Downtown Manama is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, these dated structures house people on the higher floors and have a variety of shops below. Last Friday some of our Internations photo walkers gathered to give this area a try. Ater parking at the Awal theater, one of the oldest cinema’s in Bahrain we started our journey into these dim streets. The theme for the walk was comic billboards and signs and shapes in the sky.
After a good hour on the street we visited an iconic Indian Udupi restaurant for snacks. For many westerners, the flavors and colors of the pure vegetarian food a revelation. It was dark and the Indian Club opposite was playing host to Onam celebrations with great fanfare. Lots of lighting, balloons and a band to welcome the chief guest the Indian Ambassador to Bahrain. Deciding not to gate crash into the function, we continued our walk making our last stop at Tariq Pastries for some freshly made Baklava. The kilo of sweets we ordered vanished while we enjoyed the brief respite in their air-conditioned premises before heading out into the humid night.
“You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they’ll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it’s as if they never existed. That’s what Hitler wants and that’s exactly what we are fighting for”. Words of Frank Stokes played by our favorite bachelor George Clooney, in his recent release, The Monuments Men. Continue reading →
A few days preceding the National Day, the roads around Riffa, the highway and the airport are lit up in red and white lights. We have all seen pictures of revelers and families heading in throngs to Riffa Palace each year on National Day. It is a treat to watch, but be prepared for bumper to bumper traffic and delays.
As promised we will now head east ward to the hills of Darjeeling, the queen of the hill stations in India. Today’s pictorial is about shoe shine folk who aggregate on an inclined shopping street near Chowk Bazaar, in central Darjeeling.
A lot of traveler’s are wary of shoe shine folk in general. Their notoriety attributed to the organised scams at some of the popular tourist cities such as Istanbul, Delhi and Rome. I would be too, but there is any easy trick to identifying these rogues, the ones in the scam generally approach you and are mobile. The ones I conversed on this busy street come to the same spot daily, and even have their regular clientage among the locals.
Their dark features, stands out among the lighter skinned locals from hills. They are from the plains, many having moved here years earlier looking for their daily bread at the famous tourist hub. Like any professional they take pride in their work, they carefully insert pads on the sides before they start their polish, not to stain the customer’s socks. In the end the shoes get a quick medical check, the sole a few complementary nails for support and a sharp trim to flaky leather from the sides. Cost of this half an hour road side shoe spa, a mere 30 rupees, or 50 cents.