Sunday, August 14, 2011

...standing out in a crowd

Last night Katherine, Joanne and I took a taxi to downtown Abu Dhabi. We wanted to find the souks (markets) that we had heard about, and hopefully snag a bargain or two on some clothing. Our driver dropped us off and we began walking. (I have never seen so many jewelry stores in my life!) We must have seemed quite the odd trio to the local people--a tall redhead, a petite brunette, and me. We finally found a souk--a series of small shops that sell anything from Levi's to tacky souvenirs (a shiekh and his lady salt and pepper shakers, anyone?!)--but our most pressing concern was our rumbling tummies. We asked shopkeepers along the way to point us in the direction of a restaurant. "Oh Ma'am, too far. You need taxi." I guess we looked too delicate to walk any distance! We kept wandering and looking and finally stumbled upon a delightful little cafe that sold sandwiches and fresh fruit drinks. After taking care of our hunger pangs, we were back out on the street again (in a good way) and made our way back to the souk. As we walked I heard catcalls and comments. It reminded me of being in rural Mexico a few years ago. I had asked my hostess, Candy, if the boys hooting and hollering realized how old I was--I could be their mom! She said it didn't matter--they had never seen a blonde person before, so I was an oddity to them. I was also reminded of our trip to Italy in 2000. Katie was a gangly 13 year old, badly in need of a hair cut. But to Japanese tourists in the Sistene Chapel she was "So pretty! So pretty!" After the previous day's taxi fiasco, we hit the jackpot on the way home. We got into a cab driven by the most delightful man from Nepal. He was college educated, and had worked as an accountant in his home country for 26 years. His job ended, but since he is still under 50 he needed to continue working. For 26 years he sat at a desk, so he decided he wanted to do something totally different. He loves driving a taxi, and is very proud of the fact that he speaks English so well. He had a wonderful sense of humor and kept us laughing the entire ride.

Today we're going to go to Carrefour, a large store (like Walmart on steroids) to get some more groceries and hopefully find an abaya or two. Katherine is so tall that she's having trouble finding floor-length anything.

An email came yesterday letting us know that official business is going to start this week--three days of training. Some folks are getting all worked up about the down time that we've had--they want to know where, what, and when, and they want to know NOW. (We're not in Kansas anymore...)


Leslie Morgan said...

Ah, Doozy, though I am eating up every word about your life adventure, sometimes it takes me places with people I didn't want to deal with in my mind today . . I'm not chastising you. I'm commenting on human connections.

My cousin Rebecca, my best friend in life because she's nearly as quick and devilish as I, is a redhead with every different hue on her head from strawberry blond to deepest auburn. Her face is not perfectly beautiful and most Americans would call her skin color "too light by half". Her body ranges from tiny/remarkable to "working on it", depending on the time of her life. But that hair! I have watched men in the middle east nearly RUN to be first to offer her service or assistance. "Now you know why I come over here so often with your Mom, Cuz. At home, I might appeal to a man or two, but herds do not gallop after me."

The jewelry! How to say this? The healthy economies of some small nations may owe much to my mother's jewelry purchases. Buckets and boxes full of jewelry. Really bad jewelry, in most cases and in my opinion. For while she bought a lot of it, for all of us, most of it was stuff I wouldn't wear on Halloween. Alas! I'm not much of a jewelry girl, anyway. :~}

Are you ready for this yet, Dooz? I already have a request for something (free) for you to collect and send. Nothing like "my friend is in ____, what can I ask her to get me", eh?

Doozyanner said...

Testing...testing...due to prompting from Les I finally investigated to see why I couldn't post to my own blog. Let's see if it works!

Doozyanner said...

It worked! Now to head over to Les' blog to see if I can comment there. Fingers crossed!

Arlene said...

Let's see if it worked. A

Arlene said...

Hey! Cool! It worked. Now out to empty the stain can on the fence. Will need to get another gallon on Friday. I love home ownership. :) :) :)