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July 26, 2005

Bahrain...my story of a culinary adventure in the Middle East by Ed McGaugh

You see, by the age of ten I was already a bit of a nomad. I had been born in Paris to a Swiss mother and a midwestern, American father who had chosen a career with the airlines TWA. Shortly after my arrival in 1962 my folks moved to Kansas City, then to Florida and then back to Kansas City, which is where my story begins.

One day, my parents sat me down with some ceremony and began to pitch their next big adventure in a way that I’m sure they thought would sound irresistible to me. “We are moving to Bahrain, they explained to me. "Bahrain? Where is Bahrain?" I asked. To a ten-year-old boy who had lived most of his life in suburban America, this new place could have been just ten miles away. I honestly had very little concept of distances or geography. The cultural shift I was about to experience and tremendous impact it would have on the rest of my life I never could have imagined. That may have been something my parents could predict, but for me, the whole process was an event that I would just have to endure and hopefully enjoy.

I think of the days leading up to my arrival in Bahrain as being similar to those moments when an audience is waiting for the curtain to open on a play. My father departed for Bahrain a month or two before my mother and I, and during that time, my mind had ample opportunity to envision what might be in store for me when we arrived on the other side of the world. I fully expected to see camels and goats and rugged men and women forging out an existence from the desert with their bare hands. It was going to be just like Lawrence of Arabia! How romantic! How dangerous! How ME!

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