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Saturday’s Snapshot (surat al-sabat): لقطة السبت

True, it’s Sunday. But I took the photo on Saturday, which must count for something. When people visit Abu Dhabi, mostly they see big shiny buildings, and big shiny malls, and big shiny hotels. It’s the land of big shiny things, except when you’re in the desert, and then it’s the land of vast and shining sand (and the sand really does shine, sometimes blindingly). On Saadiyat Beach, when you …

Mirissa Whale Watch I: Tail Up!

We just got back from a family trip (different from a vacation, remember that) in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of those places that I’d never really thought about before, other than knowing it used to be called Ceylon, and is the little earring that hangs off the southern tip of India. I had been casting about for a spring break trip–we didn’t have a lot of time, we …

the men from the boys

So we’re at the beach. Liam has a shovel and begins to dig. Husband: are you making a sandcastle? Liam: Nope. Digging a hole. Husband: Just digging a hole? No castle? Liam: Nope. Just a hole. Husband: What about a tunnel? Liam: Nope. Husband: Who just digs a hole? Liam: Me. I just want to dig a hole. Husband: But why? Liam: Because. It’s going to be a really deep …

it’s not politics, just a day at the beach

It’s been a cold winter here and a cold spring. Even now, in the middle of March, it’s only 73F and usually, by now, the temperature hovers in the low 80s.  Weather, here, seems to mean two things: wind and sand.  Sometimes the sand hangs so thickly in the air it looks like fog…and then you realize that everything is coated with a thin film of grit: hair, clothes, shoes, …