When we told our friends we were moving to Bahrain, many of them were concerned about our safety and well-being. After all, they knew we are a family who loves… I mean LOVES… bacon. One of the most commonly asked questions was, “Will you be able to eat bacon there?”
It was a legitimate question. Bahrain is a Muslim nation with Islamic laws as the basis for legislation. However, Bahrain is not a closed society as some of it’s neighbors are. In fact, there are many people who come to Bahrain on the weekends or vacation to…let’s just say “play.” Some people refer to it as “the Las Vegas of the Middle East.”
Once we arrived, we realized quickly that you can, indeed, eat bacon here. You can find it in all the grocery stores and restaurants. However, it isn’t the bacon we are used to. Usually, what you are buying or eating is turkey bacon or veal bacon or beef bacon. It will do if you simply want something that tastes vaguely like bacon. Sadly, is not a acceptable substitute for those of us who are true bacon lovers. What were we to do?
As anyone seeking something of questionable legality does (I’m making an assumption here, of course), we started asking around…usually in dark hallways and in hushed tones.
“Hey, is there any real bacon around here?”
“Do you know a place someone can find some bacon?”
“I hear people can get their hands on some bacon near here. You know anything about that?”
Ok. Ok. In all honesty, we just asked the Principal and he said the store just down the street sells it. It really is no big deal. Sort of…
Maybe it’s just me, but when I walk into the very small corner grocery store to buy real bacon, I start feeling uneasy. It doesn’t help that the bacon is hidden in a very small, dark aisle in the back corner of the store. When I walk to the check-out with the bacon in hand, I feel as if every set of eyes is on me. I imagine the person at the check-out counter is thinking, “Here’s another pig-eating American forcing me to touch that unclean pork product!”
It’s the embarrassment and shame I’d feel shopping in an adult book/toy store, especially shopping in the area “behind the curtain.” Again, I’m making assumptions here, of course! I imagine it’s what it would be like. I blush when I buy bacon!!!
I might be red in the face, but I have bacon in my belly.
In the end, the discomfort, guilt, and shame are worth every. single. delicious. bite.