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Tag Archives | rain

Mosque: Usual. Rain: Unusual.

It’s been raining here off and on for almost a week.  And not just little drizzles, either, but serious pelting rain, with occasional thunderstorms. People here freak out in the rain: the driving becomes even more erratic (I know, it seems impossible, but it’s true), and no  one knows quite what to do. Liam’s friend called the other day to ask if soccer practice would be canceled because it was raining, to which Liam replied “the coaches are English. Rain is what they know.” They played as scheduled.

I’m loving the respite from hot-and-sunny, but of course context is everything: by this time of year in the States, I’m always craving sunshine.

At that rainy practice the other day, I went for a run (yet another strange event) and afterwards walked by the Grand Mosque, which is just down the road from the sports complex where the boys play soccer.

IMG_6736

Continue Reading · on May 3, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, environment, expat, Kids

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?

Rain.

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?

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

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