January 15 - 21 , 2020

Gulf Weekly Stan Szecowka
By Stan Szecowka

Gulf Weekly BAHRAIN’S EXPAT LIFE -  He says

Ten years ago, my mother walked over to me and told me: “We are moving to Bahrain to live with papa. You’ll love it.” Bahrain? I’d never heard of this place before but six-year-old me wouldn’t admit that. I just smiled back. Honestly, I was a tad upset and completely confused.

After all, I had never encountered such a significant change in my entire six years! As I sought clarity, I approached my grandmother. However, she dodged the topic with ease. I walked out of her room an hour later, still thinking about the ghost stories that she recited. Next, I approached my sister who talked all too dramatically about “change” and “life”…boring. Lastly, I went to my mother who, obviously, diverted the topic and just focused on the new school I was going to go to.

Change is hard to accept for everyone, it was for us too. There was an assortment of happiness and sadness, there was the excitement of going to a new place, mixed with the sorrow of leaving.

Soon enough, we’d reached Bahrain- my grandmother, my mother, my sister and me. A year later, I finally knew what Bahrain was…home.

Living in Bahrain has been amazing from the beaches, the sand, the desert, the malls, the restaurants and best of all, the people. Bahrain has offered warmth and love to all of us from the moment we stepped into this country. It boasts diversity and a potpourri of culture. One meets people from various walks of life and everyone has a story to tell. We’re diverse, but the same, and this very diversity has enriched my childhood in the most extraordinary way. In the same breath, I still miss my family back in India- my maternal grandmother, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, friends. That pain of separation still lingers, however faintly.

It’s an exciting journey, that of living as an expatriate. I like to see it in the following light - I have two homes now. One is Delhi, India and the other is Bahrain, because, in the simplest sense, I have memories, emotions, friends, family and connections in both! And they are both so close to my heart!

More on Letters