This morning at half past seven when I went for a walk it occurred to me that I have not written about where we live. We live on a street called Little 8 Street, away from the centre of Abu Dhabi but still close enough to feel part of it. In fact as you come over the hill on Salam Street to reach us, the traffic suddenly eases, things seem less chaotic and greener.
I say the traffic eases but even this morning when I was out walking along what is called the New Corniche it was constantly flowing. You have to wonder where all these hundreds of people are going so early on a Saturday morning. But the view of the sea was lovely, as well as the high-rise buildings that looked almost suspended in the sky because of low fog.
After my walk I went to our local shopping area, which is a little like walking into an Indian village. There are about 40 small shops; dry cleaners, hair dressers, take-away places, a baker’s, a fruit and veg shop, countless material shops and little grocers that sell everything you could possibly need. If it’s not on display then just ask and they will nip upstairs to get it.
The baker’s this morning was full of men. It suddenly struck me that the shops there are always full of men. I’m not sure I have ever seen a woman over there. But this doesn’t make it feel unsafe or anything. In fact Olivia and Bea often go shopping alone and have made friends with all the shopkeepers. I bought some pain au chocolat, sesame bread and then picked up fresh mango and orange juice on the way home, as well as the newspaper, obviously.
This morning we will do very little and then we’re invited to a BBQ. There is something very exotic about the thought of a BBQ in February, but the fact is we should be outside as much as we possibly can now. In a month or so it will be too hot to go for a walk, even at 7 o’clock in the morning. Which is one of the disadvantages about where we live.
With thanks for picture to Michael Gunnison who writes a blog caller Flowers in the Sand.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009