View from Apt
with one of the bigger city mosques below
I could not wait for Thursday to end! I had another meeting with a client in the far southern part of Dubai, and true to form, their demands had me laughing and crying at the same time. So, I kept busy on Thursday trying to finish another report for another demanding client, which I didn't finish. But it didn't matter because soon I would be seeing Jamie that evening. I got off at the Mall of the Emirates (my second home), and told her I'd meet her at a coffee shop (not Starbucks). We hugged, had dinner at La Spezzia where I had my pizza a couple weeks before; the salad bar was pretty good and pizza ok. Then we found our way back through the maze of one way streets to my hotel, whereI packed some stuff (including laundry!) and we took off for Abu Dhabi.
The ride was long but went by fast as we talked the whole way. I got to her new apartment in downtown Abu Dhabi. Addi met us there and I had my third beer since I've been here - a Heineken. Yum! The apartment was very nice: a corner 6th floor place with
A tiny indoor ice rink
new floors and a guest bathroom. It looked right out onto a mosque and I got to hear every single call to prayer, starting at about 4 in the morning. Addi said on Fridays, their holy day, you'll see tons of people standing outside the mosque for the 12:40 prayer because there are too many people inside. I so wanted to see that but we had a busy day planned.
Jamie and I went to breakfast at this super cute little cafe and we ordered three meals - first was a veggie omelette which was delicious and greasy, then a granola and fruit parfait - also super Yum. But my favorite was the special: little pieces of bread, spread with labneh and with sliced strawberries on top. Delicious!!! I had not had a good time with labneh yet; dipping my Arabic bread into it like hummus just was not as good. But this is my new best friend, so I will have to figure out how to get my lil paws on some labneh and have it everyday. 😊
We had a whole plan to go to the farmers market which was each Friday near the cafe. We
took some of her old clothes to the big yellow bin and walked in. No Farmers Market in July and August! BOO! She told me they'd had big boxes with fresh vegetables in there and you just pay a set price and see what you get. We were going to do a cooking competition that evening on her new six burner stove with Addi and see who'd win. (I'd planned a curry - I'm sure I would have won).
After that we went back to get our stuff to go to her old university, Masdar Institute and work out in the gym for a bit. We drove alllll the way out, passing some beautiful buildings (including the "leaningest tower in the world"), through the desert and all the way to the opposite end of Abu Dhabi. You could see there was a lot of construction going on as Masdar was this planned city. However, when we pulled into the parking garage, the security guard told us that they had a planned power outage until 5pm.
So we got back into the car and decided to drive to the Used car place. Basically, Abu Dhabi told all the used
car dealerships they had to move to this one giant lot outside the city and so we were headed there. Jamie was driving a rental and was pretty sure about a car she looked at, but she wanted to cover her bases. I was very close to getting my visa and I thought I would see what my options were. She had me look up where to go on my phone, though she knew a general idea of where it was, but all I could get was a couple of news articles, including one that said the dealers were mad because they had a 50% reduction in sales since the move. Bummer. In the article, we were able to pin down the neighborhood and the name of the dealership: Motor World. After at least an hour of searching in the car in the desert, we finally found where it was. I started to think that the 50% less sales had more to do with lack of advertising. We pulled into what looked like a car dealership in the desert (shocking!), surrounded by giant billboards that blocked the place from view. There were about 6 rows of buildings with cars sitting
in front of each side of each building. It was a hot day, around 2pm. And there was NOBODY outside. We parked and walked around. Here, they do not put prices on the cars, so all we saw was the year model. We tried to go into a couple of the businesses, but most were locked. There are about 6-7 dealers offices on each side of the building. We found two that were open; one had three guys sitting around on a blanket chilling out and eating, the other had a guy laying on a couch watching football. Hmmm... the 50% less sales is making more and more sense to me... So, we asked the other guy there who was watching the game but who at least stood up when we came in - how much are the cars? Warranties? Years? We got one word answers for each question and he offered no information. Now I understood why they were losing money!!!
So, then we decided just to head back and go see a movie. She wanted to take me to see a VIP movie, which I was definitely not opposed to, but more about that later. Since the
theater was only showing Spiderman in the VIP and it was opening day, we could not get tickets until 9:15. We had lunch at a nice eastern asian place, where we kind of shared our food; I had some good grilled chicken with sweet and spicy thai sauce with rice and vegetables. We went to pick up some groceries for nachos for later from Carrefour (my new favorite store). We came home and took a nap. Then we had some amazing nachos before heading to the theater.
Oh, I don't think I can go back to watching a regular movie now... I've been spoiled. It's about 5 times more, but it is quite worth it! You enter the theater through this little lounge area, with soft lighting, a private snack station, and a private bathroom area. We were running late so I didn't get to enjoy the lounge but that's fine. Then you go in and get your own reclining leather chair. Then a server comes up and gives you a blanket and menu. Heaven. The seats are in twos with a table between so you are all by your lonesome which is nice. I ordered a small popcorn
and coke, even though I was still a little full from today's foods. Then we got to see Spiderman, which I enjoyed but it was a little cheesy.
After the movie, we waited for a cab to take us to the Ethiad Towers nearby, where the tallest has a rooftop bar. It took us a while to find our way to the correct elevator, but what an amazing experience. The hotel was GORGEOUS! Empty, but beautiful marble floors, designer furniture and tastefully elegant decorations. We went to the 62nd floor quickly and smoothly. When we came out, we headed to the fancy bathroom with windows overlooking the city. Then we lounged in a corner and I had my first glass of wine in more than 6 weeks. It was very expensive, French, and only ok, but it still made me so happy. We walked around after our drink and looked out at the view before deciding to head back home. The elevator down this time had a window so we could see how fast we were going down with the City outside.
We made it home and crashed....
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; mem: 1.2mb