Monday Listicle: Yin Yang

Stasha turned over Monday’s topic to Kim, at  Zook Book Nook, who chose Yin Yang.

Yin Yang: balanced energy, the dark in the light, light in the dark. Favorite tattoo of surfers and yogis everywhere.

It took me a while to think about how to create this list because I’d wanted to use photographs but I haven’t been out walking around in the city much. I’ll blame my kids for my lack of initiative, instead of my own inertia. Seems my kids don’t think it sounds like much fun to walk around in the 112 degree heat with mommy while she tries to take pictures without offending anyone, so I’ve been staying inside and hanging out with them.  Do you know that, in fact, it is possible to play lego universe for six straight hours? Please don’t anyone tell our pediatrician about their unfettered computer access.  I swear it’s just until the end of Ramadan, I promise.

Anyway. Yin Yang: contradictory energy that (theoretically) balances itself.  I think that’s precisely where Abu Dhabi finds itself: trying to balance between old and new, religious and secular, tradition and innovation.  It’s a complicated positioning, to say the least, and while the UAE seems to be (sort of) managing the balance, many countries around us out here are feeling the consequences of having lived for generations with no balance whatsoever.

1. It’s a desert city filled with fountains:

2. It’s a city of curves, cul-de-sacs, and multiply named streets (we live on Sheikh Zayed the 1st street, also Electra Street, also “the street by the new medical center.”) It’s a also a city of grids and patterns:

3.  Old technology (antennas) and new (satellite dishes):

4. Old towers:

5.  And new:

At the moment I don’t have much to say about these yin yang contradictions. Every city has them, I guess (hello battles over landmark preservation in New York!), but somehow the contradictions here seem much more pronounced: the old is very, very old; and the new is in-your-face-right-now new.  I mean, this is a country that owns 10% of the world’s oil reserve…and decisions about when Ramadan start are made by the moon-sighting committee. That’s the job I want: moon-sighter.

Abu Dhabi is only nominally in Asia but I’m thinking of myself as living in the land of Yin Yang.

All I have to is keep my own balance and everything will be fine.

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11 Responses to Monday Listicle: Yin Yang

  1. Suzie August 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about you and just caught up on your blog, a nice break from work (even though I still LOVE my job). Great link to the moon-sighting committee article, I read the ‘not able to fast? must do it later’ article too. Though I don’t know much about Catholicism, there somehow seem to be parallels. But I for one can’t argue with the “is better to be absolved of an obligation quickly” idea.
    Take your adventure slowly, it will unfold as it should. Sounds like a proverb, still I think it’s true.
    I miss you quite a bit. Grateful for the blog.

  2. susan w. August 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Amazing how much more appealing the old is than the new — this isn’t peculair to A.D., I know.

  3. Stasha August 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    What a great list. And the photos are the perspective on the fountains.
    I always found those odd too, guess when you live in the sand you like to flaunt the little water you have?!
    There comes a point when you just don’t want to leave the house during the day in your heat. And that is OK. There is always the treadmill you can put the boys on. To please the pediatrician 🙂

  4. Kim August 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    These are great! I was excited to see how people took this topic and turned it into photos. My favorite here is the towers! What a great idea to look around the city for Yin Yang!

  5. Ado August 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    I bet having a job on that moon sighting committee is way, way more politically tricky and difficult – with lots of bickering and people looming over your shoulder – than you might imagine!
    Yes the modern towers are definitely much more in-your-face-NOW, maybe due to being surrounded by antiquity…
    so interesting…
    ps: hat’s off to you for the 6 hour LEGO marathon. A mom’s gotto do what a mom’s gotta do!

  6. Jackie August 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    While your list was nice, the photos captivated me. My former coworker lived there for a year, and talked incessently about it’s beauty.

  7. Mama And The City August 23, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    OMG, that last picture. WOW

  8. jacqui August 23, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    I love the way you did this…your photos are amazing. I would also like to have the job of moon-sighter. I’ve sighted the moon many times, but it’s been on a volunteer basis. Where does one get an application?

  9. Dick Horwich August 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Pictorial representations of yin/yang: baseballs and tennis balls. That’s why i (and C) love those sports.

  10. Barbara August 24, 2011 at 5:31 am #

    Such great pictures and I love seeing the old and the new!


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