When I lived in Riyadh, my movement was pretty much from my home to office and back. My office was right next to Kingdom Tower and I had rented a flat about 400 meters from my office. So, every morning at about 8:00 AM, I used to walk to my office (irrespective of weekends which was initially on Thursday and Friday and later changed to Friday and Saturday). It used to be generally at about 1:00 AM in the night, I used to walk back home. I had hired a cook who used to clean the house and cook food. So, when I got home, I used to eat whatever he would have cooked and sleep.
However, every 3 months, I used to make a trip to Bangalore and spend 1 week with my family. My office used to give me 4 sets of Air-Tickets per year for the 4 members of my family. However, my family never visited Saudi Arabia. The policy was that they would give me the money for the Air-Tickets and I did not have to produce any bills. So, I used to make 4 trips every year.
In Riyadh, I had contracted Mr. Swaminathan to take me from my apartment to Airport every time needed to go anywhere. Other times when I needed to visit the Bank or any other such places, I used to take a Taxi.
My office sent me to Dubai for a conference. During this trip, I learnt that I could visit any country in the Gulf as I had a Iqama (Residence Permit) in Saudi Arabia. Armed with this knowledge, I asked Mr Swaminathan whether he could take me to Bahrain. He agreed to do so for 2000 Riyals. So, on one weekend, I made this trip to Bahrain.
We started early in the morning at about 6:00 AM. We were soon driving through the Desert with noting visible on either side.
There were very few cars on this road. The vehicle, we encountered most, were the oil tankers.
After driving for about 3 hours, I asked Mr. Swaminathan to stop at a Petrol Pump. We soon found one and stopped there. The Petrol Pump had a convenience store and I bought a sandwich and Pepsi.
We reached Al Khobar at about 10:30 AM. Here Mr. Swaminathan drove to one part of the town and told me that another car would take me to Bahrain. He also told me that the car would bring me back to Al Khobar from where he would pick me up.
At Al Khobar, there is a bridge which joins Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The bridge runs over the sea.
At nearly the center of the bridge is the Check-Post. Here, I showed my passport to the Saudi officials and passed through.
At the Bahrain end, I had to go to the Immigration. I soon found that I did not need to pay for the visa because of the class of my Iqama. So, I was allowed to enter Bahrain.
After crossing the bridge, we were driving towards Manama. The Driver (I have forgotten his name) was very talkative. However, he was saying some useful information in between.
The roads are fantastic.
We reached Manama at around 1:00 PM. We drove around the city. We stopped at a Pakistani Restaurant for lunch in between. Then we were on the road once again.
At around 6:30 PM, my driver suggested that we can have some alcohol in a Dance Bar. We entered a Dance Bar. We ordered 2 Beers. Then 3 Indian Dancing Girls came on the stage and started singing some sad Hindi songs. This was spoiling my mood. So, I finished my Beer and headed out of this.
We then drove to the Radisson Hotel that I had booked online. I checked into my room and relaxed. I had dinner in my room and slept.
Next morning, I had breakfast at the hotel at around 8:30 AM. Then, as there was nothing to do, I went for a massage at around 10:30 AM. By 12:00 Noon, I checked out and got into my car. We drove back to Al Khobar.
When we were at the check post, the Saudi Police asked us to get off our car. Then, they searched the car for nearly 30 minutes. When they were satisfied, they stamped our passports and allowed us to enter Saudi Arabia.
We were back in Al Khobar by around 2 PM. My driver told me that we could go the Aziziah Beach and I agreed.
I rode on Camel, Horse besides sitting by the Sea.
At around 4 PM, Mr Swaminathan came to pick me up. Then, he took me to a South Indian Restaurant in Al Khobar. There I had a Dosa. Then we drove back to Riyadh. By the time, I reached my apartment, it was around 10 PM.