We live pretty close to the beach (corniche) where a lot of events are going on. Over the past week we've been awoken in the middle of the night due to some loud cheering that was right outside our apartment accompanied by loads of revving car engines and honking horns. After going into work grumpy the next day, I found out that there were some pretty important World Cup soccer matches for Egypt going on those nights. I thought that possibly the matches were being shown live along the beach. While that may have been the case, people who live across town had the same thing going on in their neighborhoods. It seems that the noise was mostly coming from cafes throughout town. My wife asked why the Emiratis cared so much. My thought was that they didn't and that there are enough Egyptians living here to make that much noise. I guess I can pretty much give up on getting any sleep during mid December when Abu Dhabi is host to FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009.
On Friday afternoon, we were relaxing in our apartment when we heard the sound of people drag racing down the main road that goes along the beach (corniche). When it went on for a while, I figured that it was more than that and poked my head out the balcony to see what was going on. It turned out that there were some boats racing around in the bay nearby. My family and I went down to the beach to have a look. It was one of the first times that we made it down there. When I first got here in August, they were still working on it so there were big construction fences blocking it from view. We haven't really had a chance to check things out and this was a good enough excuse. The kids had a good time watching the Class 1 powerboats practicing while playing in the water and sand. Now that all the construction is done, it's a really nice place to go and I'll have to make more plans to go there, though I know my wife is going to hate all the sand the kids drag into the apartment.
Tonight (Saturday) I went to the cafe in front of my apartment (which was presumably filled with Egyptians watching soccer last week) and smoked some sheesha. This is flavored tobacco that is drawn through a water pipe and is really smooth and mild. I ordered the orange which gave it a pleasant taste. It gives a mild buzz, but because it is filtered through water is much safer than traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes. While I don't plan on smoking it often, the convenience of having the cafe just outside my apartment means I can enjoy a turkish coffee while have a relaxing smoke outside in the cool nighttime air every so often.