Sunday, February 14, 2010

Masalaam

This morning saw me sending the Evil One off to the Dubai airport in a bright pink taxi with a female Romanian driver. This afternoon saw me dragging my sick ass out of bed long enough to take the money she didn't have on her downstairs for her driver. Yes, I am now sad as well as sick.

It was a really good weekend, so good that come Saturday night I found myself having the Back-In-RAK blues again. I got turned around a lot, but Evil and Socrates both have excellent map reading skills, so we always got where we needed to be, although consequently I did spend a lot on SALIK tolls. We went to church and she got to experience white people giving talks again (ie, longer than 5 minutes), Filipinos singing along softly to a solo intermediate hymn, and MY fabulous youth Sunday school lesson (honestly? probably the most enjoyable calling I've had in a very long time). We went from there to Dubai Mall where we met Socrates (probably the most disorienting, surreal moment during my travels abroad...seeing Evil in a foreign land I've gotten used to, but having two completely unrelated yet significantly important individuals from different eras in my life meet up as if it ain't no thang in a mall in Dubai??? A small bit trippy, teacher, to say the least).
We returned our Burj Khalifa tickets (grr), had lunch,
experienced the wonders of a North American level bookstore in the reading desert that is Arabia, and went on our merry way to see the Palm Jumeirah...or to drive out to Atlantis, take a look around, see the lobby's Chihuly, and walk past the guard onto the back veranda...or rather, I did, Socrates failed the "pretend you belong here" test by incorrectly answering that most crucial of questions, "Are you staying at the hotel?" (he who hesitate is lost!), and the Evil One didn't even try. We met up again later for dinner and attempted to go out dancing or something, but the music at Long's "School Disco" was not the 80's pop tunes advertised in Time Out and somebody had jetlag, so we left Socrates to his own devices sometime around midnight.

We got up and did some shopping at the Mall of the Emirates where Socrates met us before we departed for RAK (via Festival City - I needed frames from IKEA, and I promised Evil Gourmet Burgers for lunch). The rental, Socrates' Mazda 3 from last fall, was making some interesting sounds and motions, but when he popped into the gas station for drinks just past Sharjah, I made Evil say a prayer (I also made her bless the food last night - as she pointed out, I have been making her say the prayers for most of our long association), and we made it home okay, even with the pit stop at Spinney's for ingredients for Greek night. Returning the car was a bit of drama - at first the woman checking it over had the wrong sheet, and I panicked a little bit because she thought the scratches and dings were my fault. Also, I had a lot of SALIK tolls from driving up and down Sheikh Zayed and over the Garhoud bridge so much...made me miss staying in Mankhool and taking taxis. But all in all, a good time.

Yesterday I was not feeling well, and when Stephanie suggested I leave as soon as my classes were finished, I complied. And when I got home, I chose to do my resting at the beach with Evil. In fact, the beach was so restful that we decided to cancel my little dinner party, eat a late lunch, and have Greek for dinner all by ourselves, and on our sunset walk back from Hilton, we had to agree that this had been an excellent plan. We spent quite a bit of time sitting in my living room, reading our separate books. This probably seems like a boring way to spend time together, but it's just the way we are. Actually, all of our girlfriends have been known to do this from time to time; I think it's one of the reasons we all get along so well. Later I made moussaka, dolmades, tzatziki, and Greek salad, which turned out to be a lot of food for two people, and I anticipate eating it for the rest of the week (oh, darn). And, eventually, it was time for bed, and now, after an afternoon of sleeping, vomiting, and diarrhea, it is time for the same. And all I can say is, Evil better bid on somewhere this go-round that I can get a job teaching, because it would be FANTASTIC to have the dynamic duo in action year-round, although I'm not sure anywhere in the world is ready for it.

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