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June 23rd 2012
Published: June 23rd 2012
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Last evening, I was a little restless, so I took a stroll around the neighborhood, wanting to get an idea of what was here. I only have one week left, and probably will be gone two nights of this week as well, but I was bored and the weather felt nice. Nothing like a dip in the pool to wake you up!

I decided to grab some take away menus from various restaurants and found two that I immediately want to try: Chalet Grill Plus, which specializes in Arabai, Chinese, Indian, and Turkish cuisine, and a place called Green Chillies, which is Indian and Arabic, and well... I just love green chilies! As Silpa had told me, there were a lot of restaurants nearby; my hotel just is not facing any of the major streets, so they were hidden from me. It also was not a bad walk to the Mall of the Emirates; I would have walked straight there, but it was very dark out and I was alone... There is very little crime here, but that doesn't mean I should be stupid.

I skipped breakfast today, except for having a spoonful of peanut butter, so I was excited to go get some food. I thought maybe I should walk to one of the restaurants I visited last night, but it was hot out and I need money anyway. The ATM is located at the metro station, so I went there, took the metro (one-way is 4AED), and got to the mall. First, I picked up a webcam so I can talk to my parents on chat now. It was not as much as I thought it would be. Then I decided to try a movie: Rock of Ages was the next one showing so I bought a ticket, and walked around the area until it started. I saw a Virgin store and hoped I could find a movie or two to take home with me, but I wound up perusing The Entertainer. this is a big book of deals all over the place for the traveler. It was 395 AED (just a little more than $100), but just glancing through some of the deals, one night at a nice hotel for free will make the whole thing worth it. I didn't get to look further, but I figure I will get it when I get paid. Apparently, since I do not have a bank account yet, I'll be paid in cash this month - fine by me!!!

So, I went to watch the movie. a) I really don't like Tom Cruise and b) I had totally forgot this was a musical and groaned when it first started and they were singing on the bus. But I have to say, with Tom's limited screen time and that being pretty funny, and with the nostalgic songs that I loved in my childhood, I really enjoyed the movie! I recommend it. The best part, was that when I left, there were a couple of women hanging out and they handed me a gift bag. I love gift bags!!! AND it had things that I needed in it: new shampoo and some hair treatment which I can't wait to try.

I left the mall, through the door and made my way towards my hotel. Not a bad walk at all, and it was late afternoon, so not too hot. I decided to try some Arabic food at the Chalet Grill thing - it was a very nice restaurant but only one person sitting there (staring of course), so I got my food to go. O-M-G. It was goooood. I got Iskander Kebab, which is basically grilled chicken (I think usually it's lamb, but I still just can't go there yet...) basted in a spicy tomato sauce, served with pita bread, yogurt and rice. They also gave me some pita bread with hummus which I'll take to our lunch tomorrow. I also still have enough left over for tomorrow night's dinner. It was the most expensive meal at 36 AED I've ordered yet (except for the buffet yesterday) but it was worth it!

I did a little cleaning, then passed out. I'm so tired! I made myself get up, clean a little more, then I went for a swim. Yes, it just feels so good! I was there to watch the sunset (well, it's the equivalent of June Gloom here, so there was not so much a sunset as a sky-darkening). It was peaceful, though this is apparently the time when everyone comes out to play at the pool. Fortunately, the kids were in the kids pool and people were between the pool and jacuzzi, while the rest just sat in the lounge chairs and talked. It is a nice spot to hang out. After that, I went into the Sauna for a few minutes, until I realized that I basically do this everyday, stand out in the heat for a few minutes. Haha!

I was able to chat with Sujin and Shonna last night, which was nice. Shonna asked me what my favorite thing so far here is. That was a difficult question to answer. I don't know - I guess there is no one thing or any particular thing. So I answered, that I try to do something different every weekend. And that is the truth. This time it was the Ibn Battuta Mall, last weekend was the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa fountain show, the previous was seeing the different neighborhoods and Palm Jumeirah. So I made a pact with myself to continue this practice while I am here. I will do one new thing every weekend.

Now, it's bed time. Night night!

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23rd June 2012

The food looks amazing!
Wow, the food looks so good. It sounds like you are getting out and exploring, which is awesome. I'm enjoying living vicariously through you, until I come and visit! Hope all is well, pookie.

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