Yes, yes, I've been gone for a while... You've missed me insanely, as I have you (except you, and you). I had a tremendous three week break which including making a trip to meet some friends in the UK and spending time with family in Bahrain. Several times during the course of the past few weeks, I wanted to get online and write a little, but it was just too much to give up; I would've taken a lot to get me off of my behind to get online and do stuff.
Bahrain is growing at an interesting pace. I was last there 2 years ago, and some new massive skyscrapers seem to have just spawned out of nowhere. I am not sure there're enough businesses in Bahrain that'll want to occupy all these new office spaces, but hey, optimism for the economy doesn't hurt. I got to visit the Microsoft office in Bahrain which was a sure treat. I mean, there's this massive reclamation project thats been in the works for a while now, and the MS office is located on the 18th floor of this tower on this piece of land that wasn't there a few years ago. And the tower overlooks the beautiful arabian sea.
The one disturbing thing about the country though, was the alarming number of traffic accidents. My sister has this annoying habit of exaggerating beyond belief. She was telling me how there were devastating accidents occuring everday that were being reported in the paper. So, I did a little research - check it.The couple of weeks that I was there, I read the newspaper everyday and that's supposed to be surprising because I can't remember the last time I picked up a newspaper - its sounds so 1999. And everyday in the paper, I'd see at least one report of a life-threatening traffic accident. EVERYDAY. And that's big for Bahrain because Bahrain's a tiny tiny island.
I was also just thrilled to see my niece again. Its fun watching this little thing grow as I see her only every 8-12 months. I had a tremendous time being her chauffeur, driving her to preschool, playing with her, being her chauffeur, playing with her, trying my level best to get her to sleep and eventually handing her off to my sister who would then hand her off to my mom to get her to sleep, playing with her, and watching Barney and Dora about 300 gazillion times a day. Fun.
I also got to catch up with an old friend from highschool, Shyam, who's now in advertising. He's been doing some really creative work of late, and I was just blown away. He's promised to share some of his work with me so that I can put it up here. He had an interesting observation however - the last time him and I met, we reminisced about highschool and spoke about women. This time round it was women and career. Interesting change?
And, the food... I'm going to miss the food sooooo much. And, Jamba Juice, I love you guys, I don't know how I would've gotten through life without your smoothies. But seriously, you guys have NOTHING compared to the smoothies you get elsewhere in the world. Fresh fruit, almost no ice, and just naturally pure and sweet ingredients. Ok that wasn't a very convincing argument, but its hard to describe smoothies. I think I had about 3 or 4 chilled smoothies everyday. You just had to if you decided to get out of the house... What would you do if it was 110 degrees outside? Yep, that hot.
For those of you wondering, no, I didn't get to see Michael Jackson while I was in Bahrain (News article - MJ moves to Bahrain). He didn't return any of my calls. Although, I did get oddly suspicious when I saw a woman wearing an abaya doing the moonwalk. (News article - MJ disguising in an abaya in Bahrain)
I spent 2 weekends in London. London's just amazing. I thought I lived in a multicultural and diverse city in SF, but London definitely takes the cake. I heard so many different accents and saw people from practically everywhere in the world. London's definitely got more culture and history. This may sound kinda sad, but one of the highlights of my trip was the actual flight itself, if you can actually fathom it. I've gotten so disgusted by local flights within the US, that I've failed to realize how not-so-bad international flights can be. I flew British Airways and American, and they actually serve you food on the flight. Booze is on the house (in BA), or on the flight rather. And it takes a LOT, I mean A LOT to shake a 777. So good flights. The metro/underground/tube system in London just rocks as well. It makes it so convenient to get around the city and not have a car.
In London, I met with one of my Dad's old old old friends, and his family and kids. It was good reminiscing. He seems to recall the time when I was just born, which is kinda scary. He claims to have given me sips of beer when I was 2 years old, which I think explains a lot now that I think about it. Hmm... England, along with the rest of Europe, is like insanely soccer crazy. Nothing shocking there. And the few days that I was in London, it was really hot there. The sun'd be out till about 10pm, and it was just really hot. And for some unknown reason, a lot of men in London, walk around topless when its hot out and England wins a soccer game. And these aren't even particularly attractive men - I mean, most of them had beer guts and many of them really really desperately need to exercise, but they were all walking around as if they had something to show off. Anyhoo... Oh, and on my flight back to SF from LHR, I met someone rather interesting. And guess what, she was on my flight from SFO to LHR as well! That was an eerie coincidence - she was on both my inbound and outbound flights. We got to chatting, and we had a pretty good time on the way back. At least I did ;)
So, all said and done, I'm back. And if you haven't been to London and ridden the tube, the blog post title will look alien to you. Don't fret it, but you are missing out ;)
Currently playing in my head : "Heard 'em say" by Kanye West featuring Adam Levine