I WENT TO BAHRAIN BITCHES!
The month I dreaded as a child was always September, now, it was the month that couldn’t come any sooner! I couldn’t believe I bought my ticket to the Middle East. I was going to a country where women are covered up, where the men had the final say, where there is no bacon but this country had my husband.
I had gone shopping and was sending D pictures of the pants I planned on wearing. I didn’t know what to expect exactly other than I know I will not be able to wear shorts in a place where such things are forbidden. “You can wear that, you can wear anything! Just won’t wear shorts or tank tops,” D would always say. He clearly forgot who he was speaking to.
The day of travel came and I broke my Curly Girl routine and straightened my hair. LET ME EXPLAIN! I was going to travel for about 16-18 hours across the globe to see my husband whom I had not seen since April of this year. I was NOT going to arrive there with frizzy and broken curls from sleeping on the plane and airports. I checked all my bags except my backpack. I ended up sitting at the window seat for my first flight to Germany which was about seven and a half hours. It was a TIGHT flight but, thanks to my go-to fly kit, I survived.
My Go-To Fly Kit
- Pepto Bismol – I don’t know about you guys but my anxiety has the tendency of really messing up my belly. It doesn’t matter what I eat or drink, my belly is shot. So right before I board my flight, I drink a shot of Pepto to hold my belly off. You can drink the required amount every 30 minutes. Personally, I prefer the liquid version… it feels like a hug to my belly!
- Chewing gum – Recently, the moment I sit down in the plane I begin to panic. Panic turns into an upset stomach but this time I feel like puking. Chewing gum helps settle my belly. I’m not sure if this is a myth, therefore, becoming a mind trick but it does the job. Plus, the chewing motion will help your ears from popping.
- Dramamine – This wonderful pill is to treat motion sickness. I take two of these after throwing back a shot of Pepto either before or after I board.
- Fully charged tablet and phone – I always load up on movies or shows on my tablet the night before I travel. I also make sure my phone is ready to go with a music streaming app. My preference is Spotify.
- Ginger ale – I normally buy a bottle of ginger ale before boarding (that way I can take my Pepto and Dramamine) since ginger ale is known to settle bellies.
- Excederine (for migraines) – I suffer from frequent headaches and for a trip where I assume I would be sleeping sitting up, I wanted to take no chances. I bring a small bottle with me just in case.
- Hoodie – Besides warmth, I always bring my hoodie for comfort. Sometimes my back will be uncomfortable so I will ball up my hoodie and place it behind my lower back for support or wrap it around my neck to prevent my neck bending if I doze off.
Once I landed in Germany, I took a long nap for a couple of hours, charged my phone, and freshened up. On this trip, I brought a change of fresh clothes in case I felt gross after almost a day of traveling. When I boarded I was pretty surprised I had a whole 3 seater aisle to myself (this also happened on my way back from Bahrain). The plane was relatively empty so I lifted up the armrests, bunched up the provided pillows and took an 8-hour nap until I reached Bahrain.
Them Jet Pack Blues
When I landed, I went through customs, then to retrieve my bags. Since I had removed my make up before the final flight, I wanted to throw some makeup on before seeing D. Again, I had not seen him since April, so, yeah, I’m allowed to be hella extra right now! I finish up my eyeliner, fix my straight hair, and walk out the doors. I see him and it was foreign.
It felt strange to be in his presence again. Can I hug him? Can I kiss him in public? Can I make jokes? We embraced for a moment and quickly walked out of the airport. I stood beside him as he ordered an Uber for us to get back to his flat. As I observed him, it was a peculiar feeling. Is this my husband? It felt as though I was visiting a boyfriend. I was going to sleep in a bed I had no rights to. We exchanged warm smiles but I don’t think either of us were registering that we are finally back together again. We hopped in the Uber and behaved like children in puppy love. We sat at opposite sides to the windows and slightly touched our hands together. I was not sure if I was allowed to do such a thing but I just wanted to touch his hand – even if that meant only our pinkies could become reacquainted first as we tried to keep straight faces.
We arrived at his flat and immediately took the elevator up. I walked through the doors and was met with the cool breeze from the air conditioner. It was a spacious apartment but it felt cold. You can tell it was a “bachelor” pad. There was no warm decor or love on the walls. It was no surprise he had a bunch of mugs provided to him but no cups! This place needed a woman’s touch for sure. When we shut the door behind us, it was still weird to be in front of him but the hugs were familiar. His scent had slightly changed, not for better, not for worse, just different. His smile was just as warm, eyes still looked the same, just sleepy, his mustache was just as thick as ever… to my displeasure. He also had a new arm. His entire right arm had the beginning lines to a full sleeve tattoo. Kissing him was slightly unusual as well. I hadn’t kissed someone in so long, I forgot his mustache got in the way and would tickle my upper lip. It all became real once I showered, threw on PJs and crawled in bed next to him. I had my nook back.
A Whole New World!
The next few days were relaxing. I didn’t care to do anything but spend time with D. TBH, I am pretty easy to keep entertained. He had taken me to for sushi and ramen (seriously, that is my go-to meal anywhere I go), to the Grand Mosque, the suq, a tour around Bahrain where we got to see beautiful old villages where people still live inside to this day, museums, the malls (hello, I’m from Jersey), even their World Trade Center. Unfortunately, it was not easy to take pictures whenever I wanted to because we are not allowed to take photos of the local women there, even if they are passing by.
It was a perfect end to my trip. We tried to tell each other to not get upset when we had to part ways again. The day I left, he had to go into work at 5pm and I was not leaving until 8pm for my flight. Right before he left, we kissed and reassured each other not many get to be so lucky to see each other. I told him to harden up, keep it together because we got lucky. It was a reset button to give him the extra breath of air to continue his deployment and my guarantee that my husband is still my goofy husband. I watched him leave and that was when I just lost it. I had been spoiled for those days by seeing him. I was waking up next to him, going to sleep next to him, waking up in the middle of the night and him being the first person I saw. No matter what I did, no matter who I spoke to… he was there, reminding me, he still loves me despite my insane mood swings, outrageous thoughts, and crazy demands. No matter how often I fuck up, I know, in his eyes, I’ll always be his “velociraptor”; I’ll be the Kitty to his Red Forman.
I cried one last time in the Uber on the way to the airport and that was it. I got to dance with my husband on his deployment in the Middle East. I am pretty fucking lucky.