21/11/2005

When natural instincts took a back seat...

Vol XXVIII   NO. 246      Monday      21 November 2005

 

When natural instincts took a back seat...

BY AMIRA AL HUSSAINI

It started as a drizzle. A little bit of rain won't harm I told myself as I resisted getting under the umbrella, held by my beloved husband as we walked from what we hope will soon become our apartment to a nearby mall.

"Amira. Come under the umbrella now," said a cautious Amer.

"It's only a little bit of rain. Water doesn't kill," I replied smugly.

Very soon, the drops were getting bigger and before I knew it, it was raining camels and donkeys!

It was then a mad dash for safety from the furious drops, which were attacking us relentlessly, and the gusts of wind that were blowing the umbrellas away from the crowds running for shelter.

I was awed. In Bahrain, there is hardly ever any rain and I have never brandished an umbrella in my life. Here, it seems to be an essential.

A necessity, in fact, and I only realised its importance after I was soaked.

Not that the umbrellas would have been useful in that sort of a storm.

I wasn't prepared for that 10-minute downpour, nor were my feet - which got drenched and are now angry with me for not wearing boots.

To be honest, nobody in the whole of Hamilton, my new home, was ready for the onslaught.

But at the mall, it was business as normal.

You wouldn't have noticed that there was a storm outside, people running for safety and - unbeknown to us at the time - a tornado-like, full-blown attack on Upper Gage Street, which is two blocks away from where we are now staying with old friends from Bahrain.

The angry gale tore through a few blocks, wreaking havoc, uprooting trees and blowing off the roofs of the homes and a school - full of students in class - in its path!

What annoyed me most was that we had driven up a section of that street a couple of hours after the storm and didn't notice anything different. I saw an uprooted tree, but didn't make much of it.

"Maybe it has always been there!" I mused, knowing that something was amiss. Unlike the swamped roads of Bahrain after a few millimetres of rain, the roads here were dry - as if the earlier storm was a figment of my imagination.

What made me furious was that I only knew about the fact that it did happen and the extent of the damage it had caused some seven hours later, when I heard names of familiar streets on the 11-o-clock news!

And to think that I was once the news editor of Bahrain's leading newspaper!

Where has my nose for news gone and my natural instinct to be at the centre of events as they unfold?

19:43 Posted in Rants | Permalink | Comments (3)

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Posted by: Magdu | 08/07/2006

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Posted by: Blog | 25/01/2007

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