Friday, May 25, 2007

Fujairah Trip via Massafi


Last weekend I had to work at Dibba on the east coast of the UAE. a couple of hours drive from Al Ain. I was supervising national English examinations. The firm paid for Chris and me to stay in the Sandy Beach Hotel overnight.

While I worked my butt off supervising exams in a Dibba Al Hasn gymnasium, Christina lazed about the hotel swimming, reading and generally living the life of Riley. (Who the hell was Riley anyway? He must have had a good life as everyone keeps talking about it.).

We finished our exam supervision rather late ... about 6:15 pm after which Chris collected me and we travelled home via Massafi which has two rows of shops, one called the Thursday market and the other a few kilometres away, the Friday Market. Needless to say, in this silly place, both are open every day.

At Massafi we visited a pottery run by a sole Indian man who pumps out earthenware pots like the Australian cricket team pumps out runs. The photo above is of Chris looking for pots to buy. We bought three, two small ones and a larger one like the one she has her hand on in the photo. We imagine they will look nice sitting near the back door of our Tmara Mara Circuit house.
Today we had lunch with work colleagues at one of their houses and tonight I'm attending the inaugural dinner of the Al Ain Mature Men's Club which I organised (quite accidentally) to coincide with "Women's Night" at the Casa Romano Restaurant at the Hilton Hotel. I've been having regular day dreams of wall to wall Oriental beauties all day, but I'll probably find just a sprinkling of Western women (probably of the 'we hate men' ilk.)
It's a tough life, but someone has to dream it.
While I'm wining, talking rubbish and ogling at the sights (hopefully), Christina will be attending a student's wedding with another work colleague. When Emiratis get married, the men and women have separate celebrations and there is no mixing of genders (since funny things happen when you let them get together). I do understand that after the ceremonies the bride and groom are allowed to mix and it's highly likely that they even copulate like rabbits after decades of suppressed sexual energy. But, I'm not sure about that.
Hope this finds you having a great time too.
Best wishes

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Older Guy and The Young Boy


When Tory came to visit me and my students recently, Christina took this great shot of us in my staff room.
He'd been to visit two student groups, one studying Business and Software Essentials with 23 young ladies and another studying Human Resources Practices with 13 final semester ladies.
Although a bit shy at first, he soon came out of his box and began to talk to the girls and accept the many chocolates, stickers and other gifts they bestowed on him.
As we walked about the college, students whom I've never met, smiled at him and said "Hello". They don't see too many kids with fair hair, blue eyes and a lovely light tan, so he was somewhat popular.
In the latter class he played computer games with a group of girls and spoke to them using a few words of Arabic which I had asked him to speak. That delighted them. Now that Tory is back in Australia and back at school, some of the girls still ask after him.
One of the benefits of getting older is that you can become a grandparent. When one of my work colleagues sent me an email with a photo of his grandson on the bottom and the words, "If I had known being a grandparent was so much fun, I would have had my grandchildren first." I knew exactly what he meant. Being a grandparent is just wonderful.
Cheers for now.
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