Sunday, January 5, 2014


When my cell phone alarm went off this morning, I didn't know what it was at first, and then I didn't know why it was going off. As I opened my eyes to the pre-dawn light I remembered. Jeff was leaving for home in San Diego, a taxi was picking him up at 6:45 a.m., and I'd promised to get up and make him a "real breakfast" of scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, toast with jelly, and orange juice. 

I feel like I'm supposed to say that the time just flew while Jeff was here, but that is not true. He arrived Christmas Eve, so we had twelve full days to visit and explore together. We felt neither rushed nor frantic. We went on several full-day excursions (Dubai, the Liwa oasis, Al Ain), we explored the different neighborhoods of Abu Dhabi, saw lots of local sights and sampled all manner of food from fancy to street fare, but we also took the time to sit and relax in the evening, talk, watch a movie together or read books. 

It was good. It was mellow. I cannot think of any Christmas before that was so packed full of "adventures" yet at the same time felt completely laid back. 

When I first arrived in Abu Dhabi in early October I started a list of places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do. Almost all of those items were checked off during Jeff's visit, and now I have so many thoughts and impressions swirling around in my head from all I've seen and done. I will write about them soon - I am woefully behind with my blogging! 

But for now..... I am easing into the day. Jeff's flight took off two hours ago, and soon I will begin gathering a small mountain of laundry which I hope to be able to carry to the cleaners in a single trip. I've given up on the funky washer/dryer combo machine in the apartment except for the occasional load of underwear. I will take down the few Christmas decorations I put up and stash them someplace - maybe in one of the many kitchen cabinets since I have 4 pots and pans, dishes, glasses, a few food items, and that's about it. This place came furnished with just the basics.

The two bathrooms need cleaning, dust bunnies are rolling around like tumbleweeds, and the carpet needs vacuuming, but those can wait till tomorrow. Or Wednesday. 

It is completely foggy out today, which is very rare, and it lends a gentleness to things, a softness. The view of Abu Dhabi from my large living room window is as through a stage scrim. As I type this the noon(ish) Call to Prayer is being sung, and it has a mystical, calming quality to it. How perfect in this moment.

Friday evening my friend, Linda, will be flying in from San Francisco for a one-week visit. I will be ready for her. The apartment will be cleaned and aired out, and I'll find fresh flowers to put on the kitchen table and in the guest room. I'll buy some fruit and dates and baklava for a snack in case she's still hungry. I'll be ready.

For now, though, I am enjoying this quiet time, this interlude. 

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