Yesterday Melissa and I escaped to Dubai. It's amazing what a little road trip every once in a while will do for the mental state. After an ill-fated start where we were literally in no-man's land, stuck in a series of off-ramps and sideroads, trying to get to a gas station to purchase a auto toll antenna for the car (we were unsuccessful :( , we managed to get to Dubai mall. I've typed about this place before: the largest mall in the world. Next to the tallest building in the world, the Burg Khalifa.
We opted for good sushi at a belted place and then walked around and tried on clothes and got depressed (there are no clothes for "curvy" women here. The curvier ones can just throw on an Abaya and not worry about tigher fitting things) we opted to take in a movie at the theater at the mall. We chose a good chick flick "Life as We Know It" or something like that with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. There were several groups of abaya clad women out for a night with the girls and it reminded me so fondly of Lincoln Square Theater at home (minus the black toilet fixtures...I hate those things at LS). Squeezing the mini into the painted out parking spaces and meeting with my girlfriends for a chickflick.
When buying tickets for the movies here you also pick out your seat assignments so though there were empty areas Melissa and I were plopped down between two groups of abaya clad women who greeted us with friendly smiling eyes from behind their veils. The movie was in English with Arabic subtitles. Good for us. Maybe not as much for them but I think they are used to it. At one time there was a slightly steamy scene between the couple on screen. It seemed like everyone in the theater except Melissa and I were giggling and whispering. So then I got to thinking about the image of America that must be commonly shared here by those who have never been. Especially during the backyard barbeque birthday party scene where everything just looks so, I don't know, "perfect." Families of beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes eating beautiful cake in beautiful weather. No wonder when I say I am from American their eyes twinkle and they say "very nice."
At one point I go to put my cup of pop in the cupholder between me and my abaya clad rowmate beside me. It wasn't settline into the holder just right and fortunately I grabbed it back just before the woman next to me moved her arm. The wide flowing sleeve of her abaya, designed to also cover her hands, had settled over the cupholder. Disaster averted. I carefully removed her sleeve from the holder from then on before placing my cup.
The other thing about watching a movie here, or going to a meeting for that matter, people do not turn off their cellphones and do not hesitate to pick up a call no matter where or when it happens. Nobody has voicemail (well maybe a few do but it's not common)so they pick up a call even if it comes in the middle of a movie. Something I don't think I'll ever get used to.
The drive back was uneventful and we even found a decent spot to park when we got back around midnight. It was a good break. What are you all doing this weekend?
5 hours ago