"Not all those who wander are lost"

Fun in the Sun

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

-Tim Cahill



So far this week has been fairly unspectacular.  Things are starting to become normal here.  S-W were classes, senior design, hanging out, a little soccer, and that fun stuff.  Today Jimmy, Stan, Mike W, and I headed to Jumeirah public beach near the Burj Al Arab to hang out and enjoy the sun while everyone else headed to the mall.  We got to the beach not too long after noon and enjoyed soaking in the sun and basking in our 80something degree weather.  I brought my soccer ball that I got at Carrefour (for AED17 which is less than $5) and Stan and I kicked it around for a while.  Eventually a group of kids came over and asked if we wanted to play a game so we did.  We had a great time playing beach soccer despite the sharp shells and bits of broken glass on the beach.  Eventually it was too hot running around and we jumped in the water.  The water here is the saltiest I have ever been in.  I can open my eyes in a chlorinated pool without it bothering my eyes, but this salt made them burn.

We were planning on heading to RIT to meet people and go to the Global Village (just what it sounds, every country has a little “village” with stores of food and goods) so we headed out just after 4.  We got to RIT just in time for the bus…only to find out that it had to go all the way back to RIT to pick up the rest of the group since they couldn’t get a taxi (still kind of confused).  Global village turned out to be lots of fun.  There was great food everywhere.  Booths with rugs, fabrics, scarfs, spices, and every kind of random junk you can think of.  Yemen was one of the best with tower shaped out of curry powder, bundles of cinnamon sticks (really bundles of sticks, they were 2 feet long and bundled like you would see fire wood), and wide variety of honey (even some only for married people because it’s supposed to be an afrodisiac).  There were performances all over the place and even some carnival rides.  Unfortunately we had to head out at 9 so some people could catch connecting buses, but we all plan to go back.

After a bit of hanging out in the common room Raunak (one of the kids from the other side of the hall who goes to Harriot Watt) headed over to the labor camp (cheap housing for primarily Indians who send money back to their families).  I had visited the labor camp with him several days ago and he mentioned there was a barber shop that does shaves for 5dhs, but I had just shaved that day.  I set out with the mission to get my first barber shop shave.  We got to the barber shop but the lights were all out and it was closed.  It was only 11:00pm, they had no reason to be closed.  We started to turn to leave but noticed another barber shop a few doors down, it was go time.  It was an interesting experience for sure.  The labor camp is not really a bad area, but when someone has a razor blade against my throat it just makes me a little nervous.  The weirdest part was having a random Indian guy rubbing my face (lather, aftershave, something else, and powder).  All went well enough since I made it back to tell the tale with only a couple nicks.

Big plans ahead, climbing in 5 hours, Ugly sweater Pot-luck Christmahanukwanza Party tomorrow night, and Abu Dhabi for the FIFA Club World Cup Saturday.

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