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.