We all woke up past 10:00 AM the following day, April 27, except Arriel. Thank God he crashed first; otherwise, there would be no food to feast on and black coffee to cure the hangover upon waking up.
Before the clock hit midday, we were extra excited on our way to the main activity and its venue: movie time at VOX Cinemas. And guess where?
At The Avenues Mall—which is, setting aside exaggeration—a must visit destination in KOB.
What is special about it is that it holds the title of being the first commercial and entertainment mall in the Kingdom with an unmatched unique seafront location.
It is strategically erected at the heart of Manama, opposite King Faisal Road.
According to what I read, the mall’s advent brought a new concept to the Kingdom, whose design was inspired by Kuwait’s The Avenues Mall, by giving visitors that outdoor feeling yet indoors via its transparent ceiling. Sunroof!
Because the mall provides a lot of Instagram worthy spots and views, we got drawn into taking selfies/usies and the scenery around.
By quarter past twelve, we headed straight to the ticket booth then ate a light meal at the food hall while waiting for Justice League’s showtime.
There is something special about watching a movie on foreign soil not only because it is a rich one. I am guessing … the sole privilege. And, it is a Detective Comics (DC) movie. This is one of our activities that will be forever etched in our travel memories.
We immediately grabbed a snack at IHOP upon exiting the theater and went home to freshen up for our next activity: the visit to that special place—which later turned into just popping around because the parent only speaks pure Hindi.
Eventually, we craved another set of ethnic meals for dinner. This led us to Swan Lake Restaurant for its Filipino and Thai cuisine and popularity in the area; it is tucked down a side street behind Bab Al Bahrain.
Swan Lake may not have that fancy fine dining vibe that usually catches attention but it is heaped with an Asian character and unique charm befitting its location.
We roamed around the place again then went home before 9:00 PM and rested upon hitting the sofa and its throw pillows in preparation for the ultimate Bahrain libation experience. We had already prepared the accompaniment to the drinks prior to this.
Then the session followed. We started with music jamming until it just became a soft background for our ever nerve-racking games—“369” and “7Up”. It later metamorphosed into a typical session with extra guffaws.
The next thing I knew was I woke up with a severe headache while the other bullies were prepping for our last tourist spot to visit which was the Dragon City.
By 10:00 AM, we were already en route to Dragon City with a lot of cool and opportune songs in the background.
I could vividly remember songs such as “On My Way” by Axwell & Ingrosso and “These Days” by Rudimental featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore, and Dan Caplen. I was so into that ride with my emotions upside down.
By the time the latter song ended, the car was already parked in front of the Dragon City—a mall that houses “over 787 commercial units. It is the largest wholesale and retail trading centre in the Kingdom of Bahrain and is located in the South-West of Diyar, Al Muharraq in close proximity to Bahrain’s International Airport, the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port and the Capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Manama (dragoncitybahrain.com).
Dragon City caters to local customers from and beyond the borders offering Chinese products and is infused with Chinese architectural and cultural styles.
After securing a few items for Jun’s mom, we had lunch then headed straight to Dammam for the three of us to catch our train ride back to the base.
When I was pondering in the train on our way to Riyadh, I smiled and told myself, that was a well spent weekend while looking at Ronald and Jeth who were both in deep slumber.
The proverbial libation was not the main pursuit in our itinerary but we are now glad it turned out to be so. The laughter we can got from the setting is one of a kind. I could not think of a similar event where we can loosen up that much while it takes away a lot of the anxieties, hesitations, or thoughts we might otherwise have in a relatively, I may say, safe environment. Trust me when I say, we all need that kind of session from time to time. It has been quite a while since I convulsed, that hard. I was besotted in the middle of diving in the alcohol pool. Three sheets to wind but not out of control. I still saw the beauty in the world with drinking and with the option of adding some sepia tones to it.
Indeed, “it was a worthwhile escape from our individual daily roles at work. From the cries of our patients and bosses, deadlines to beat, last minute requests and demands, resounding and earsplitting colleagues and down to the screaming pets in our tummies, we have decided to hibernate and wander away” (Jun).
Yes, we had that hangover…but it is definitely the kind that is one for the books. We all gave a toast for it that night and looking forward to its sequel at this point.
Photo Credit (Group Photos): Arriel F.
10 Things You Experience If You Live in Bahrain (expatwoman.com)
The Best Non-Touristy Experiences in Bahrain (theculturetrip.com)
Top 5 Things To Do In Manama (wowtravelme.com)
Things to do in Bahrain (whatsupbahrain.com)
Entertainment in Bahrain | Fun Things to Do (citycentrebahrain.com)
9 Awesome Things to Do in Bahrain (thecutlerychronicles.com)
Why is Manama in Bahrain the best place in the world for expats? (irishtimes.com)