Thursday, March 31, 2011

I DON'T MEAN TO COMPLAIN....

Hi folks, Teddy here....


I've got several things to get off my chest!

You know, eight long months ago I flew for hours and hours to get to my new home here in Dubai.  I left my beloved backyard in Fishers....


.....for my new backyard in Dubai.....


I left my treasured pond back in Indianapolis...


...and along with it, I left the welcomed noises made by all of my friends....the chirping of my frog buddies and the quacking of all my favorite ducks...



(No fair laughing at my one and only haircut!)



Now all I hear is something they call "The Call To Prayer"  five times a day! 

I am not complaining, I'm really not.  I'm just saying that I, Teddy, gave up the life that I knew and loved for this move to Dubai.  I've lived here for eight entire months, and I still DO NOT HAVE A BED TO CALL MY OWN!

UNBELIEVABLE!  Oh yea, I sleep here and there around the flat.  But don't I deserve my own bed?


Guess what?  My wish was recently (finally) granted!  I got a deluxe sleep-number-kind-of-bed for dogs!  It is soft and fluffy and comfy AND I LOVE IT!




I may not have my big back yard, my pool, my pond, my frog and duck friends, but I do, finally and at last, have a bed to call my very own!  Sigh.  I deserve it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

LEARNED SOMETHING NEW!

This was a new word for me.  I had to come back to our flat and look it up.  Funny, but it was never in my vocabulary until I moved to the Middle East.


Yes, you learn something new every day!  What will it be tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS....

These are a few of my favorite things....

video

I love the desert with rich mountains of sand
and camels roaming free.


video

And warm sparkling waves, and the 
brilliant aqua sea!

Yes, these are a few of my favorite things!

Monday, March 28, 2011

"PORTABLE" REDEFINED.

Portable may refer to:

Portable building: a manufactured structure that is built off site and moved in upon completion of site and utility work
Portable classroom: a temporary building installed on the grounds of a school to provide additional classroom space where there is a shortage of capacity.
Portable toilet: a modern, portable, self-contained outhouse manufactured of molded plastic.
In electronics:

Portable communications device: a wearable or handheld device.
Portable audio player:  a personal electronic device that allows the user to listen to recorded or broadcast audio whilst being mobile.
Portable computer: a computer that is designed to be moved from one place to another.
But for me, this took the cake!



Yes, this is "portable" redefined!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

ART OF BRUNCH

Dubai excels at the "Art of Brunch".  Every Friday, restaurants all over the emirate boast their brunches.  Typically, they start at noon and last until four PM.  That's four long hours of a food fest. 

You can literally eat (and drink) your body weight of food at these brunches.  Trust me, I know!



Yes, Dubai has perfected the Art of Brunch!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WE HEARD LAUGHTER....LOTS OF LAUGHTER!

We were sitting on the patio at the Bo House on The Beach Walk with Jan and Joe one week ago.  It was a beautiful morning (as always) and we were enjoying a delicious cup of coffee...and then we heard laughter...lots and lots of laughter.

We looked toward the beach and saw little girls in brown uniforms lining up to board their school buses with the teachers standing nearby......



.....and then there was utter chaos!  Screaming and yelling and pushing and shoving and laughing and pushing some more....here came the boys!  What a sight to see and what a lot to hear! 


We figured out pretty quickly what was going on!  The kids had come for a field trip to see the Dino Live Exhibit that has been on The Beach Walk all winter long.






Just goes to show you that no matter what clothes are worn, what language is spoken, or what color the skin happens to be.....


....girls will be girls and boys will be boys!  Yes, we heard laughter....lots and lots of laughter.  And it put a smile on our faces!

Happy TGI-TH! 

 Jill is coming!  Jill is coming!!  Jill is coming!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

OPEN DOORS. OPEN MINDS.

I have been wanting to go here since first learning about it...


And we finally scheduled a visit when Joe and Scho were in town! 

(Note the short doorways -- perfect for Scho, not so much for John!)

The first part was a walking tour through a traditional village (Bastakiya), which showcased how the Emiratis lived before oil was discovered in 1960's.  Old Dubai was famous for its wind towers that lined the Dubai Creek on both sides, and today its narrow lanes, coupled with the distinctive Arabian architecture, made for an interesting tour!

Our guide was delightful, as was roaming through the maize of homes and courtyards....




(It was awesome walking through Old Dubai with glimpses
of the newer, modern Dubai up ahead!)


The Bastakiya district has been earmarked for tourist development, with construction of a museum, cultural center, and art galleries that showcase local artists.


In the past, the city was famous for a mass of wind towers that lined both sides of the Dubai Creek.  These wind towers were not just decorative.  They were the only means of cooling houses in the days before electricity!  Today, although most are non-working, they stand as symbols of the past.  And they are beautiful symbols!


The doorways were interesting.  The "normal" doors on the right were used to carry furniture etc. through.  The smaller, arched doors were the ones that people would actually use.  There are a couple of different reasons for the smaller, shorter doorways. First, they allowed the cooler air to gust inside faster and lower the temperature of the room, and second, men would walk through them with their heads down.  Therefore, if a woman was inside that was uncovered, it gave her time to wrap a veil around her head and shield her face. 

(Yikes!  I'm not sure I would fit!)

After the walking tour, we were led inside the cultural centre where the table was set for our traditional Emirati luncheon.


The dishes were brought in and the meal was served.....and it was absolutely delicious!



Throughout the luncheon we were asked to raise any questions that we had about Emiratis and the Emirati way of life.  This is the man (I forget his name!) who answered our questions -- he was hysterical and did a great job! 


Of course, many of the questions were about the Emirati dress.  We learned that the men's robes were called kandoras in the UAE and dishdash in Saudi Arabia.  Local men wear a small skull cap (gutra) or an Arab head dress  (keffiyeh), which is held in place by a twisted black coil (agal).  The black twisted coil is actually used on the front legs of camels to restrain them, and then it is conveniently stored on the Arab man's head!  Convenient, eh?

Emirati women wear a floor length dress which is often decorated in embroidery (jillabeeya) and covered by a black cloak (abaya).  Some women cover their face with a black cloth (nikab) that only reveals the eyes.


And some, mostly older women, wear a canvas mask called a burga which covers the eyebrows, nose and mouth.  Not only is it used to cover the face, but it is also protection against the sun's rays.


Almost all women cover their hair with a shaila or hejjab as, according to Islam, hair is private.  There are many words for the different parts of traditional Arab garments, so it was interesting for me to see and hear about them.  It was a fascinating and fun afternoon and I highly recommend the Centre for Cultural Understanding to all visitors in Dubai!

As we were leaving the Centre, these displays of earlier days in Dubai were thought provoking, to say the least.

(Note the women were wearing the burgas.  They wouldn't look up for a picture though!)



Of course, one of my most favorite parts was the camel that rested outside the center!


(Another thing I learned at the Centre was that camels need to walk and run in the desert.
If they are owned and not wild, they need to be exercised daily or they will go mad!)
It was an awesome tour and I learned a lot from it!  The biggest takeaway was what the Centre for Cultural Understanding actually stands for....


We may have varied backgrounds.  We may come from different cultures.  But all in all, Open doors. Open Minds.  I like that a lot and couldn't agree more!