Well I did wake up to find that I was alive and well and living in Abu Dhabi and it was not sunrise which is prayer time. PHEW! I know where I am and what I am supposed to be doing. Most people in the world do not have that kind of a morning – for many reasons.
After prayers it was instant coffee time, then did something unanticipated. Googled Bahrain, which is to the ignorant and uninitiated, a country in the Middle East. I had spoken to a charming young man in the hotel lobby from that country – of which I had some knowledge but the knowledge not complete. Now I know a great deal and look forward to a trip there as part of my Middle East tour. There are flights from the Abu Dhabi Airport – it only takes about an hour. It sounds like a fascinating place. I met a man, by the name of Mohammed at the Fish Market who hailed from there. He said he was a minor member of the Royal Family but had been deposed and now he lived in Abu Dhabi. But members of his family had retained status and authority. I knew something of the country as I had done research on the region in the past and Bahrain was a major player in the past – Portugal was a big colonizer in the eighteenth century . Now I know more and must visit as there is interesting history, museums and of course and always in the Middle East, shopping malls.
Then checked my email to see that friend Mary Grace has yet to return my email – which is rather unusual but not unusual. If she was that good in staying in touch we would not have been out of touch for years. People can disappoint – only Allah does not. Looked at the weather – it is going to be 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Oh my goodness!! Plans involve the roof top pool – I shall melt. Well there is such a thing as shade,I hope, up there.
Exchanged Instagram text with my friend in the Ukraine.
Me: I got Immigration News that Biden Is allowing people from the Ukraine as refuges. Let me know if I can help in any way.
He: Thank you but I am not gonna run.
Me: Okay! I love your bravery and dedication. SO So proud of you Mr. Blue Eyes of Almost the Same Name as Me.
One Abu Dhabi friend posted a story that it was Emirati Doctor Day yesterday. So I texted him.
Me: How great! I went to the hospital today and saw an Emirati Doctor. She was great, absolutely great. From the Sudan originally. All Praise to Allah.
Well it was the truth. S.A.D. drove me to the Emergency Room as I had three issues. There is something wrong with my left arm, I need a renewal of some prescribed medicine and need information as to whether or not it is safe to fast during Ramadan. She was SO thorough and reassuring and awe inspiring. Very thorough. She prescribed a gel for the pain, referred me to a neurosurgeon to be sure that it Is nothing extremely serious and referred me to the outpatient Family Service for the other issues. I am incredibly impressed with the medical care in Abu Dhabi. Came back to the hotel chatting with people in the lobby – the man from Bahrain and another young man from the Philippines who works for the ambulance corps here.
I had a good feeling about myself as I took care of my health. I do have medical insurance – I pay and then they reimburse me, which is a hassle, but nothing in life is perfect.
Received a funny message from S.A.D. who is arriving in a couple of hours to pick me up. This time for a trip to Saadiyat Island to pick someone up and get my nails done.
So for an old retired broad, things are very interesting. Again intended to write of my experience at the Grand Mosque but again not wanting to share. I am rather intensely Private about my faith. Now surrounded by other Muslims, it is so comforting but my practice of the faith is radically different from theirs. This a somewhat funny text conversation
Me: I will let nothing get between me and Allah.
He: You sound tired. Perhaps we should say good night.
Well I am not sure what that means but I guess we shall see. He is a Muslim., by the way. A converted one like me. But converted at a much younger age than I was.
Then checked email to discover that the wonderful New Yorker is alive, and well, with a great funny story which I get to duplicate and amuse you. It is called Some Other Vibe Shifts by Zach Zimmerman. The basic premise is stated: “A vibe shift is the catchy but sort of too-cool term [Sean] Monahan uses for a relatively simple idea: In the culture, sometimes things change, and a once-dominant social wavelength starts to feel dated. —New York magazine “ Then there are hilarious examples of vibe shifts, some will be copied for your amusement .
“When you type the wrong password into a Web site twice, making the stakes of your next attempt no less than the loss of your afternoon.
When the gym is closing in ten minutes and they cut the background music, leaving you and your swolemates in a dystopic barbell wasteland.
When the server drops off your check and says, “No rush,” but you can tell that their shift is ending.
When you casually Venmo five dollars to a cute guy in Utah thinking that it will brighten his day, only to realize that—without warning, pomp, or circumstance—you’ve become a sugar daddy
When you’re at karaoke and someone chooses Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”
When the last straight man leaves the steam room.
When Apple—your adopted, corporate mother—warns you that, based on your headphone usage over the past seven days, you need to turn the volume down to protect your hearing.
When someone holds your hand for the first time.
When you spend the night with someone and they make you eggs in the morning even though they’re vegan.
When someone doesn’t text you all day, not even once.
When someone sends unclear, mixed messages, like “We’ve hit a wall in terms of what I can give you” and “I want to see you less.”
When the harmless humor piece takes a sudden, uncomfortably personal turn.
When you are sad for a while but then realize that you’ve learned a lot about yourself during the relationship (mostly, that you can cry in Papa John’s).”
My very favorite has to be “When the last straight man leaves the steam room.” Well that, and the vegan making the eggs in the morning. The one about the text message is a little too close to home. A remark is close to home, it makes people feel uncomfortable or upset because it is about a sensitive or very personal subject.
Three photographs are attached to this blog. One is the screen shot of this computer. It was taken in the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. It does rather say it all. The second picture is one ‘taken’ in the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. A photograph of me was taken alongside a photograph taken by another. When editing I cut myself out of the photo, then using the editing possibilities in the iPhone was able to make some changes. I could not have done that on my own – it was a group effort made by the original photographer, the geniuses who designed the Apple iPhone and last, but not least, Alexis (aka Fatimah) McBride. The third photo is a display found in the Grand Mosque – photos taken by People of Determination. That is the coinage given by the Grand Mosque to those who are handicapped. It is beautiful come to think of it. My presence in a wheelchair made me a Person of Determination, although looking back at my life I can see that I always was.
Coinage is again the perfect word: its definition is a newly invented word or phrase. Wikipedia adds more saying : Neologism, coinage of a new word Forget Neologism – people would have no idea what you were talking about if you said that and it would look like you were showing off. On that note I shall close and go about my day. What is scheduled? Another per test of course.