Saturday, March 29, 2008

Welcome to Abu Dhabi!

So this weekend we went to the carpet and fish souks. Wow, the fish one smelled FABULOUS! lol
We went to the Mina Shopping Center which has an indoor carpet area and a Co-op so we could get some more things we needed for the house (for "furnished apartments", they are awfully lacking in the necessities).
The fish souk is cool though. They have little "kiosk"-type stations where all the fishermen have their catches laid out for purchase. Everything is freshly caught that morning. We were going to get some prawns and fish but then we decided against it because we wanted to eat at one of the little resturants down by the water and didn't want our fish sitting for an hour in the 120+ degree car!
We decided on this cool looking Indian-inspired resturant down by the port, which turned out to be gorgeous inside. It was a buffet and we all felt very underdressed to be in there! The food was very good. Stu and I sure are getting a taste for Arabic cuisine! About half-way through the meal, this little French girl came up with her brother to see the "bebe". She was talking to her brother in French then out of nowhere started talking to Kaden in English. I am so amazed how ignorant we are as a society. Our children don't know 2+ language by the time they are 5! And her annunciation was impecable! Her name was Celia and like most "child-rearing" here, we didn't see her Mother for a good half-hour before she finally realized she was gone, lol. Mom came up to scold her but she was back in under five minutes, with little brother in tow. Hands all over Kaden, as everyone does here. They have no concept of "don't put your dirty hands in the baby's mouth"... I just look at it as a way for him to build up his immune system! Sigh...
Yesterday we went to the Marina Mall. We were going to go back to the fish souk, but it was so ungodly hot yesterday mid-day that we decided air conditioning was a better plan. AND IT IS MARCH!!! I cannot imagine it getting hotter... but it will! It has been right around 100 recently... apparently it was as hot as 105 on Thursday, and the humidity isn't even that bad yet. It is worse in teh morning than at night.
Anyway, so we hit IKEA, and walked around, Stu price-checking all the designer handbags, lol. They have just in this one Mall: Dior, TWO Armani stores, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Guess, Hugo Boss, Chanel, and probably thirty more I am forgetting. A purse in the Coach store we looked at was 9,500 Dirham... about 2,600 bucks! And that was just for a little one, when we first walked in, lol. And you constantly see these women covered in black from head to toe, but sporting a Coach purse! haha It made me think of my cousin Aubrey... She would lose her mind in this mall! lol
We decided to eat at Fudruckers, but the wait was ridiculous, so we went to this place called "Moka Cafe" which was right down the way from Fudruckers. The wait for the food was nearly an hour, which is insane, because it has been our experience that service in this country has been like nothing we're used to in the States! But, once we finally did get our food, it was very good. I have leftovers that I get to eat for lunch today! I am excited about that! haha
Anyway, below are lots of pictures from our weekend. Remember, the work week here is Sunday through Thursday, so today (Sunday) is our Monday. Enjoy! :)
We got new plants! See on top of the entertainment center? :) Hopefully I won't kill these!

I tried to show the detail of the carpet we got a little better. It is so pretty... and it is made of sheep's wool. A very good quality carpet.

Daddy and baby hanging out on the couch.

Bright white, there's-no-way-I-live-in-the-Middle-East, Sydney!

Stuart! I picked out that shirt... like it?

Per Mimi's request... here are some things that seem familiar... but are oddly foreign, lol. Above is "Strawberry Tang".

"Sour Cream and Onion Pringles"


The Mosque at Madinat Zayed Shopping Center, where the gold souks are.

Instead of having several competing stores scattered throughout town like we have in America (i.e. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.), they have "areas" for competing sales. Above is the "mobile phone" area very close to our house. If you look closely you can read the names of the shops. That sure would make "shopping for the best deal" much easier in the States if they were literally right next door, eh?

This is the little cafe we like to go to. It is about a block from our house. We sit outside (for now) and enjoy the weather over a sandwich and coffee. It's very nice.

This is our apartment building... for now. Maybe some day we won't live next door to the Mosque!!!

This is the building they are working on next door... just thought you might as well have a visual for all the complaining I do about the "construction next door".

A really tall, pretty building downtown. :)

"Stunna Shades"... hehe, I couldn't resist! :P

Madinat Zayed Shopping Center. This is where all the gold souks are.

The entrance to the Emirates Palace Hotel

The Emirates Palace Hotel. This picture does not do justice to the absolute emormity of this hotel!

The public beach... as you can tell by looking at the hot little thing at "one o'clock", plenty of people are just fine wearing whatever they want... (things that make you go, "buuuhhhhhuuuhhhh.")

Looking at the city from near the Marina Mall

The Marina Mall. Hello IKEA! :)

The carpet souk

The port down by the fish souk

View of the Gulf from the Corniche

A portrait of the Sheik by the Emirates Palace Hotel

Some buildings... look at the detail on the middle building. Architecture here is pretty incredible.

Look at those legs!!!

Baby happier now that he can fall on a comfy carpet instead of bonking his head on the tile!

Hot and sweaty baby in the car yesterday... It was around 100 degrees.

This is one of the more "ghetto" buildings in the city. You don't see a lot of this...

Leaving our block...

1 comment:

  1. Oh surrogate sister.
    I loves your tales, I'm more intrigued everyday. While all of this is so very interesting, I couldn't help but notice that your blog is, in fact, NAVY and TEAL colored. Once a lake city cheerleader, always a lake city cheerleader. I'm now in the club of retirees :))
    I love you dearly. Send some love to the family.
    xoxo Christy