Friday, August 26, 2011

Grand Mosque Visit....Take 1

My day never seems non-stop busy, really. But, when I start to put it all down here it sounds like it is.

Here's Bella looking adorable with her hair pulled back, I hope she does this for school this year, instead of the wild Amazonian hairstyle she went with last year (the I'm too tired to brush my hair in the morning look).

We decided to try a new fruit today: Snake Fruit or Salak. Found a neat website about fruit species and it tells you more about it here: Fruit Species

It comes from Indonesia. It is easy to open and the skin peels right off. It shouldn't look like this though. It was rotten and smelled nasty.

We opened another one and it looked better. It has three big garlic-clove-looking things in it with a an inedible pit in each one. Bella and I tried a bite.

We both decided we didn't like it. Smells awful, tastes soury.

We went to a place called the Abu Dhabi Co-o Society. I thought ....ooh a Food Co-op. Um, no. More like some food mixed with Walmart quality clothes and some toys. The kids told me to take a picture of the Giant Cabbage heads though.

Then, we came home for a swim and lunch before heading out for our big event of the day: The Grand Mosque.

It's a "must-see" thing to do in Abu Dhabi. Today is Friday (Brian's first weekend day) and it is the Holy Day for Muslims (like our Sunday) and have I mentioned that it's Ramadan (the holiest time of year for Muslims)?

So...we checked the Internet (which I should know by now is NOT a reliable source of information for times) and it said there are guided tours on Fridays at 5 pm (it listed other times too and EVEN mentioned that the morning tours don't happen during Ramadan).

I thought, great! I wanna go, let's check it out. we went.

You drive about 10 minutes from our house and see this AMAZING building. It is like a palace of white, rising to the sky. Incredible.

There were a few people around the outside area.

We read ahead of time that you need to dress conservatively and women should cover their arms and wear skirts to the ankles and cover your head. Men shouldn't wear shorts.

Bella donned a cute gold scarf that my mom's cousin Marina gave me as a gift for just such an occasion.

I decided to wear a Red dress with a purple scarf over my head and big sunglasses. (obviously not an attention-getting outfit or anything..). Looking back, I may have appeared as Victoria Beckham's Fat Sister. I walked quickly, with my head held high like I was supposed to be there and on a mission. People tend to leave you alone when you do this.

As we walked closer in, there were lots more people....ummm... Muslim men. Maybe one or two Muslim women.

Everyone was staring at


We got to one area where there was security and the gentleman said "women only this way" (usually there is a separate women's and men's mosque so I figured he was directing me to that)

Brian asked where the tour was held and the security guard explained that there are no tours on Fridays in Ramadan. (Duh....ignorant American)

Brian tried to explain that the website said there was. We were told again that there isn't.

This is us leaving.....

It is moments like this that I'm glad I don't understand those around me because I'm sure the looks and whispers weren't good.

We'll try again tomorrow.

Then Brian took the kids swimming and I relaxed with a few magazines....ahhh touch of home (so glad my trashy entertainment mags get delivered here)

We decided to venture out to dinner at Mondo Pizzeria, a place Brian has visited before. They are located at the Country Club and they deliver.

It was fantastic. (my dish was at least) We were the only ones there and had three or four waiters helping us. Great service. I'm getting used to being called Madam ("Mah-Dom") a lot.

I forgot to take a picture of my main entree but it was a seafood dish with lobster, scallop, squid, Sea Bass, Prawn, Mussel and Hammour (local Amazing-melt-in-your-mouth fish).

I finished with a little mousse....(dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate). Glad I had four people to share it with.

The bill was 500 dhs before tip. That would be $150. So, there's our big night out for the month. Ouch!

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