To Abu Dhabi, With Love


I have really enjoyed living in Abu Dhabi; I could even venture to say I love this place.
Is it too soon? Maybe.
I tend to rush head first into things so no surprises that this is no different.

For me the experience thus far has been a great one and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
It has been an adventure and the memories I have from this first year alone will keep me laughing all the way into old age.

I thought that it would be fitting to share with you some of my favorite things about this place.

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
This was one of the first pieces of architecture I saw when I arrived in Abu Dhabi on August 9, 2012. It was well past midnight and I was tired after that long journey from NY but I can remember  perking up as we drove past the mosque. It was just so magnificent, the white against the night sky. The moon offering the perfect lighting. It took my breath away and still does every time I pass by. One clear afternoons, I can stand at my living room window and see the curves and domes of the mosque in the distance. I think this is my favorite thing about living here.

An unlikely source of nostalgia but these death traps provided me with some fun memories.
When we first got to Abu Dhabi and long before my friends had cars, we would pile into taxis to get us everywhere.
On a good day if we were lucky, we would get a nice, clean and fresh smelling car driven by a driver who knew enough English to understand where we were going.
On the bad and usually more memorable days we got the exact opposite.
Sometimes the stench was so overpowering we would hold our breaths the entire ride.
Later,we would share stories of our awful experiences and try to come up with descriptions for the variety of smells we encountered.
It was always a game to see who could get into the back first. No one would want to sit up front with the smelly driver. LOL.
Also, some of the best stories were born in taxi rides. You would be surprised to know how much information people are willing to share about themselves if you let them. The recovered drug addict, the heart-broken man in love with his cousin but couldn't marry her and the driver who offered me a free ride if I agreed to be his "friend" are just some of my favorite memories.

Saadiyat Island Beach
This is a new addition to my list and is a close runner up for being my favorite.
I absolutely love this beach.
There is just something about the blueness of the water that captivates me and pulls me in.
I get an overwhelming sense of peace and calm every time I visit.
Nothing compares to this feeling, not even food.
Lol. If you know me and my love for all things food related, then you know this love for Saadiyat Beach is something serious.

Men in Kanduras
So not gonna lie, I never imagined myself being attracted to men in dresses.
However, there is something very manly and sexy about a man in a Kandura and Guthra ( the traditional head-dress that the men wear). Especially if it is a pristine white and crisply laundered Kandura.
The men are just so confident and proud in their Kanduras, you can't help but notice them.
Very nice or as the locals would say "Mash'Allah".

The list could actually go on for longer.
There are just so many things that I like and have gotten use to since living here.
Despite the striking contrasts between my life here and that in the U.S, I have managed to acclimate quite easily. Depending on what plans God has for my life, I might be here for awhile.