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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Island Getaway

I know that a lot of my posts may give a fairly negative view of Emiratis, but there are some pretty decent people here, too. Just as my job doesn't put me into contact with the bottom third of Emiratis as far as functionality, it doesn't usually put me into contact with the top third, either. That's where my friend, "Khalid" comes into play. Khalid is the guy that took me around the Formula One track in his Porsche. From all the times I've met him, he is a really down to earth, fun guy to hang out with. Over the past few months, my family and I have gone out for beach excursions with his friends Safwan and Safwan's wife Katie.

Back in February, we went to Safwan's beach house about a 20 minute boat ride off of Sadiyat Island.  We were able to have fun on Khalid's jet ski and relax in the shade with a few soda pops. Safwan and Katie put on a wonderful BBQ for us and their neighbors kept sending over food that they had cooked. It seems that a lot of the people who life in Abu Dhabi spend their weekends relaxing at their island houses. Of course this seclusion comes at a price. They have to import all of their food and water. I'm not entirely sure of where their electricity comes from, but I think they must have a generator somewhere on their property.
Lucas showing his stuff on the jet ski.

I was going to take Safwan and Katie's parrot back with me so I could be the "weird parrot guy."

She sells seashells by the seashore. The seashells she sells are seashells, I'm sure. In particular, one of them had a dead crab in it.
This is the beach house from the water.
After the wonderful hospitality, we had another chance to relax in the sun with our new friends. A few weeks ago, Khalid took us to a fairly secluded beach on Sadiyat Island where we me Safwan and Katie for another BBQ.
On our way to the beach with the Abu Dhabi construction in the background.

Lucas relaxing near a floating cooler filled with soda pop.

Stopping for gas and a potty break for Khalid's dog at a boat petrol station.
Lucas and Tia enjoying a swim while jumping off the boat.
Sailing into the Abu Dhabi sunset.

After Khalid brought us back to  Abu Dhabi, he said that next time he would take us around Abu Dhabi Island. The total estimated time for that? About six hours.
Tia ready to go around Abu Dhabi Island.
My wife and I with the Sadiyat bridge in the background.

Considering that a majority of my contact with Emiratis is with guys in their late teens and early twenties going to a mid-range post-secondary school, I haven't been meeting a wide range of the local population. Meeting Khalid, Safwan and their wives has given me a better idea of Emirati life.


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