Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A fieldtrip and the dirty corniche

Last night/late yesterday afternoon we decided to take the baby to the corniche to walk around a bit. The place was super crowded w/ families picnicking on the lawn, children running around playing soccer, and most of the swings were taken, and the little carnival thing they have there was full of children and families. We decided that daddy would swing w/ Naief for the first time, and I wanted to see how he responded to grass... since he's never felt it before, so we head out in search of an empty swing.

All the playgrounds were packed w/ screaming children... and since I thought it would be nice to have one that wasn't surrounded by yelling kids, we walked down to where the big shooting water fountain thingy is, and found a swing set that wasn't taken. Hashim gets on and I place Naief in his lap and they start to swing. I get in back of daddy to push a little... and whatta ya know, he gets sick to his stomach. No, not Naief, Hashim. I could hardly believe it... since it's usually me that gets sick from things. Isn't it weird how when you start getting older, all the things you liked as a kid change... and wind up making you sick. I can think of several... roller coasters, cotton candy, swings, riding in the back seat of cars... :)

So after getting off the swing, we head over to look at the big shooting water fountain thingy (can't remember what it's called). There was a cool breeze coming off the sea and Naief seemed captivated by the water sounds and looking at all the ppl. What I found most interesting was how dirty the place was. There was garbage everywhere. It's starting to look like Egypt, was my first thought. I wish I had had my camera because I'd post the pics for you all to see... there was stuff everywhere.

We went to Egypt some 3 years ago and I was taken aback by all the garbage everywhere. While in Cairo, we took a day trip to see all the pyramids and such, and while riding around looking for a place to eat, I was really disgusted by all the banks (by the streams and such) that were made outta garbage. It was everywhere... every place you looked... garbage. And this is what I saw at the corniche.

I found myself wondering why so many ppl don't give a crap about their environment here. There are trash bins everywhere, but instead of getting up and taking their trash there, they dump it right where they are... even if it means on the banks near the sea, on the side walk, on the lawn... anywhere is their trash can.

What a great example parents are setting for their children. This is one thing that really bugged me about Bahrain when I moved here, and it still does. How ppl liter and how there isn't any recycling program in place. No one seems to give a damn about what they're doing to this island, and there seems to be no program in place to teach ppl and/or children. And, anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm huge on recycling. I'm a tree hugger and have been for years. I'm always on my sister to recycle... even pissing her off the last time we visited her in Cali because of her tendency not to recycle! Atlho I've heard she's getting better... let's hope!

Anyway... as we're walking over to the grassy area to relax a bit and to let Naief feel grass for the first time, I can't help but to be sickened by the smell of trash everywhere. Really, it was disgusting. And here you have families w/ small children out in this filth...

but... back to the story...

We get a place in an open area, take him from his stroller and sit him down on the grass. What does he do?? He sits in one place and doesn't move. He lifts his hand to crawl and instead of moving, he leaves one hand in the air, one hand on the ground, looks at me and cries. He hates the grass!!!! I laugh hysterically... because he's sooo funny to look at. I can't get over that he doesn't like the grass. I guess because it's not too soft and it pricks his little fingers in a way that he's not used to...

So, we move to another area and again we sit him down on the grass. Again, he won't move. He looks over at me and cries. I stand him up (he's barefoot) and he won't move... just wants me to hold him. Hashim takes out his bottle, I start to feed him and as soon as one of his feet touch the grass, he starts to cry. It's so funny.... and something I never expected. Here his mommy loves the grass, loves to sit on it, lay on it, and my little boy hates it.

After I guess about 10 minutes, we get up and start making our way back to the car, which is a good hike, and since it's a little hotter than we expected, the smell of the trash is a much stronger than I'd prefer, so we pick up th pace and by the time we reach the car, we've both worked up a good sweat, which I'm happy about because I need the exercise. As we're walking tho, I find myself looking around at all the ppl, their blankets/rugs, all the food, and I wonder what they'll do w/ all the leftovers. Leave it there, throw it in the trash.... what.

Again... why don't ppl care about this small island, I ask myself again and then I ask Hashim? Do they realize that after a number of years, there'll be so much trash here that it might just look like Cairo?!! Why don't they pick up after themselves? Why don't they teach their children to pick up after themselves?!! A part of me believes it's because the housemaids do everything for them and they've become lazy... or is it just because no one cares???

