Do I have to go back to work?
I’m on the last day of having 5 days off. Bummer. For the most part it’s been a whole lot of fun. I mean look how relaxed I am on this beach pic…
I love this pic. It just sums up some of what I love doing most — chilling by water with friends. Wine and food on the beach with some more of my loved ones would make it even better.
Tuesday was National Day, so Lisa, my infamous neighbor, and I drove to Abu Dhabi to spend time with fellow Phoenicians Naomi and Kelley. I absolutely love where they live, and sometimes I’m a little jealous. But, my corner of the emirate has its pluses too. Best part is we can all visit each other’s corners at times like this.
We went to the Corniche (beach area), watched an air show, relaxed, watched the cars honk and parade up and down the street, strolled and relaxed some more, and then the sun went down and the crazy string and shaving cream wars began. It’s insane, but a lot of fun just as long as you stay on the family side of things. Loved seeing families picnic all over the park with their grills and shisha. The kids and moms had a blast spraying us, and we had fun spraying them.
Our major lesson learned was that it’s best to stay on the family side because if you cross the street — at night — to the beach side when a free event is taking place, you just might find yourself on the single male side of things. Their idea of fun with silly string and shaving cream is a little more brutal — especially when unsuspecting western women walk their way. Nothing bad happened, and the best way to sum this up is to say I can now add getting assaulted by silly string to my list of shit I’d never thought I do. We quickly made it back to the family side of things and decided to just watch the fireworks from their balcony versus the beach.
The next day was all about shopping, and then we headed home for a night’s rest before taking off to Dubai.
The Dubai portion of trip was all about exploring new things. Shannan and I went to our first rugby match, and it just happened to be during the Rugby Sevens, which seems to be a pretty big deal to rugby fans. Yay us, we got to watch our girls kick China’s shins. And let me just say this is not a sport for sissies — they beat each other down!
We were pretty pleased to learn a few of the mens teams were staying at our hotel and that our hotel had a rooftop pool and bar, but then way disappointed to learn it was a juice bar — drinks looked awesome though. So, yeah, we booked at possibly the only dry hotel in Dubai, but it’s all good because we were so tired when we got back to our room we passed out, which was good because the next day we were busy, busy, busy.
First we ate breakfast on a patio at a lovely french restaurant, then we learned how to use the Metro, and then we explored Dubai Mall (which was a first for me).
And then we checked out Global Village, which is a massive state fair, except it’s an international one. Games, shops, rides, food — oh glorious food! — and shows. Lot’s of fun.
the Americas exhibit was a let down. What made me laugh was they had an Abaya stand there, and these abayas showed cleavage. I guess that Americanizes it… I never knew honey was such a big deal in Yemen, but it is. We got tons of free samples. Honey there’s a honey for us… want a cup of tea? roar! monsters and moon! Three continents in one swoop Yep, I went to Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, etc. all on the same day!
Aaah and my favorite stop, the Turkish Restaurant. We shared a table with two Russian women, and enjoyed watching the men work as much as the food they served us. I’m a fan of grilled meat and cheesy dishes!
Needless to say, I had a wonderful 5 days off.
I wasn’t going to mention the bit of UAE news that made it’s way back home because it’s not my story to tell. Sadly, it does belong to others. But, I’ve gotten so many emails on it that I feel like I have to end this happy post with ugly news. Yes, I heard about that poor woman who got stabbed in the mall, and, yes, if I were stationed in Abu Dhabi that’s probably the grocery store I would use, and, yes, we are all shocked and horrified this happened. I did not know the woman, but like everyone else my heart goes out to her family and friends. I am so sorry the woman who wanted to create havoc did indeed end an innocent woman’s life. I’m sure had I known the woman who died, I would’ve loved calling her friend.
Violence isn’t normal here. Crime isn’t normal. The only time any of us feel in danger is when we’re on the roads, and then we learn how to drive here and we don’t mind so much. Heaven help the U.S. when we return.
Whether or not the murderer was associated with any terrorist groups is unknown, but her act was obviously one of terror. To everyone back home I cannot stress enough that, for the most part, we are safe here. Of course because we’re Western and because we’re in a Middle Eastern country we do keep our eyes open, but we hear of more horrors going on at home than we do in this country.
I want to thank everyone back home for their love and concern, and I also want you to know that I am quite happy with being here. I am learning so much good from the people here, and I know one day I will enjoy sharing their tales with all of you around the fire pit in my yard back home — until then, know this is still a really good place for me to be.
Okay, time to fit in some t.v. before having to go back to doing the work thing again…