camels, falcons and al satwa

went looking for the camel race course. someone told us it moved inland.
then we went to al satwa, a non-posh ‘hood where real ppl live and feels like a real neighborhood. we like that.

another nice visit to sharjah and went to xcellent local restaurant in dubai

sharjah’s interesting.
went to the sharjah museum of islamic civilization and the sharjah heritage museum. an emiratii gal working at one of the museums brought us tea when we were simply sitting trying to decide where to go next. it was really very gracious.
traffic and signage sucked getting there, b forewarned.
on way back, stopped at abu ali, a lebanese place near emiratii ‘hoods here in dubai that someone recommended. its most excellent. not uptight and fake and mall-like (or “like an airport restaurant” as Inka says). its like emiratiis hanging out, men and women. a kuwait-oman f00tball game was on and everyone was glued to the flat screen tv’s and cheered when which ever team won. it was interesting to see ppl in the stadium on the tv wearing face paint and crazy wigs like ppl do at football games in the US. (they apparently dont kno how cheesy that is)(well, they’re havin fun who cares). upstairs at abu ali there’s a live band every night. dont know what kind of music, but we’ll go back to see. it was 9pm and they were setting up. ppl here are night ppl. as we were leaving after 9pm a family w/ kids was coming in.
we’ll go back on thurs i think.

went to jumeirah beach park today

isnt this the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

Camel Couple foto by ELHAJIS, a random flickr person.
i love camels. they are so cute. i just want to hug them when i see them.
i regret i couldnt go to the camel competition/festival in dec; it was a 4 hr drive into western the western abu dhabi emirate. maybe i can come back next year to go to it.

my friend maren’s pics from when she visited

in case u cant get enuf of betty, the pics from my friend maren’s vists r here.
here’s one:

this is what i look like when i’m working from home here and i’m not in bed working:

me on the creek (or crick, as we say back home):
i know! my hair’s getting long i dont know what to do w/ it. i cant get it cut by anyone but lindsey @ lovemore & do on e. 9th str.

u 2 c@n sp33K uh-mer-uh-kin, insh@llah

found this book at a bookstore whilst lookin 4 an arabic book.

i should write my own version of this book. it would be more interesting and useful than this one which seemed to have been written by a very boring brit:

tonite i had iranian food – lamb kabab (sry, my vegan friends) with stuff. it was really good, at a place called inferno (i think), and its near my apt so i’ll def go back there. it was worlds better than the crappy thai and indian food i get nearby.

i also swung by the angsana spa in the marina to see if i could get a massage 2nite but they couldnt fit me in so i scheduled for tomorrow. (my back is killin me). so that’s cool. i just hope i can get a parking space in a timely manner after work tomorrow. thurs here is like our friday at home and every1 goes out on thurs and fri nites here packing the restaurants and malls.

i learned a new arabic saying, “inshallah“. it means kind of like “whatever happens, happens”, literally something like “if its in god’s will” to make it happen. its not something an arabic person would say to a western boss or co-worker tho about their work deadlines. so, ppl usually use it outside of work.

i really should go to gym more during the week. but m always so tired after werk. whaaaaaa. i have a freakin gym in my building and a swimming pool… i’m such a lame ass for not using them more frequently. oy.

the daily show is back from vacation, praise allah. now i have something to look forward to after werk.

i want to get this book, Very Simple Arabic Script (Paperback) by James Peters.

omg i’m about 1/2 way thru Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East by Jared Cohen. u have to read this book its so well-written and interesting. this guy in grad skool travels around the ME to places he is told not to go and talks to ppl (like in iran) he’s told not to talk to. he focuses on befriending average young ppl – teens and ppl under 30 – throughout the mideast. it blows away sterotypes. his take on beirut is accurate from my observations having been there 3x (everyone just wants peace amongst warring factions, they party hard, r good looking, want to work hard and r basically really good ppl).

i think the internets has massively changed the world —  kids throughout the ME (even in the most impoverished, war torn places) know that there are ppl and societies out there in the world where you can say what u want, go where u want w/out govt supression, and work hard and succeed based on merit and ppl live in peace — they know its possible and want it in their countries (i;m on the iran part now). they look down extremist peers who, according to the author, are largely PAID by the ruling party to enforce the extremist state. so its the poorer ppl who end up falling into the extremism.

but i guess thats not news.

whats cool about this book is that its from the nice, young author’s perspective – an almost naive kid wanting to know what youth culture is like in these places that the rest of the world sees as dangerous, “evil” places.  so the info is conveyed as his little adventure stories. he was in a grad program at ox or cambridge and traveled there to write his international relations thesis. i think when he started his thesis he was trying to interview the ppl in charge of the govts but couldnt get useful info from them, so he may have changed his thesis to the subject of the book.

CHECK IT OUT! its an awesome book (so far, i;m 1/2 thru it). Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East by Jared Cohen.

oh and i pinged the do-buy offshore sail club about doing a private lesson so i can sail for 2 hrs. (a 22′ boat). they have one boat for lessons. its a club for ppl who have boats. not like the myc in nyc where u dont need to have a boat and u share use of a fleet of boats w/ all the other non-boat-owning  ppl like yerself.

al safa park … a nice saturday afternoon

our saturday afternoon is like sunday afternoon in the west. like, its today we mull over the fact that we have to go back to another work week tomorrow (sunday).

at home, i’d always get depressed on sunday nights.

so, al safa park — its so nice and quiet and green. i have to go back and spend more time there.

al safa park reminds me a tad of … something. like a park in the US or EU maybe? ‘cept cleaner and safer and no loud annoying ppl.

how its all super safe here — i really like that. why can’t ppl in the US and EU be civil like this? wtf is wrong w/ ppl.

there were expats playing ultimate frisbee. if i were younger and didnt have slipped discs (haha no pun intended)  i’d ask to play. (one good thing about having gone to a hippie college is acquiring frisbee tossing skillz.)

there’s a flea market there the 1st saturday of every month. i got there @ 3PM and 3/4 of the tables were already packed up or packing up to leave. ppl r early birds here. in NYC on a weekend, most ppl go out for brunch @ 3PM or 4PM. egad.

oh there’s a MAZE there! i have to go back and play in there:

btw, “al” means “the” in arabic.

according to random pages on the innertubes, “safa” is a woman’s name meaning innocent. or, according to another random page, “the classical Arabic dictionary meaning of safa means “the camel and the sheep that give a lot of milk” and “the palm tree that carries a lot of dates”. Also, a related word safif means “meat”.”

after walking around al safa park i went into bur dubai, to the bastikiya, to meet inka, my only friend here.

i decided that since i am starting to go bonkers here, i need to do something like take a 2 hr sail lesson so i can sail. (there’s not a sail club like in NYC where u dont need a boat to join)… i should do that now, contact them about signing up for a lesson…

and, i should learn to cook while i am here cuz i dont have to clean up after myself. i love that. i know it sounds shitty for me to say that. but the cleaning services comes w/ the apt.

just less than a month and a half to go. …  i should take advantage of this time to seek out my next gig – – i want to work outside of the us again. … thinking…