Other than the trash, the smell in some areas, we had a nice time. I enjoyed watching all the kids play, seeing Naief's face while Hashim was holding him and swinging, and seeing the look of horror on his face when we put him on the grass was priceless and made it all worth it. I'm hoping we can do it again next weekend. Maybe by then they'll have this place cleaned up... but I doubt it.


ammaro.com said...

he needs time to get used to the grass. take him out more, get him used to the outdoors. it will make him stronger :)

Olivia said...

Can't stand the smell of trash in the heat, that's nasty. Don't they smell it too?

Anyway, that's funny about Naief freezing in mid-pose. I was wondering when he'll grow out of it...he's bound to, when he starts walking and wearing shoes! You know, when he's a tougher lad than he is now!

Hard grass is no fun, I remember that razor edged St Augustine stuff in Texas. The softer more velvety grass was better but didn't thrive well in that heat.

Gardens of Sand said...

My nephew Ammar, was scared of grass for the longest time. I'm guessing he was around Naief's age. He is used to it by now so no worries Naeif will it. I know many ppl who had the same reaction when young.

That is terrible about the trash. Really sometimes I wonder if making ppl pay a price to access the corniche would make it a better place.

Another pet peeve (pun intended) is all the ppl that let their dogs poop and pee on the grass. You can't walk barefoot and kids cant sit or play on the grass. People can be so disgusting.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

The kid hasn't seen grass yet! Hey, he needs to touch it slowly, touch sand, touch wood, touch flowers, get the feel of different textures and not ber afraid of them. Plant a box of grass in your flat maybe.
Okay, okay, I didn't mean that 'grass'!

Yacoub said...

mashalla it seems that your son Naief has some bedouin blood in him, how is he around sand? lol

I must agree with you about the garbage, it's just horrendous how so many people just chuck their rubbish everywhere- there's just this 'oh they pay people to clean up our mess, so why don't we make a mess so that they earn their money' mentality.It's sickening really.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I remember during my first year here in Japan a bunch of us foreign teachers in my area organized a beach cleanup. We got together with a whole bunch of trash bags and picked up the piles of garbage that people had left while "appreciating nature the Japanese way".

First the Japanese people happening by stared at us and shook their heads. Then more and more of them started coming over and asking if they could join us, some of them apparently having been drawn by word of mouth. By the time we were finished we had more than doubled our manpower.

Sometimes all it takes is a little initiative to get things rolling.

Um Naief said...

moody, my mind was going in the same place as yours. i think organizing something to clean up areas would be a great way to start ppl on the right track. great idea you have. and... weird, but i would have never taken japan to be dirty. i guess you see it everywhere tho.

ammaro, i agree. i think the fresh air and sun makes them strong. hopefully we'll go again this week. :)

olivia, i think they do smell it, but ppl just ignore it... figuring like yacoub said in that it's someone's else job to pick it up. this grass feels like st. augustine... very sharp. i'm sure that's why he didn't like it. some ppl grow japanese grass here, but you only find it in private yards. have you ever felt that? super soft... like that other texas grass... what is that called?

gardens, i think having to pay a price to access the corniche wouldn't necessary make it better. in california, you usually have to pay to park at the beach, but you still get a lot of ppl littering. i'm not sure why so many ppl do it here, but it's sad. and i agree, i think not picking up your dogs droppings is disgusting. they should make it mandatory that ppl pick up after their animals. who wants to walk into a big pile of poo! not me!!

wendy, i'm taking your advice. as soon as we have flowers in the yard, i'm gonna let him go out and touch them. i can hardly wait for the weather to get cooler here, so that we can go out exploring all of these things. we have sand in the yard... and there's sand at the corniche... and i'm anxious to see how he responds to that. he'll probably want to put it in his mouth! oh yeah.. today i caught him w/ cat food in his mouth!! :)

yacoub, i think he is a little bit bedouin. you know, that's why we chose his name ... because hashim said it's an old bedouin name, and i love that. i think in a few days, we're gonna go back to the corniche, so i'll see how he responds to sand. he'll probably love it!! :) and i think you're right about why ppl don't pick up after themselves, figuring that there are ppl there that do that... or at least i hope.