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Oman! Smugglers! … a long weekend and a new perspective

The boys had a long weekend; Husband and I wanted to explore (despite the boys’ pleas to spend four straight days playing video games), so off we went, to the beautiful rocky fjords of northern Oman. We spent a beautiful day puttering around on a dhow, stopping occasionally to swim and snorkel off the back of the boat. Braver souls (my children!) dared themselves to jump from the boat’s top …

Abu Dhabi Tex-Mex: the secret of Maria’s kitchen

When we first moved to Abu Dhabi, I binged on Middle Eastern food: humus, moutabel, babaghanoush, tabouleh, chicken shwarma.  Yum.  And when I could no longer look a chickpea in the face, there were other foods to choose from…but I couldn’t find good Mexican food in a restaurant, and in the grocery stores, all I could find were the Old El Paso taco “kits,” replete with stale corn tortillas and …

they say there’s a product for every need…

So I’m in the pharmacy looking for shampoo and realized I don’t have what it takes to be an investigative journalist. A true journalist-minded person would’ve bought a box, just to bring it home and see what the hell is inside. Given that conservative Islam, like so many other religions, is desperately concerned with women being virtuous (and virgins at the time of their marriage), I’m really curious about the …

purple glitter jesus

My gift to Husband this Christmas, purchased in a shop at the Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi: Yes. That’s right. It’s a purple glitter Jesus. But it gets better. This purple glitter Jesus is also… a bank. Really what more could a person want in a holiday gift? Unless, possibly, it’s the matching turquoise glitter Virgin Mary bank. But hey, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

a saturday morning view

So the boys started this morning at a soccer–dammit, football–school about 20 minutes drive from our apartment.  As I sat there staring into the morning sun, I realized I was looking at my new life in a nutshell: a football field (okay, that’s a holdover from my old life); a construction site (sometimes it seems as if the entire city is under construction, one way or another); sunshine; and Islam, …