Saturday, November 20, 2010

This American's Life

Had a lovely break from work this last week. In addition to a venture into the desert (see previous post) we hung at the beach at the corniche one day. Terrific people watching entertainment there as east mixed with west. Women dressed from full cover up to skimpy little bikini's and everything in between (that was me). Mostly men on the beach, a good dose of working class who got to enjoy some rare time off as well. The security guys were kept busy but not in the usual way that security guys are kept busy at the US beaches. No liquor patrols: only camera patrol. The native culture here is very sensitive to having their photo's taken. This is amplified in a beach setting. And though the women that were less covered up than others were not of the local variety, the security guys were charged with making sure no pictures of any women (and maybe even local men?) were captured at the beach. And so we watched the security force continuously approaching men with cameras, taking the cameras, looking and deleting, warning, and some were forced to leave the beach when they didn't heed the first warnings. I must say that I like this. I think we should pass a law internationally: no pictures on the beach. At least of me. In a swimsuit.

The balance of the week off I caught up on a little housekeeping, got busy planning the details for the trip to Spain in December and packed my suitcase for India: I leave tonight to catch up with my niece and see the boarding school in the Himalayas that raised my father. I am excited to be seeing family (I miss them so much) and to get to see the bright colors and greenery of India: two things lacking in the UAE.

While working on these things I had a constant stream of old archived episodes of NPR's "This American Life" going. I have always loved this program, but I think it is especially attractive after being situated for a while in this totally unAmerican setting. I nice dose of reality I think.

And so, this American will be out of touch for a bit. Not sure if I will be able to add to the blog while on the road but I know I will have some great adventures to share when I return. Stay tuned.

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