The Tree of Life in Bahrain
Evil Me instantly thinks, “This is it? A scraggly pile of sticks rising up out of the sand?”
Good Me thinks, “But it’s a 400-year old tree, in the middle of the Bahrain desert, with no known source of water. That’s kinda cool. Isn’t it? Kinda?”
Evil Me thinks, “Even the graffiti on its saggy branches isn’t interesting. I’ve seen stronger trunks on dead elephants — a strong wind and this thing’ll keel over. And there’s not even a bloody sign along the road to tell you where the turnoff is. This is just sad.”
Good Me thinks, “The only sad thing is reprehensible defacement of such a lovely symbol of Bahrain — phoenix rising from the ashes/where there’s a will there’s a way — you know, that sort of thing. And I think the lack of a roadside signs makes it more mysterious, like you’re in on a secret or something.”
Evil Me thinks, “Well it’s no secret how that security guard must feel — stuck here all day in his plastic lawn chair watching wide-eyed fools like us make the pilgrimage to this battered old thing. Tree of Life? More like ‘Clinging to Life.'”
Good Me thinks, “Finally they are protecting a national treasure from further damage. First the fence, now the security guard — it’s good they are taking steps to safeguard it for future generations.”
Evil Me curses himself for driving the impossibly dull and confusing roads from Manama to see the thing.
Good Me congratulates himself for navigating the sometimes tricky but overall pleasant drive to the site. “We got to see oilfields, and refineries, and pipelines, and a piece of Bahrain few get to see, what more do you want Evil Me?”
The Tree of Life is Getting a Facelift
According to the Gulf Daily News, there are plans to spruce up the area surrounding the Tree of Life in an attempt to lure more visitors. The project “will feature a spectacular amphitheatre…a viewing area, kiosks and tourist attractions.”
Work on the amphitheatre has already started.
Evil Me and Good Me can agree on one thing — we’re both glad we got to see the Tree of Life before it became a sideshow, instead of the main (albeit somewhat disappointing) event.