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Published: March 30th 2009
I find the back streets of Abu Dhabi more interesting than the huge modern "could be anywhere in the world" shopping malls that most people here seem to frequent.
Although when in the mood for a bit of a shop, maybe to visit the Virgin Megastore or the odd chic flick they show in between violent action movies..at the cinema, they do come in handy..
The back streets seem to hold more character, although I am sure for those that have to live in the rundown buildings it is "not so interesting"....
But this is where you will see all the men of similiar backgrounds congregate, to swap stories & no doubt feel closer to their homelands with familiar stories being told.
The footpaths are often crumbled, you really need to watch where you are walking, cars everwhere, parked in the middle of the streets, up on curbs, in the middle of roundabouts, or creating their own roundabout as they park in the middle of an intersection....ingenious is survival here....
There are overcowded apartment blocks with aircondiotioners vacariously hanging off the sides.. balconies full of drying washing, horns tooting, taxis crawling for groups to load back
to the work camps..
Little groceries, bakeries, tailors, typing shops, metal boxes shop, drycleaners for all the dish dashes, material & casmere shops, extravagant gold arabic style jewelry everwhere, mobile phones & fake watches,cheap souveniers & toys, all overhanging onto the narrow footpaths....
Glass towered new apartment bulidings springing up everwhere slowly but surely moving the longer term residents from the older buildings further to the outskirts. At the moment there is still a side by side contrast of the new & the old, with cranes & building sites on most blocks.
When I am wandering these back streets, often photographing or just looking for a cafe, I find I am the only western woman walking around, let alone you see very few woman in general.... curious stares by the local men.. I believe the malls are where you will see more women folk....
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