The Filling Station ..

Filling up your car with petrol or diesel (if you are Mr. Euro Expat) is a pretty normal weekly activity…. i tend to fill up my car once to twice a week depending on how many times i go to City Center… i had to fill up yesterday (on the way to city center) at the petrol station before the airport, the one with the new McDees.

I always make sure i switch off my car when i fill up. Many people dont… but i think thats a bit idiotic… we should never take these things lightly, until Myth Busters take on the challenge of Busting the Myth… they tell me i can leave my car on when filling up, then i will… But until that happens i am going to switch it off…. So i am baking in my car while the tank gets filled up… and the little petrol filling dude is running around to make sure all the cars are attended to … FINALLY, he makes it back to me .. by this time i am finding it hard to breath…. i am not sure whether it is hotter in the car or outside… but i dont take the chance of opening the door or the window…

I pay for my fuel and he gives me back the change in 100 bz notes …. it was 4.600 Rials… so i had to wait, now with the door open, until he counts 46 100bz notes (twice) before giving them to me … at this stage i just want to get out of there … but i could not resist asking:

“mafi Riyalat?”

Translation: dont you have any Rials?

he answers:

“Mafi, el youm sayara mafi jay lakin”

Translation: No, today car not coming but

At this point, i start thinking, is this a conversation i really want to get into? I mean really… Do i really want to know what this guy is talking about? What car coming but WHAT? In my mind, my curiosity, is pounding at me to continue this conversation. Maybe i can pretend to count the forty six 100 bz notes i am now holding in hand and probe into the issue of “the car not coming but”. But then, the other part of me (the that was inhaling petrol fumes in the heat) reminded me that it was probably a lost cause … i should just say thank you and move on … and maybe, just maybe, one day i will be able to know what the story is behind that car not coming but ….

On a separate note, the King of Bahrain went to see the Pope …. in the name of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue of course ..


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