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here we are…year two and year fourteen

The eagle has landed. Elvis is back in the building.We are back in Abu Dhabi. We got back to Abu Dhabi last night: four people, eight suitcases, eight carryons, a duty-free bag o’booze, and assorted aches and pains from sleeping where god didn’t intend people to sleep: 37,000 feet above sea level. Okay, it’s a lot of bags, but it’s nothing compared to the entrance we made last year, which …

Happy Mother’s Day

No, I haven’t gotten my calendars confused. In the UAE, today, March 21, is Mother’s Day.  Somehow, google knows that: It’s a pretty cute drawing, google-guys, I have to say.  But it’s not as good as this one: My first Arabic Mother’s Day card.  Graciously, Liam translated for me because he knows I can’t read Arabic. My habibi.    

versatile? c’est moi (and no, I don’t know how to say it in arabic)

It’s (another) beautiful day in Abu Dhabi but I’m gloomy. The semester looms, the unfinished manuscript(s) languish, the (feral) children bicker, the husband business trips, I drive around doing errands. Feh. Then I get home and discover that a woman who writes a column called mynewfavoriteday emails me to say she’s giving me an award: Most Versatile Blogger. I like this woman’s writing, admire her story, and am all kinds …

the signs are clear…the meaning, not so much

Traveling to another country–traveling anywhere–creates the opportunity to learn new phrases and traditions. Sometimes, though, things get lost in translation. Thus: “How come no one takes anything from those shops,” Liam asked me after we gone through customs in Abu Dhabi and were standing outside waiting for our cab into the city. “What shops?” I wasn’t paying attention; I was too busy breathing the warm air, tangy with the smell …