So we’re here. The flight was good, despite Olivia’s fury that we were not “in the best bit” of the aircraft. Having prepared myself for seven hours in the air with my children by drinking a glass of Barolo at the Rhubarb Cafe in Terminal 3 I fell asleep as soon as we took off. I woke up three hours later to find the girls happily eating, Rupert ordering Whisky and Leo snoring away with his bear, Connaught.
So far so good. Then we arrived. I have to admit that so far I am not overwhelmed. Abu Dhabi seems a little like living in an oven, but possibly less attractive. Actually that may be unfair, we are in a total dump of a hotel apartment but drive ten minutes to The Corniche as it is called and things get better, greener, more elegant. Sadly there is no way we will be able to live there as apartments rarely come up for rent and when they do you need to be an investment banker to afford them.
We looked at a villa this morning on the other “new” Corniche. When they say “new”, they mean not yet constructed, so apart from a little bit where you could walk, the rest was a building site.
This is as far away from any place I would ever choose to live; there are no walks, no nature, no little side streets with designer clothes shops tucked away, no charming Italian bistros. It is a little like Florida, although the people are a lot thinner and I have to say universally charming.
But here’s my hope. I am hoping that after a long flight and being stuck in the worst part of town and getting used to living in steam room conditions (my glasses actually steam up when I go outside – it’s not a good look) that things can only get better. My hope is that in a week or even a few days I will be writing to tell you how marvellous it all is. How many friends I have made and how much I love the highways and impersonal shopping malls and how I never want to drink fine French wines again.
But for now it all feels a bit grim. Although I am encouraged by one fact I read in my guide book. There is an M&S. It could be my salvation.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008
The Barolo was definitely a good start to the fight – a very good move – especially waking 3 hours later.
If things don’t appear to improve immenently you could always try this way of dealing with it (not in the office though!)
A bit of a culture shock just at the mo ! As you so rightly say always made worse after a long flight etc etc.
We are all rooting and thinking of you here. fingers crossed for a bit better news in the next few days. How are the children dealing with it ?
Are you sure you want to sell the car?
Am feeling better already, have met a lovely man here who showed us how it is possible to live and took us to his favourite mall which even has a book shop. Please sell the car Jonathan and Rosemary the children are all very happy, the malls all have amazing play areas!
I do feel for you! I know exactly what you mean!
It will be weird as weird can be for a while. You just have to grit your teeth, feel it, and know that it will all get better as you give yourself time to adjust.
I will be arriving back on the 20th, as we discussed. Let’s meet and hopefully i can show you some more agreeable aspects to the strange swamp.
Hi Helena .
Glad you have all arrived safely. Don’t worry, as soon as the children are settled in school things will start to look up. Just give it some time. You will be surprised how many nice people you will meet in the most unusual places. I will follow the progress on the blog. Stay cool.
I know the feeling I am here two weeks now and just today I am waiting my furniture I had a tour to the malls where it is haven after the outside steam situation not yet to Marks & Sparks but it would be good idea to meet up there with our children
I hope it gets better – brilliant of you to be so honest about it all. I’ve been catching up with your blogs – you have been busy.
Being an Oz, I know exactly what you mean about the outdoor oven effect. Inside it’s wonderfully air conditioned and then you hit the heat. You’ll get used to it – is there ever a cool season there? Or wet? Where are you going to live? When do the kids start school – all these questions will, I’m sure, be answered in subsequent blogs.
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