Saturday, December 29th, 2018 – Official Anniversary Dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s inside The Four Seasons, Manama, Bahrain
Women cast off their conservative robes and niqabs as they cross the bridge from the KSA. What was once fully covered, without even giving the imagination a chance at any hint of realism, comes out to play in a distinctly Western, infidel sort of way. New Year’s clubbing garb peeks out from open robes and brazenly catwalks out of the restaurant.
Once inside, the surrounding waters twinkle with reflective neon lights. Texas Roadhouse. The Cheesecake Factory. Wait. Where are we? Strictly American music plays in the background, working its way through the decades as the evening progresses. Page and Plant’s Kashmir, The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black, then Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, a few 90’s and 2000’s nonsense, and eventually back around to giving Aretha a little Respect.
Our culinary neighbors are composed of peoples from all over, but very few from the Midwest. Arabian Gulf weekenders, birthday celebrations, honeymoons, anniversaries, rose petals forming hearts on tables, a mustachioed cake with a monocle – the cake tycoon, but I digress.
An attendant brings a queer little triangular table for a Kavu perch. After all, if the floor is not a fit place for the woman to sit, then it’s certainly not fit for her bag!
Steak Tartare, assorted breads and spreads, perfectly seasoned steaks, grilled vegetables, a frozen tea and lemon palette cleanser, a brownie topped with salted caramel ice cream, a cream brûlée slice of banana, americano, cappuccino, and finally a dainty macaroon to accompany the final bill. Fond gazes, bemused observations, expanding midsections, and a love that has built for nearly an eternity. Time and space will not, nor cannot, tear asunder this bond, this unity, this marriage.