A Few Undercooked Falafels

A Few Undercooked Falafels

So, my reward for my 3 week servitude out in the Middle Easy is this. Is it worth it? Maybe. I’ve been out here on the coast for 4 days and this is the first chance I’ve gotten at actually sitting on the beach and relaxing. Every night this week, I’ve been getting home past 9 or 10pm, so I haven’t had nary a chance to let my toes get a little O2 and my mind some fresh air. This right here, my friends, is THE glamor life. I’m glad I at least got a chance to get a few hours out here and appreciate the scenery.

Tomorrow morning, I head to Abu Dhabi for a little vacay. I’ll be visiting my friend who’s traveled extensively and FaroundtheWorld. He’s a cool cat who I’ve grown up with throughout the years and even roomed with as recently as a year and a half ago. When he decided to room with me, he was in a transition period between jobs in the Middle East and the States. So, essentially, he had shit better to do than party like an Afghan Star. I remember this cat would be out partying every day of the week. If you needed to know where to go whenever you ain’t got split better to do, he was the man with the details. I’m sure he’s working his tail off now and lubricating every morning after showering and brushing, but those were the good ol’ days for my boy there. Fist tap and kudos to him for exemplifying my lifelong motto, “If you ain’t living…ya dying.” Anyways, he’s hinted at showing me a sliver of the glamor life he’s living in the UAE this weekend, so I’m looking forward to that. French fry has Wi-Fi at his crib! I know that’s commonplace for folks in the UAE, but not where I’ve been at the past 3 weeks. I remember all of our UN crew imploring him to work somewhere close enough that we could afford to visit him. The only consolation he ever gave us was living on The U in DC. When he informed us of his pending relocation to the UAE, we all wished him well with kindness in our eyes and contempt in our hearts. I was like, “This guy. Another place that’ll cost nearly 2 G’s to visit…dammit, Chloe!” But, through the fortunes of my work-related visit out here to the Easy, I was able to finagle a trip to the UAE at no added cost (it was actually cheaper to detour to the UAE than to fly round trip to where I originally landed). Go figure.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to relaxing and enjoying all that the UAE has to offer. It’ll be a good min-vacay before I make my inevitable return to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Braves. At the least, I’ll at least have a greater diversity of culinary vegetarian options. Word on the street is that that place is crammed tight with Brownies from all over the globe (i.e. there are a ton of South Asians there). I get the feeling from folks who’ve I’ve met here that have traveled to Dubai and whatnot that Dubai is a different animal from the rest of the large, Middle Eastern cities. This should be interesting.

Lord knows I would’ve been hesitant and stuttering jibberish when push would’ve came to throwing hands if I had to make the decision to purchase a ticket on my own tab out there. It’s hard for me to justify paying the price for a ticket to India to anywhere else (as insufficient as that justification sounds). So, we shall see what awaits me in the Middle Eastern playground.

I’ve also learned that growing up with Somalis has really helped me acclimate to Arabs. From the language to the dress, there are great similarities…maybe more than even Indians and Arabs. For example, when I see women here wearing the traditional hijab in a 100 plus heat, I don’t blink. Going to Clarkston High School prepares you well enough for that.

I truly believe that Americans should take the opportunity to visit the Middle East. Especially the stable regions like the UAE, Jordan, and Turkey. Even the most ardent anti-Islamic, war mongering patriots will find it hard to continue to generalize and stereotype Arabs. Arabs are nothing like the misconception that some ignorant folks have in the States (especially after 9/11). Arabs are some of the most benevolent and kind hearted people you will meet. At least half a dozen times, I’ve been offered tea by random strangers. Seriously. We went to a computer shop last night to look for some replacement PC parts and the manager offered us some tea – simply because he was brewing himself a batch. I’ve never ONCE felt unsafe out here (and I’ve been out here 3 weeks). It’s not as though I expected any circumstantial calamities or whatnot, but hey…ya never know. Anyways, if more Americans traveled to the Middle East, they’d be hard pressed not to develop admiration and appreciation for Arabs. They’re good people. As with all races, genders, socio-economic classes, etc., there are always a few undercooked falafels amongst the majority. It is what it is. Anyways, if you ever get an opportunity to travel to the Middle East, give it some serious thought.

I would blabber on incessantly in the warm, ocean breeze…but…it’s pitch dark out here and I’m headed back up to my room to shower and meet up with a local contractor I’ve been working with over the past week. Maybe we’ll paint the town Brown. We’ll see.

Dubai, I will suck your face. Shortly. I’m excite.

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