It was genuinely surprising to read that Bahrain had been voted one of the world’s best expat destinations. An overwhelming majority of folks seem to love living in this tiny country. After three years of living here, I can understand a lot of the positives about living in Bahrain. Bahrain is relaxed, friendly, and one of the most culturally diverse places I’ve lived.
Though there are some things these top expat destination type lists and surveys don’t tell you. Things you only learn after actually living in a country. So, thing about Bahrain is:
Flea markets, jumble sales, car boot sales—they weren’t places I visited often, if ever come to think of it. Aside from the odd jumble sale put on at school for charity. And those I can barely remember. I’d heard about a flea market here in Bahrain, open every Friday and Saturday morning, and where you could find anything. Despite my previous lack of interest in flea markets, it sounded like an interesting place to check out.
It took nearly three years but it’s done—finally ticked off Al Fateh Grand Mosque off the places to visit list.
Built in 1987, Al Fateh Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. A fact I didn’t know until I looked up the mosque’s opening times.
Dust storms aren’t uncommon in Bahrain. Far from a weekly, or even monthly occurrence. But I’ve got used to seeing “widespread dust” as a weather forecast on my phone. They can last an entire day, or be burned up in the midday sun. Sometimes the dust rolls in during the afternoon, creating havoc on the roads at night as visibility shrinks to just metres.
There’s this romantic view people have of camels roaming the deserts of the Middle East. They don’t roam the desert, but do occupy a farm in Bahrain. Real romantic.
The Royal Camel Farm in Janabiyah is one of the many free to visit tourist attractions in Bahrain. One that I actually thought was a rumour, until I visited it late last year. And then again earlier this year. I had to find something to do with my parents when they came.