We arrived safely in the city of Al Ain on the 14th, so we've been happily planted for two weeks now. Time enough to acclimate not only to the brutal heat (only 95F/35C today!), but to everything else, as well. Things like:
- The maniacal roads. You have to have eyes on all sides of your head if you want to survive. Pay attention, or die driving.
- Everything happens in its own time...Inshallah (God willing!). American expectations do not apply when it comes to bureacracy, paperwork, maintainence, etc. Patience is a virtue!
- My brandnew 'SMART' washing machine won't run properly, because it's only hooked up to the hot water (cold water hose is just dangling there!), so I have to send it through a manual wash cycle twice with a manual spin! Takes the whole damn day to do the laundry! And now that ol' tune... 'Nobody knows the trouble I've seen!'
So all in all, it's been just fine. Yep! I'm lovin' it so far. The people are friendly and helpful, and I'm enjoying, with discerning eye, as all the Western myths fall by the wayside...
~ No alcohol outside of hotels. Bull Puckey! There's a liquor store right around the corner from us. Yeah, the windows are blacked out - looks like a Chicago Speakeasy - but it's there, all the same. Bottle of wine on my counter to prove it.
~It's mandatory for Emirati women to wear headscarves. Bull Puckey again! I've seen Emirati women in all states of dress, from relatively skimpy to full out burkhas! It's their choice, their freedom.
~Every Muslim must drop to their knees at the call to prayer. Bull Puckey on that one, too. No one did any such thing while we all shopped at LuLu Hypermarket during the 3:30 Muezzin's call over the grocery store loudspeaker.
~Public stonings on Wednesdays and Fridays. Big time Bull Puckey on that! No stonings here. Not ever! No matter what other ignorant fools might say.
I really do hope that with this blog I can inspire the destruction of outdated and useless stereotypes. If I end up helping only one other person to see that Muslims are not people to fear, and that FUNDAMENTALISM is the true evil on this planet, then I will be happy. But with that said, I don't plan on turning this blog into my own political forum. It's a travel blog, to share my journey with friends. Unfortunately, the political sometimes creeps in. And if my observations can change bad opinions, then so be it.
Well, it's time to get ready for a multi-national potluck get-together tonight with all my husband's coworkers: Spaniards, Kiwis, Russians, Americans, and Cypriots...I'm bringing chk & bf kebabs for all the meatheads, and salad for us veg-heads!
And here are a few pics of the Al Ain Palace Museum,
the first home of the late great Sheik Zayed -
philanthropist, conservationist, humanitarian,
beloved Father of his people.
May he rest in Peace!