Born In The USA…?

Sunday, December 30, 2018 – Unofficial Anniversary Dinner, Mohammed Noor Bokhari Restaurant – Manama, Bahrain

Dusty road- leading to a mini-strip of culinary interests: Thai, Bahraini, …Starbucks?  An uncertain entrance and stairs off to the right.  A series of sink stalls peek from around a corner and a villa-esk dining hall welcomes us to have a seat anywhere.  Booths, tables, and floor mats beckon, whichever strikes your fancy.  A party of Bahrainis has crammed snuggly into a booth off to the left.  A trio hides in another booth in the corner, and we gravitate to the opposite corner booth.  Cushioned benches, wax paper tables, and mildly adventurous gazes locked in a moment of warmth.  Easterners dominate the field, the visiting team is left slyly ogling the foreign styles, smells, sounds.  Waves of Arabian groups wash over the modest hall.  A “Born in the USA” sweatshirt boldly enters, a teen paying tribute to Springsteen as he follows behind his masked mother.  

One half chicken over rice, one platter of lamb tika, a humble bowl of hummus and a bag of fresh naan.  Pepsi displaying its “energy” and full pull tab of a bygone era.  A little girl runs a circuit of sink, mat, sink with her little brother in tow.  Clean hands equal clean utensils!  Crossed sitting and cross sharing, a family dives into a meal with wild abandon and swiftly scurries back out, back to the modest safety of home.  A flurry of patrons gather and disperse, gather and disperse.  Alas, not a Westerner in sight, save for the two anniversariats seated in a side booth, cornered between the tables of a typical hall and the evidence of culinary culture.  Smooth conversations whispered around the void, crickets of a new experience.  Seven odd dinar later and we happily exit, satiated in the essential sustenance of life: food, love, adventure….

Thoughts? Musings? Pertinent ramblings of your own? Please share!

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