Archive | January, 2012

Living In The Future

28 Jan

Being a dichotomy, I am seldom fully present.  A glance at my watch will tell me Bahrain time but, within a nano second. my astute brain will have calculated English time – three hours earlier – whereupon I can visualise what’s going on back home.  As I awake at four in the morning England is sleeping.   By nine I am well into second lesson and England is stirring – some may be scraping ice off car windows – smug smile.  The time I like best is four in the afternoon when I leave work and England is still grinding away.

Life, of course is not quite so straightforward.  My oldest son works nightshifts and my other offspring are students whose waking hours don’t conform to my neat little daily reckonings. As it happens this is convenient,  as at any given time I can catch one of them on Facebook for a quick interrogative catch up.

Here in Bahrain the weekend begins on Thursday so I am forced to change the habit of  a working lifetime and say. ‘Thank God it’s Thursday !’  to my colleagues on arrival at school.  TGIT !  Doesn’t sound right, but I’m resigned to it.  At work, in recognition of our adoration of Thursday, we are allowed to wear jeans, so it is in fact now dubbed Jeansday.

The really hard adjustment – which I’ll never master – is that semantically thinking  Friday is Saturday and Saturday is Sunday. therefore Sunday is Monday.  If you’re confused reading it , think how confusing it is living it.

It’s time I went to bed since it’s almost nine in the evening –  six English,  tea time – and tomorrow is back to work day – Sunday,  rest day English.  Good night until tomorrow ,  four in the morning – one English – enjoy Sunday and stay warm.   xx

In The Thick Of It

27 Jan

Five months into my life as a virtual mum and new role as Miss Kathleen.  How am I doing ?

The old image of a swan drifting serenely on calm waters whilst beneath the surface frantically paddling to stay afloat, may be appropriate. But having made it to another pay day, I remain afloat – so far so good.

I’m pondering the joys of teaching children who speak a different language and are culturally alien … but that was England.

Here, I suppose it’s much the same.  However,  there is appreciation; and as is always the case with teaching, whatever you do isn’t  enough.  I may spend my day pontificating the correct usage of nouns, verbs, question marks and pronunciation,  but communication is achieved for the most part through a corrupt version of the language. ‘ I can go bathroom Mass Kathaleen?’   ‘I drink water Mass Kathaleen?’  ‘ Mass Kathaleen, how you spell Macdonalds?’  Of course it’s my job to correct these linguistic misdemeanours, but at times I find myself joining in.  ‘Yes go bathroom, drink water, why you go MacDonalds ?’

On the home front my apartment is an oasis of calm; a big white space which welcomes me at the end of the crazy day.  I have all I need here and just round the corner Aseel’s supermarket is at hand in case I need more. In fact just round the corner is practically everything I could possibly require; a bakery which makes flat bread you buy through a hatch fresh from the oven, a laundry, numerous clothes shops. a fresh fish shop, and a couple taylors which I intend to try out one day.

Painting is my new hobby.   Inspired by the wonderfuly exotic colours of  outfits worn by the children on special occasions, I brought some acrylic paints and canvases back from England and have added splodges of abstract colour to my white retreat.

Next week I intend to join the Bahrain Writers’ Society.  They may be duped into taking me in, having had a poem accepted for publication in an anthology called ‘My Beautiful Bahrain’.  Quite exciting as it means I get to go to the launch;  something to look forward to on my future horizon.

Another Splash of Colour