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Tag Archives | weather

whether there’s weather

We had plans with another family today to go out to Saadiyat Island , which is about fifteen minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, but feels worlds away: big empty beach, no tall buildings, very few people.

I woke up this morning to this:

I’ve seen the iPhone iOracle predict clouds for Abu Dhabi; I’ve seen it predict flames licking the roof of hell, in late July, when the temperatures go upwards of 45C, 46C, 47C (112, 113, 114); but I’ve never seen it predict rain.

And after my sleep-fogged brain realized it was looking at a forecast for rain, I realized what the noise was outside my still-shaded windows: rain, splattering against the glass.

Ah the irony, right? The one day in months and months we actually plan a beach day…oh how the weather gods must have chuckled.

But we had the last laugh. We braved the mist and clouds, and were rewarded for our efforts:

Lovely.  My reward for finishing NaBloPoMo – a blog post a day – and for honoring the promise I made to my mom, of keeping her company in going cheese-free. (Full disclosure: she fell of the wagon on election night, when it was clear the good guys were going to win; and I had one little run-in with a gooey, stinky, rosemary-wrapped Boucheron. But mostly we stayed off the hard stuff.)  Not sure why, in the long run, we went cheese-free, but at least we proved to ourselves that we can, in fact, live without cheese. Life just isn’t quite as interesting.

Driving home from the beach, we saw all decorations up for National Day:  the city’s buildings are wrapped in lights and the cars are wrapped in images of Sheikh Zayed and the colors of the UAE flag – it’s all very festive and vaguely Christmasy because of the red and green everywhere. The country is a whopping 41 years old on Sunday and people are planning picnics and parades in celebration.

I just hope it doesn’t rain.


Continue Reading · on November 30, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, NaBloPoMo, UAE

some kind of omen?

Husband and the boys took me for a little birthday dinner tonight: it was family dinner, which means we went somewhere that serves chicken pressed into shapes no self-respecting chicken would acknowledge.  Tomorrow night, friends have offered to babysit the boys so that Husband and I can have grownup dinner. I will have to restrain myself from automatically telling the waiter to bring ketchup to the table.

When we walked out of the restaurant, here’s what we saw:

No, they hadn’t gotten me a black Escalade for my birthday.

Do you see what’s gleaming on that black surface?


First time it rained in Abu Dhabi since we’ve been here (okay, it rained once but we were in India when it happened, so as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t count).

It rained on my birthday. Not quite even enough rain to soak the ground, but enough to make the sidewalks a little slick. Enough to count as rain and not just excessive humidity (that happens in August).  Funny how context changes everything, right? I mean, it’s January. I’m used to having blizzards on my birthday, frigid temperatures, hail. A little warm rain? Eh, no big deal.

Okay, so we could read this as: “wow, you’re inching ever closer to fifty and as if to commiserate, it rained.” Or we could say “gosh, so auspicious that on the day of your birth, the weather actually decided to act like, you know, weather.”

Glass half-empty, glass half-full?

Or, of course, the universe is paying no attention to me at all and it’s just…rain.

Nah. How could it not be about me?

Continue Reading · on January 20, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, environment, me my own personal self

Imissing Irene!

Maybe you’ve heard? A big storm is trundling up the East Coast and is poised to flood the shit out of New York.

Apparently this one is The Big One, folks, the storm of the century, the storm that is finally going to wipe out the den of inquity that is New York.  That sound you hear? That’s not the wind whistling through the skyscrapers. That’s Michelle Bachmann, cheering, with Rick Perry throwing in a wootwoot for good measure.

This hurricane is the wet dream of meterologists every where; it’s the Weather Channel’s new pinup; it’s the raison d’etre for every computer IT guy worth his salt to create dire “here’s what happens when the Holland Tunnel floods” computer simulations.

Okay, yeah, I’m a tad skeptical. I remember the brouhaha that was Hurricane Gloria, back when God was a boy (or 1985, whatever). There was much battening down of hatches and laying in of dry goods and then…it rained a bit. And was windy–totally ruining my huge late 80s pouf of a hairdo.

So maybe Irene will kick Gloria’s ass. She’s certainly scared the bejaysus out of every elected official in about ten states. Evacuations, closures, shutting down the subway. In New York, it doesn’t get much more serious than that.  The subway will still be running when the Rapture hits and only roaches are left riding the IRT.

True, I’m not a Rapture believer, myself, but even a devout agnostic like me raises an eyebrow at these latest manifestations of a pissed-off planet: an earthquake last week and now the mother of all hurricanes? Stay tuned. It’s gonna be frogs and locusts next week, with perhaps a plague of boils for Labor Day Weekend.

I’m watching from Abu Dhabi, via Facebook and Twitter and email, as people do (or do not) prepare for their good-night with Irene. And you know what? I’d sort of like to be there, wrestling the crowds in Food Emporium for the only batteries remaining in a twenty-block radius or hip-checking someone in Whole Foods for the last few limes, because how’s a gal supposed to watch a hurricane without a good G&T?

In part it’s simple story envy: my answer to “where were you during the Big Blow of ’11” will be…um…in the pool, nine time zones away. That’s dull, dull, dull. No high winds, no crashing trees, no flickering candles to illuminate the high-rise darkness.

Maybe I could make up something about finding Muammar Gaddafi hiding in the women’s changing room, wearing an abaya?  That might top a hurricane story.

Nah. Natural disasters always trump toppled dictators.

Good luck New York. Muammar and I are thinking about all of you and hoping you have the 3Ws of hurricane readiness: wine, water, and wellies.

map graphic from NOAA



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Continue Reading · on August 27, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, environment, NYC, Travel, urban nature

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