Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude; Lyrics by Jimmy Buffet; Lyrics Applied to the Life of Alexis McBride; Grand Mosque Found to be Tourist Attraction But Solution Found; Poignant Defined; A Splash of Humor from Andy; Photos of Grand Mosque

Now that strange phrase came to mind, Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude. I Googled and found to my amazement that it is a song by Jimmy Buffet, written in 1977. Never heard of it before.

I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year
All of the faces and all of the places
Wonderin where they all disappeared
I didn’t ponder the question too long
I was hungry and went out for a bite
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum
And we wound up drinkin all night
Its these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane

Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I’ve been
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again
If it suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son of a bitches
I’ve seen more than I can recall
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane

I think about paris when I’m high on red wine
I wish I could jump on a plane
So many nights I just dream of the ocean
God I wish I was sailin again
Oh, yesterdays over my shoulder
So I can’t look back for too long
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me
And I know that I just can’t go wrong

That is MY SONG these days. Nothing remains quite the same, with all of my running and all of my cunning. If I couldn’t laugh I would just go insane. This line is particularly poignant: “Good times and riches and son of a bitches, I’ve seen more than I can recall.”

Diversion time: What poignant? It is evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret. Used in a sentence: It is a poignant reminder of the passage of time. Synonyms are: touching, moving, sad, saddening, affecting, pitiful, piteous, pathetic, sorrowful, mournful, tearful, wretched, miserable, bitter, painful, distressing, disturbing, heart-rending, heartbreaking, tear-jerking, plaintive, upsetting, tragic.

It is touching, piteous, pitiable and pathetic to think of all incredibly rich men that I have met in the past five years (beginning with Joo Kim Tiah), multibillionaires all. They all have something in common – they are hollow, they share that trait. One a fundamentalist Christian, the other three Muslim – of varying ages, But hollow to the core (so to speak). The later two surrounded and absorbed with a vast machinery of Instagram and YouTube ‘messages’ and ‘reach outs’ that are utterly and horribly misleading, fake and treacherous. But I can laugh, and do.

Yesterday, MAD (new nickname, it stands for Muslim Amazing Driver) spent the entire day laughing. I texted:
Me: We had so much fun today – like two little children laughing and playing all day. I am SO SO tired, Had a bath and collapsed. Made reservations for Monday.
He: Yes Madam okay Madam.

Despite all of our fun we accomplished so very much. Effectively began to transfer my allegiances to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is an utterly beautiful city which you shall learn about in dribs and drabs. It is a city that reminds me of the best of some of my favorite cities in the world (and parts of not so likable ones). Parts of it are like San Francisco, some of it like San Diego, some streets like Los Angeles, both Venice and Rome are depicted, some like Vancouver.

But the most important magnet is the GrandMosque, first seen on Wednesday. It is a magnificent edifice to glory and power of Allah but it has, unfortunately and alarmingly, been turned into a tourist attraction. It is a place of worship that has been converted into Disneyland with people posing for pictures in front of visual structures built to the glory of Allah like they would be posing next to Mickey Mouse. I spoke to several staff members who are so patient, kind and respectful of the mayhem that exists.
Me: I cannot believe this, It is a place of worship, not a photography studio. It is not Disneyland..
They: If only all the tourists were like you! We are saddened by their behavior and it is so difficult to try to keep the dignity that this magnificent tribute to Allah deserves.

I was treated with so much kindness by the staff. It was so hot and I, being born in Canada, was not built for the heat. But trollies were found for me and I was able to ride about. I descended at the exit and someone kindly pointed to an elevator. Stairs are difficult with my knee.
They: There is an elevator over there to take you to the exit.
Me: Oh thank you I need it! Allah thinks of everything.

So there are stores, a gift shop, a MacDonalds. I had my first Big Mac in years while there. The other visitors so incredibly rude, no pleases, no thank you. But as I said to MAD –
Me: What do I expect? Of course screaming children and rude parents, this is after all a MacDonalds.

We are at a better quality restaurant – it was to our mutual liking. We had SO much fun laughing and talking. It was possible without the screaming voices of bad mannered children.

