Weird weather which the locals claim is "not usual" (now where have we heard that before) - woke up to a foggy day, hot & dry but foggy. After a while realised it was not moist air but dust, apparently from Saudi as its windy. Spent this afternoon flat hunting, firstly in Juffair which is a building site on a massive scale - acres of reclaimed land, see picture. And as per usual with new builds there is no infrastructure... no shops, restaurants and at times no roads! Wouldn't advise anyone to buy property here as its likely that any view would shortly be through the windows of an adjacent block. So then headed for Adliya (say it as Add-Le-ah) which is older and infinitely more lively as this is the district with all the eateries. However you have to balance this against traffic noise.
Flats here are fully furnished (everything down to the duvets) or semi-furnished (nothing except white goods). Many of the former are also serviced (the landlord owns the whole block) meaning that a maid comes in 2 or 3 times a week and in some places they offer a laundry service. Most have pools and gyms, usually on the roof, occasionally a BBQ cum garden terrace. In one case all this plus a large pool complete with Koi. In every block the gym was empty and looked little used which says something about all our intentions to keep fit. However we've seen one we liked, large and airy with a balcony & near the top of a building so less traffic noise but over the planned budget. More flat viewings tomorrow and Saturday.
Coming up is a long weekend. The weekend here is Friday and Saturday. This week Sunday is a religious day (I think the birth of Mohammed) so everything will be shut according to the notice on a local bank ATM today (does that include ATMs I wonder?). However Kevin may have to go to Saudi where the weekend is Thursday & Friday, that is if he gets his visa. Having spent the morning at the Saudi Embassy with all the paperwork issued in Saudi to his employer, he came away without it. They need his CPR (the Bahraini identity paper) but he can't get that as Dell don't have sufficient Bahraini employees at present! Don't you just love officialdom. However the good news is you can rent a fully furnished flat here with just a passport as all utility bills including satelite TV & internet access are paid by the landlord.