Published: July 9th 2012July 8th 2012
Everyone hangs their laundry out to dry here, no matter how nice the building
So, the second day in Abu Dhabi was a nice lazy day. I spent most of the time laying on the air mattress in the empty living room reading my kindle - I finished Stardust
(which I wound up really liking) and read the entire Chelsea Handler book: My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands
, which had me laughing all day long.
First thing in the morning, Jamie ordered some Indian Breakfast thing which was like a pancake wrap with some kind of curry inside and a couple of dipping sauces. Jamie was not feeling good, so we put off going to the Grand Mosque. I was a little sad, but I will be here for two years - I have plenty of time to see it. Plus, sometimes there is nothing better than just lounging around all day once a weekend. So relaxing.
Later, we drove to Masdar Institute with Addi and they showed me their old stomping grounds. I was very surprised... it was so cool!!!!!!!! We parked in the garage, and went inisde. Jamie said I could push the button. I was a little confused as to why this was a big
Jamie's empty living room; furniture arrives this week.
deal, but the doors opened and there was a tiny little automatic car, looked like a smart car. Jamie told me to push the button on the little screen and the tiny little car reversed and started to drive! It drove us all the way to campus - about 3 minutes - and pulled into a little parking spot. Very very cool! The inside was very nice and new age; I really felt like I was at Tomorrowland or Epcot Center in Disney World. Jamie said usually the one wall in the hallway, which was covered in tv screens, is on with news of the university or other engineering exploits. We went to her office to clean out her desk and ran into a couple of people they knew.
They showed me outside where you could see the dormitory "villas", male and female separated. The way all buildings are constructed is to allow more natural shade and thereby cooling to the structures. There was also a giant wind tunnel in the middle, one of which three were supposed to be built The wind tunnels are ancient technology which spray a bit of water within the tunnel and the air
I just loved the name!
flows through and below is much cooler. There were also some bamboo wall type things between the buildings which were open when we came by, but are also used during sandstorms - they close and dissipate the sand a bit. They are made from imported bamboo (or coconut wood?) from India or something. We then ate at Sumo, (yay!!!) a sushi restaurant where each ordered a bento meal. Jamie, of course, had 2-for-1 coupons for bento and she managed to talk our way into getting a fourth plate. This is why I love Jamie!
Addi then showed me the planned city map which was so cool! Basically, Masdar is a planned carbon free city with no cars allowed. They had initally planned to have these little cars, "pods", to be the main forms of transportation underneath the city with access everywhere. However, it was not economically feasible. Right now, they only go to the university. Now, the plan is to only allow electrical cars into the city, but this expands the streets within the city, which had originally planned to be smaller to provide more shade to the buildings and thus natural cooling. Right now, only the university area
I was able to do my laundry in this tiny thing which washes AND dries!
is built, but there is some plan to continue building in the future.
We drove back to the apartment to pack for work the next day. We had originally planned to catch up on True Blood, but maybe next time...
There are more photos below