Sunday, August 21, 2011

Abu Dhabi - Day 5

Today is Alexander's 11th birthday. We would've loved to be able to go somewhere great like Ferrari World but since it's the holy month of Ramadan things are really low-key during the daytime.

So, we headed out ice skating. We were the only ones there.


Hard to see but a lady from the counter helped Cameron the whole time and gave him a mini lesson. Customer Service people are really friendly and call me Madam over and over. It's a little weird but I'm getting used to it. "Excuse me, ma'am....". "Yes, madam. How can I help you madam. No problem madam"

After ice skating we headed home for lunch and to swim (thank goodness for an indoor pool in this weather!). We live about 5 minutes from the ice skating place but it took me 20 minutes to get home. I ended up driving over a bridge and then back again and I got stuck in two different roundabouts going in a full circle before finding my way. Sigh.... I'll get the hang of it the more I drive.

After swimming, we showered and dressed and headed to the store to buy a Garmin GPS. I felt much better after that!

When Brian got home from work we relaxed for a bit before heading out to church.

I was excited to learn there is ONE Catholic Church in Abu Dhabi. It's called St. Joseph's Church.  According to their website, they have 100,000 members and numerous masses in different languages. I found a Children's Mass in English and was thrilled to go. I thought it would be a great way to meet like-minded individuals and be around some Americans.

Not a Bit!! I left in near tears. I was looking for comfort and walked away with another reminder that I am a minority and there aren't a lot of like-minded people. It was crazy packed and different.

The website said it started at 6, but when we got there it was half over and it turns out it starts at 5:45. There were two different masses happening at once in giant rooms across each other in a courtyard and they were packed with East Indians and Phillipinos and maybe 2 other Caucasions. The host tastes different and they don't even shake hands for peace....they just bow to each other with clasped hands. I love the "peace be with you" part of mass, it makes me feel so connected to others. They do another Children's mass on Friday morning and I'll give it another try......

After mass, we decided to head out for Alexanders birthday, He picked Fuddruckers at the mall.

Yep, we are in another country with tons and tons of exotic foods and cool places to eat and he wants to eat American food at the mall.

At 7:00 pm, Muslims "break Iftar". This is breaking fast during Ramadan. So, when we went to the mall in the daytime the other day it was almost empty and lots of stores were closed. At 7:00 everyone comes out and several of the stores open at 8:00 pm (just during Ramadan it's like this). So there were people everywhere.

Cam calls the building behind the mall "the Space Needle". It's like a little piece of home!

Here is a shoe shop window.

There is a cool waterfall in the middle and every now and again it plays music and the water shoots out in rhythm.

Trees are decorated for the holiday time too.

Years ago, Mohammed broke his fast with water and dates before a big meal. Fuddruckers served us water and dates as soon as we sat down before ordering.

Alexander got to pick out some candy as a treat and I tried my best to take a photo of the woman in the traditional dress walking behind him.

Here are some people in different clothes heading to the mall.

Cam loves this car in the wall on the drive home.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that mass was a disapointment who would have thought that it would be so different...Happy birthday to Alexander !!!! Keep your chin up and let the adjustment happen naturally. Before you know it you will be settle in to routines and a comfortablity.

Angie said...

Love Love Love the blog! Happy Birthday Alexander!

Anonymous said...

I thought I commented earlier... but I don't see it.... hmmmm.... Well I meant to say earlier.... Love Love Love the blog.... Happy Birthday Alexander! How many pairs of "those shoes" have you bought yourself? Lol! LYM! ~Angie

Crystal in Lynden said...

Hang in there. Different is difficult no doubt about it. I love that I now have United Arab Emirates as a country that has visited my blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it turned out to be a good day. Happy birthday Alex! Glad to hear you are already getting out and finding your way. Love you guys! -Nicole

Sandie said...

Connie --
Finally just got to your blog. Juanita left off the "t" in spot when she sent me your link. I LOVE experiencing your experience with you. I'm now in Western Washington and it's on the cool side. I just put socks on for the first time in months. Looks like we're going to get some rain. Am headed over to Hoods Canal for a few days for gathering with my OLD girl scouts. I concur with your other friends' postings. Give the adjustment time. And keep up your wonderful posts with pictures.
-- Sandie