky kind too so much snowball throwing was had by all. Fun fun fun!!! I will let you know if my enthusiasm for all things snow remains further into the winter.
However, by the second day practically all the snow was gone and what was left behind...MUD!!! yuck!!! I haven't had the "pleasure" of walking in mud for quite sometime. Bahrain is sand really so the rain collects in the streets until it drains off into the sewers...not much mud in terms of that disgusting sucking messy gets into everything and makes your shoes a disaster kind of thing. Nope...didn't really miss that.
We are staying with one of my oldest friends...we met in the 3rd grade for a brief spell before meeting up again in the 7th grade and its gone on from there. I had planned to stay with her only long enough to find a place of our own...but with the theft of my wallet and a dent in my finances...that has been put on hold for now. So we are 11 people in a double wide trailer. So far its been ok. A flare up or two but not bad considering the number of young'uns running around. My kids are over the moon to be all together again...and they really love having this family like atmosphere since they haven't really had much of a family this past couple of years. It might not be so lovely in a few more weeks or something, tempers flare, privacy non existent, TP missing from the bathroom etc...but for now we will take it one day at a time until something comes along to change it.
In the process of starting our lives Ive been forced to do a MOUNTAIN of paperwork at every stop I make along the road. My Lord whats with having to put my name, address and SSN 3 or 4 times ON THE SAME APPLICATION?!!! Sheesh Ive got writers cramp doing that for the 6 of us over and over and over again. Because some of our SSN cards were in my wallet I had to send for new ones...took some time but not bad. I went and got my drivers license...I was fearing I would have to take ANOTHER test after just doing one in Texas last Dec, because my license was in my wallet, but she just let me apply for a new one with NO test. Whew!! lucky break. That written test is a b****h when it comes to maximum alcohol limits and prison terms and all that jazz. I can never keep those numbers straight...and really...considering I dont drink or drink AND drive...they dont interest me much. NOW when OTHERS drink and drive...that interest me.
On a side note...driving in Bahrain is truly a life and death experience EVERY FREAKIN TIME you leave your house. That no lie and NO exaggeration. So we can all be thankful that people drive crazy....but generally are NOT drinking as well...because one would have to assume the carnage already experienced on a daily basis would just be too much to bear.
Getting the 2 kids in school was a bit easier than I thought...at least for Ameena. She just started...no problems. Starting later meant she didn't get to be in some classes she wanted as they were full...but she was able to get in guitar class so that made her happy. I had to go BUY the guitar as they don't provide them but since my son Adam, the self taught and beautifully played guitar player, left his behind (the first one I bought him for his bday...sniff sniff) we needed another one in the house anyhow. Money well spent in my opinion. It makes them happy and is a better way of spending their time than other ways I can imagine.
On a side note, my friends son has an electric guitar so Adam got to try his hand on that. He loves it. He sounds very professional and Baaaaad Assssss or so Ive been informed. Obviously he has his heart set on getting one of those sometime soon...sorry son...get a job if you want one of those...they cost a penny or two.
Getting Zack in school was a bit more tedious. I brought his school record translated into English for the 10th and 11th grade. I did NOT know that the 9th grade was needed as well. So they wouldn't allow him into school until that transcript could be sent. Of course that took some time obtaining and so he sat home for a week while all that was straightened out. Turns out he took some of the harder senior classes already in Bahrain so he has quite a few easy classes..lol...so he shouldn't be too stressed this semester. He hit it off with the guidance councilor right away so I'm happy hes got someone to turn too. I was most worried about how Zack would settle in at school but so far he seems to be doing just fine.
It was funny though when I went to my old highschool and there were STILL staff there that were there when I went there. WTF!! Those teachers were surely OLD when I was there..at least they seemed to be...so what? Are they like 150 years old now? lol Obviously they werent old then but when your young EVERYONE seems old. Some of them remembered me too...and here I thought I was invisible in school...must have just been with other students for the most part...lol.
He spends equal amounts of time out here with the family, playing games or hanging out, or in his room alone. I don't mind cause I know he needs space to adjust and as long as he is balancing out the two phases then all is good. He spends time chatting with his Bahrain friends or playing piano (yes I was able to bring it thankfully) so he has his alone time to relax and center himself. I know he is the one who made the biggest sacrifice in terms of his mental preparations etc. I appreciate his willingness to give this a try and hes doing very well so far.
NOW...looking for a job has been harder than I thought. There are plenty of jobs around...help wanted all over and a decent amount in the papers...but actually APPLYING for jobs has certainly become complicated way beyond comprehension. Most applications are on-line and it can take up to 45 MINUTES to fill out!!! My Lord they ask everything under the sun and some questions from the far side of the moon as well. The funny questions are those in which they ask what you would do if you found money or would you rather work over time or be out with your friends. Tricky....lol. Do they want the truth or what WE know THEY want to hear? My daughter actually "failed" a few of those as she didn't understand the "rules" to applying and answering those sort of questions...ha ha. Poor her....she was honest...and failed to get a job because of it. WTF!!!
So the 3 of us, daughter son and myself, have spent 2 weeks applying ALL over the darn place and so far I'm the only one that finally got a job. Its one of those gas station/mini store type things but I'm fine with that. As long as I'm working I'm good....until something better comes along. I'm sure they will get something here soon...they just have to be more aggressive and not WAIT for opportunity to come to them.
I cant praise enough the driving standards here. So calm and relaxed when driving...I can actually look out the window at STUFF (scenery, houses etc) rather then just have my eyeballs peeled for tail gaiters, lane changers, speeders, and cars full of kids hanging out windows. I must admit I ha vent seen even one incident of that. You can only drive 20 mph (school zones) or 30 (residential) and 40 (main streets etc) through town...and people pretty much stick to that even though it takes AGES to get anywhere...lol. So civilized. lol (yes Bahrain IS THAT BAD)
ONE other thing I must mention just because of its interesting aspect. If your a man I suggest you brace yourself...the next bit is a bit personal (ok a lot personal). For the past year or more Ive suffered from a myriad of physical complaints...everything from extremely swollen feet and legs, constant headaches, knee pain and a monthly cycle that was almost non existent. I was actually starting to think menopause was fast approaching...because I hadn't had a "visit" in the past 2 months (either that or a new miracle prophet was about to be born...lol)...anyhow...call it a miracle but the swollen feet and legs ARE GONE. My shoes fit (or are loose depending), pant legs are definitely loose (yay), the only headache I got was from staring at the blindingly white snow and the knee pain is no more. Oh yes, cycle turned up and was everything a cycle should be...when I was much younger and "regular"...if you know what I mean.
Must mean something...lol. Im not too concerned about the WHY as much as the Thank God part of it.
So, that's about it for now. Let me know if you have any suggestions for starting fresh...from scratch and all. Im all ears.
btw a completely random note. Micheal Buble' is to die for. For anyone that hasn't listened to him sing...I suggest you drop what your doing and run out and buy whatever music of his you can (or check the net...lol). Dreamy looking and heavenly sounding. Right now I have his song Lost on repeat and Ive listened to it a gazillion times...wow!!!