Jet Lag and Laundry
I slept so well last night…once I got to sleep. It only took me two U-turns to find my hotel in the wee hours of this morning and that was only due to all the road construction. My hotel is wonderful; they upgraded me from a studio to a suite, so I have a living room, full kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. It even has a washer and dryer that I learned how to use today…already on day one.
Thank you Etihad Airlines for ruining my entire bag full of luggage; my bike, thankfully made it unscathed. Once I grabbed my bags and got to my hotel, I opened my bag to find that every single thing in my bag was SOAKING wet. I find this quite peculiar, since I didn’t have any liquids in my bag. Everything was soaked – colors bleeding on the each other, my oatmeal was wet (race morning meal). I just don’t get it. Needless to say, my first day in Abu Dhabi included me cleaning all my clothes. (Etihad – you will get a complaint from me personally, don’t you worry.)
I did manage to get out and walk the city, which isn’t that big. It is hard to walk the streets with the construction that is all around, but you do find that people are very friendly and willing to help you out with directions if you get side-tracked. When you hear that the people here love the shop, that is no joke; if you ask what is there to do around the area you aren’t guided to parks or the desert, but rather the Abu Dhabi Mall. I found it large and ordinary with store like H&M, Escada, Lacoste, Converse, Tiffany and Co. and Dunkin Donuts all under one roof. There were only 5-7 stores of traditional wear. If you say you want to explore; people want to send you to Dubai because there are clubs, bars and less conservative. I don’t drink and I don’t go clubbing – I need a better sell than that. I will go check it out to see the architecture, but when I travel I want to experience the real beauty the country by exploring the history; but I think the conservative nature of is part of the charm and what makes visiting countries in the part of the world so intriguing.
What is interesting about this city is when in need of something new – build an island. Islands going up left and right; Hiderlyyat, Lulu, Mushayarid, Sidiyat, Yas…they are everywhere. Of everything I got to see today, my favorite thing was a billboard for the 2nd Annual Women’s Sporting Competition; that is all I could make of the sign since I don’t read Arabic.
Feeling the jet lag, went back to my hotel to rest a bit and this is where I got my first taste of Middle Eastern television. You know you are in the melting pot of the Middle East when you find stations in Hindi, English, Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish; very impressive, that is more than what I have found anywhere I have ever traveled in the world. As I watched Billy Madison in Arabic, I dozed off into a three hour nap.
Waking up as it was getting dark, I see the world outside my window become alive in a way it wasn’t when it was daylight. But what is interesting is that the streets are filled with men, on rare occasion do you see a woman. I feel lucky to find my hotel in the middle of the Indian district (at least I know I have nothing to worry about when it comes to eating).
Tomorrow I hope to see something I have never laid my eyes on before…I am excited for the day to begin.