There is an obvious and rather easy solution to the crowds at the Grand Mosque. One comes for religious purposes. Within its walls is a woman’s prayer room, closed now because of Covid but it shall open again. If I lived nearby I could attend. I am thoroughly, entirely convinced that this is Allah’s wish, even his command to me.

But just to keep this blog somewhat routine (I give you Andy Borowitz again. Steve Bannon was caught attempting to flee the United States disguised as a man who had recently taken a shower, T.S.A. officials have confirmed. A T.S.A. agent at Reagan National Airport, Harland Dorrinson, explained how Bannon’s talent as a master of disguise nearly enabled him to board a plane to Moscow.

What cam be next? This: “He showered, shaved, and even combed his hair,” Dorrinson said. “He was totally unrecognizable.” Bannon’s plan crumbled, however, during a routine pat down. “That’s when we noticed that his pants had a large mustard stain,” the T.S.A. agent said. “They evidently had not been laundered in months. One of my colleagues shouted, ‘It’s Bannon! Stop him!’ ” Taken into custody, the former White House adviser seemed bitter about his foiled escape attempt. “I took a shower for no fucking reason,” he said.

The funniest line? It simply has to be: “I took a shower for no fucking reason.”

I have had an ideal, magical morning. Early morning wakening, but a 4 am call from Chase Bank with calling to ask about my problems. In all fairness they did not know I was in Dubai, and on a different time zone. A great guy so helpful, he attempted to get me in touch with an IT person who promptly went away. But enough of problem solved, my bank records will be mailed to my California address and retirement visa can be achieved later. Prayed before sunrise as it was necessary to go to breakfast very early, at 6 before pool time. If one goes to the pool first and breakfast second the mighty hordes descend and it is pandemonium. It is quiet and peaceful at 6, the food is super fresh, the wonderful staff has time to chat and all is well. At the pool, birds chirp, people relaxed, friendly and sharing. Met a woman – she Italian but lives in Israel.
Me: Why do you live is Israel?
She: Because I am Jewish
Me: Oh I see! That is why I am coming to live in the UAE. It is because I am Muslim. How interesting!

We spoke of many things, She is a nutritionist helping women with eating disorders. We both a students of Buddhism believing as Buddha says that life is living in the present, moment by moment by moment.

The pool at noon and afterwards is a madhouse – remember the expression Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Mid Day Sun? It is a song by Noel Coward and here are the lyrics.

In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire
To tear their clothes off and persprie.
It’s one of those rules that the greatest fools obey,
Because the sun is much too sultry
And one must avoid its ultry-violet ray.
The native grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they’re obviously definitely nuts!
Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun,
The Japanese don’t care to.
The Chinese wouldn’t dare to,
Hindoos and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one.
But Englishmen detest a siesta.
In the Philippines
There are lovely screens
To protect you from the glare.
In the Malay States
There are hats like plates
Which the Britishers won’t wear.
At twelve noon
The natives swoon
And no further work is done.
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.
It’s such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see
That though the English are effete,
They’re quite impervious to heat,
When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
Because the simple creatures hope he
Will impale his solar topee on a tree.
It seems such a shame
When the English claim
The earth
That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth.
Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.
The toughest Burmese bandit
Can never understand it.
In Rangoon the heat of noon
Is just what the natives shun.
They put their Scotch or Rye down
And lie down.
In a jungle town
Where the sun beats down
To the rage of man and beast
The English garb
Of the English sahib
Merely gets a bit more creased.
In Bangkok
At twelve o’clock
They foam at the mouth and run,
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.
Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.
The smallest Malay rabbit
Deplores this foolish habit.
In Hongkong
They strike a gong
And fire off a noonday gun
To reprimand each inmate
Who’s in late.
In the mangrove swamps
Where the python romps
There is peace from twelve till two.
Even caribous
Lie around and snooze;
For there’s nothing else to do.
In Bengal
To move at all
Is seldom, if ever done.
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday sun.

Oh, by the way, here is more information, whether or not you want to see it. The expression, believed to be coined by Rudyard Kipling, was popularized as a line in the 1931 song “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” Noel Coward, mocking the behavior of the English when in hot countries, especially former colonies of the British Empire.

I did sneer at other’s taking photos of the Grand Mosque but I found some on my camera. They, taken outside the grand edifice as you shall see.

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