I do hope that the decision makers in the UAE read the New York Times online newsletter. The wearing of face masks in mandated in these parts with stiff fines for misbehaving. It has become a way of life and with my vast accumulation of 50 of the things it is not really onerous but nonetheless, it is unfair that handsome Arab men must hide away behind those masks and people cannot see the glory of a smile. “Jennifer Nuzzo is a health expert who has become nationally prominent during the pandemic. She is the leading epidemiologist for Johns Hopkins much-cited data collection on Covid-19 testing. She is active on Twitter and quoted frequently in the media. She can explain complex ideas in clear terms, and she has often been prophetic about Covid. Nonetheless she took to Twitter last May to criticize herself. She ad expected Texas’ ending of its mask mandate to lead to a surge in cases, and it had not: “ Accountability time, I was really worried about Texas’s decision to lift its mask requirements in March. I am happy to report that cases do not appear to have increased as I feared they would. I am happy to be wrong about this.’
The article went on to discuss pundit accountability. “Nuzzo’s small exercise in self-accountability highlighted the inherent unpredictability of this virus,,,Her tweet made a larger point, too: People with a public platform should be willing to admit when they’re wrong. There is no shame in being wrong at times. Everybody is, including knowledgeable experts. The world is a messy, uncertain place. The only way to be right all the time is to be silent or say nothing interesting. The problem isn’t that people make mistakes; its that so few are willing to admit it.”
That set me to thinking. Certainly I must have been wrong at times because it is hardly that I am right all the time due to the fact that I am not exactly silent and goodness, knows I am interesting. Perhaps I should go back in time, read a blog or two from the past and admit to my being wrong. I certainly know that I have been wrong as I am too trusting, look for the best tin people and expect that everyone else tells the truth. I have been bitterly disappointed, used and abused by many people. I have slowly begun to be a better judge of people and can efficiently cease contact with those that are harmful – walk away from evil as the Qur’an mandates. Walk away, and rather than evoke retribution, trust that Allah, all powerful, will take care of things. I have consistently and constantly seen that He does, but it does require some patience.
I was wrong, for example, in thinking that it was easy getting an Emeritus ID, believing public pronouncements about the efficiency of government. That was wrong, but I do not blame myself, as there was no way to discover the truth. Taking to scores of people who have had difficulties – actually any person who has ever obtained an Emeritus ID, taught me the errors of my optimism. But yesterday I took a different tack, asked for a long term rate at this inexpensive hotel and I am fine. Paying less a month than my apartment in Marin County (or my apartment in San Francisco, or my apartment in Vancouver). I am most happy in this rather humble hotel, there is a roof top pool and jacuzzi overlooking portions of Abu Dhabi and, similar to my apartment in Marin , I overlook palm trees. These trees are healthier but are on a busy road while the palm trees in Marin looked out over a jacuzzi and a pool and a quiet courtyard. But the people here surrounding me, both staff and visitors, are cordial, friendly, affectionate, respectful, hard workers and generally like and enjoy me. When I left temporarily they said they would miss me. The staff at the St. Regis, when I went to pick up my luggage, all said they missed me. Only one young woman, and Freddy the magnificent maintenance man. said they would miss me when I left Tam Ridge apartments – which apparently has a different name and been sold, yet again. My rent there would have been astronomical – my Covid inspired rental bargain in place for a year, would have entirely disappeared and with no rent control – goodness knows the rent? I am blessed to be out of there surrounded by zombies. It seemed great when I moved there in December of 2020 and I do speak on this blog about how great it was. But I was wrong, I admit it. At the time, with lock down, parents working from home, kids not in school, relative freedom of movement compared to San Francisco, huge vaccination rates – it was a good place to live. But things changed, and these days it must be hell to be there as the Omnivirus reigns and with limited accessibility to testing fear has returned – even multiplied apparently. Here, I am entirely safe. The safest place on earth to reside. I am now blessed.
But enough about that. I received the most marvelous compliment when picking up my luggage on Sunday. An extremely tall black man, working for Security, spoke to me at the entrance
He: I love your writing!! I read you in my country and I read you here and follow you on Instagram.
Me: Oh my goodness, thank you so much! You do not know how great that makes me feel.
What country are you from?
I have no idea how he even recognized me. I do not recall meeting him during my stay at the St. Regis. It was a great Sunday – beginning with luggage pick up, then because we left early there was time to have my nails done at the nail salon across the street, to have breakfast, to meet four fabulous people and pose for a photograph that went on Instagram. Then to the Louvre, meeting Yasmin and eating at the Fouquet’s French restaurant and posing with the executive chef, Balveer Balkissoon. The photo posted on Instagram and then also on this blog with its caption.
Such an interesting life I am leading. Do not forget that to Expo I did go on Friday with Grandson in a Sheikha worthy car, a photo of the car shall also be posted. We were texting yesterday, and laughing about the experience.
He: Sheikha Fatimah, Sheikha Fatimah at the Expo. Do you remember? ???
Me: Of course! How funny! We had SO much fun.
Me: Everyone is calling me Sheikha Fatimah. I am beginning to think that is my name! I am laughing at myself. Sheikha Fatimah of the Premier Inn
He: It is a nice name. ??
Me: Not bad. And it is distinctive. I am still laughing away to myself
Me: Now you are making me laugh more.
Me: Stop it.! I am lysing in bed ? laughing like a fool. Oh, thanks for the Instagram like.
He: Okay Okay. ????
What are my plans for the day? Well it is off to the Yas Mall. MADD’s nickname has been changed to SAD (Sheikha’s Awesome Driver). He will drive me for an Apple class and another PCR. Will report on cost and waiting time – comparing my experience in the UAE with that of the USA. Also delicate the requirements of all Emeritus ID holders – they incidentally are provided with testing at no cost to them. The UAE is taking excellent care of its citizens in these times – in marked contrast with the USA (and to a lesser extent, Canada).
Captions to the photographs.
The Car: Sheikah Fatima worthy car.
Me and the Chef at the Louvre restaurant. The food fantastic and the company as well. Ate with and was interviewed by Yasmin for her fascinating -roject on the food culture of Abu Dhabi.
The last. I meet these wonderful people at Le Noir and learned what three fingers mean. I did learn but now I forget. It can mean I Love You but also Peace, Happiness and ??
I received answers back – Understanding and Love. But that would make four fingers. Life can be confusing at times.