Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It has been a curious week, since the start of the civil unrest in Bahrian - people I thought I knew really well have been doing and saying the most curious things.
For example, my friend - a staunch Socialist - is furious with the (civil rights) protesters because her organic shampoo is finished and she's too alarmed to drive past Pearl Roundabout into town to buy more.
Yesterday at the primary school a few teachers left before lunch to avoid the late afternoon march.
Pony Club is half full and some hard riding women who take falls with composure have fled Bahrain entirely.
Before they left they said: "We're suffering from low grade exhausting anxiety. We have butterflies in our tummies. We wake up each morning with a sickening feeling of dread. The noise of the helicopters is deafening. We are afraid of the troops on the street..."
I struggled to understand.
I said: "But the helicopters are here to keep you safe - they're looking out for trouble makers. And the tanks and the road blocks and the armed police and the army are here for your protection. You should feel safe not afraid!"
To which they replied: "You grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles... This was your normality. This is not normal for us."

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