Three cities (okay 2.5); one weekend
It’s that lucky time of the term where we have just a few days left before Spring Break — whoop! whoop! Our girls are testing, so no real classes this week, although we do have catch-up time with the girls.
I’m proud to report that most of my girls did really well with this country’s college-entrance exam, and now they’re on the tail end of other exams they’d rather not be taking, but they’re giving it their best shot — while we try to finish up their grades on time.
Because I didn’t have to worry about planning lessons and resources this week I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend — yeah I know who am I kidding? I thoroughly enjoy every weekend, but I swear this one came totally worry free.
On Thursday I spent the night in my apartment with my neighbors — Ashley baked cookies while Haneefa and I inhaled said cookies as well as some awesome cheese brought via Amsterdam thanks to Shannan.
On Friday I went to Meena Bazzar, aka Little India, in Old Dubai near the Gold and Spice Souq. Basically, it’s where Indian and Pakistani (and anyone else willing to try out something different) women can go for their pick of dresses, shoes, jewelry, and any accessories — including any extra bling you’d want on clothes. If you want a handbag or luggage, no worries, it feels like Karama (another famous place to shop in Dubai, specializing in leather goods) is right around the corner because there is a man on every street waiting to take you to a best-price bag shop (we declined their offers).
Luckily, I went with my friend Sangita, who is British-Indian, who just happened to be looking for a few outfits for a cousin’s wedding in May. I loved helping her find things, while I bought myself some adorable gold shoes, and having her introduce me to her family’s culture — including a meal at her favorite north indian restaurant (all vegetarian and yummy, although I’ve discovered that um, chickpea curry has its own scent that, um, your body releases up to two days later — who knew?). Sangita if you’re reading this thanks for a fun night, and I’m totally looking forward to our next trip — where I’ll actually have the money to have some clothing made for me!
The next morning the skies were dark in Al Ain, but Abu Dhabi was sunny, so I met some other friends for a day on Saadiyat Beach, and the waves were busy. It was a fantastic beach day where 40 and 50-something year old women played like sea nymphs and, unintentionally, showed off parts of our bodies not meant to be seen on a middle eastern beach — but hey what are you gonna do when Mother Nature whips you around like a rag doll.
Sunday morning I went to work sun burnt, but relaxed and at ease —all I’ve gotta do is proctor a few exams and finish marking. I can do this! Tomorrow, I get to have a spa day with Shannan in celebration of her birthday — and while the weekend ended Saturday night, it still feels like it’s going on (okay except for the morning alarm; could do without that).
You can buy made dresses, semi-made dresses, or fabric with patterns, which can be modified to what you would like. While I’m not about the dress I’m holding up in picture — the man brought it to me because I’m tall, and he thought I’d like it — I am a fan of some of the pant/tunic options (they’re not what you think — will just surprise you with them one day). I loved our final shop, which is where Sangita bought 4 outfits. We were served Masala tea, while sewing machines buzzed upstairs, and sales men buzzed downstairs, and Sangita picked her fabrics and got measured. A very busy place for a very tiny shop.
At the restaurant you sit down to a metal tray with tiny bowls. Servers quickly come and fill the bowls with an assortment of vegetable curries and serve you a salty yogurt drink — to help cool the tongue. I preferred using the raw vegetables and my bottle of water, but now I can say I sipped a salty, milky thing. I learned that rice is served last not alongside the meal.
These pics don’t do the waves justice, nor the different shades of blue in the water. A big ole thanks to Suzanne, her daughter Jenna who was visiting, Kelley and Craig for a fun-filled day — including our “it’s not ice cream it’s gelato” treat. Thankfully, no one was taking pics of we sexpots getting bitch-slapped in the water.
One of the things I love most about here is the child-like wonder my friends and I continue to have despite our years of fighting all the metaphorical waves in our lives. A night home, a day shopping, a day on the beach should always be as much fun as it was when we were little girls — may we never lose that!
In just a few days, Spring Break begins, and then we’re all into our third and final trimester for this year — where in the world does the time go?