My morning walk included a new friend! Moving here from Texas (last week) may seem like a huge jump, but as I always say, “it’s a soft landing to move here.” This home of mine is loving, warm, welcoming, generous, exciting, culturally aware, clean and safe. I think she’s getting happier with her landing.
We walked in a huge circle covering the “hot spots” of our neighborhood: restaurants, post office, a family park, furniture stores, car dealerships (BMW and Ferrari / Bentley), coffee shops, an art gallery and a handful of grocery stores.
What can you discover in your neighborhood by walking around? Discover something new and enjoy it!
Over the summer I learned how to play, enjoy and look forward to a weekly game of Mah Jongg. Originating in China, the game involves some skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance.
I love it because I can gather with friends, (making new friends is important to me) have something to look forward to on my calendar weekly and I just inherited my Nana’s Mah jongg set that she played with at her weekly game.
My uncle offered it to me and I quickly accepted. He packed it up and sent it to a friend who was visiting their home city in Texas. My friend brought it to me (here in Abu Dhabi) in his luggage (a very generous gesture as it weighs 15 pounds!) I received it yesterday and opened it for the first time last night. I am so happy and grateful to have it and that my uncle and friends brought it to me.
As I organized the set, the musty, happy smell filled my nose and heart with love. I remember my Nana and her friends sitting around the table of four declaring “4 bam!” “Red Dragon!” and “8 Crack!” As a kid those were special grandmother words. *NOTE: both my grandmothers played Mah jongg!
Today, we use many of the same words, a little different depending on the locale, the same sets and the same love of friends sitting around a square table. My heart is filled with pride as I will show my friends this set tomorrow at our game.
As I sit on my blue cushion on the bus heading to the store, I hear phones whistling and ringing, a man singing, conversations in Tagalog, Somali, Hindu and Urdu. I see a lady reading Qur’an on her iPhone, another reading The National newspaper, and another reading a magazine.
The view out the window includes tall buildings, shops, restaurants, people, sand, rocks and of course sunshine.
This is my Abu Dhabi. This is the international city that it is fills me up.
Another interesting thing about living in the desert is an occasional sand storm. Yesterday, while food shopping, the sky turned a beige color and the buildings played “hide & seek”. When we walked to the taxi stand, we could hardly see the incoming cars! The sky was gone as were the buildings! It was a sand storm!
This is my second experience with the sand and wind in my one and half years here. It’s an extraordinary event. Add it to thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes for me.
By dinnertime, the sand had subsided and all was calm.
This morning, the sun was up as usual.
Life goes on in this desert paradise.
This picture is out my window looking over the breakwater and not seeing the Emirates Palace, Presidential Palace or the Marina Mall. Sites I see everyday from this window. Photo taken at 5pm.