Monday, October 18, 2010

Living Downtown

I must be a spoiled technology girl because the dial-up connection at my Uncle Anwar's apartment is something I do not recall ever encountering in my life before....the speed of it that is.  It also tends to check out of its own accord.  And so, I have finally got back to my blog.  Facebook does not seem to agree with the connection though.

I am staying in Anwar and Mariam's apartment in Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi.  A perfectly sized place, old enough to feel homey and with enough quirks to have a cute personality.  One toilet has no flusher, but seems to be contemplating flushing most of the time.  I figured out where the toilet paper was after a few days of using kleenex, and now I even know how to work the stove here and make some shai (tea).  I love it here :)  The apartment is right in downtown Abu Dhabi allowing me access to malls easily and walking distance to any necessity, including a large book and art store, a Starbucks, other arabic cafes, and other stores and shopping centers.

My day goes something like this:

Wake up around 11:15, make my bed, and meander my way to the bathroom and the fridge for some water.  Along the way waving a grogy "Good Morning" to Mariam who is relaxing on the couch, TV on, and reading either the newspaper or the Koran.  She imediately asks if I want any Juafa (Guava juice) or Shai.  I say Shai, Shookran (thank you).  Stumble my way back to my room and grab my journal to write while waking up to tea with Maramia (some kind of herb) and a little bit of sugar.

Mariam and I communicate as much as we can with our broken languages about what has progressed in the morning or any plans for the day.  I get offered breakfast, but I usually just have a banana or something small, which seems to frustrate her a great deal.  Lunch is the main meal, and I would be hanged if I was not hungry for it.  I'll read and see if I can help Mariam in the kitchen or learn something, until about 2/2.30 when Anwar gets home from work.

We all sit down and talk about nothing in particular until Anwar sees I'm hungry and we have a big delicious lunch!  I always look forward to this part of the day hehehe!!  2 kinds of bread, some kind of soup to start, and a few choices for main course.  There is always at least one vegetarian/vegan option, which the middle eastern cuisine so easily caters to. 

After saying "no thank you" 15-22 times to Mariam trying to convince me that I actually am still hungry and want to eat more, we clear up and move to the couches for more tea and more conversation.  Sometimes it moves to politics, which is mostly me listening and Anwar expressing himself.  Sometimes we talk about the philosophy of love, which is of greater interest to me.  Eventually they go for thier afternoon naps and I pop onto the computer and read while things load.

By 5/5.30 Anwar is back at work and I either go out and do something more active than sitting and drinking tea, or I don't.  Tough life.  There is a park nearby, and a "scenic road" which are nice, and the weather is quite pleasant now in the evenings.  More reading happens when I am home, which has resulted in my recent book binge.  I am currently reading Stieg Larsson's books.  I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, and now I'm finishing The Girl Who Played with Fire. Both captivating and they both keep you up at night, not so good for aid in sleeping.

Anwar gets home around 9/9.30 and we have dinner.  Usually some little things we pick at and dessert and tea.  Lots of tea!  Then more chatting about life, the country, the world, ideas, and people, and then off to bed where I end up reading until about 3 am every night, sleeping with my light on until around 5 or 5.30 when the call to mosque wakes me and I turn off the light.

I live well.  I'm  happy.

1 comment:

Sabah said...

So cute. I never thought of the Middle Eastern habit of drinking tea as an event as you made it look like. :) I know, Anwar loves to talk about every thing , especially ideas and analysis and thoughts in any subject. you seem really enjoying that slow ppace and lots of attention from uncle and aunt:D . I am glad you are happy.