a chronicle of two artists' experiences as expats in abu dhabi

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I've Read

Finally we'll be on our way home late next week. As it is impossible to sum up a year anywhere, I thought for this final post I'd put down what I read this year. As usual, I kind of read whatever comes to hand, but it always fit with something going on in my life. If anyone wants to talk books, that'd be fine.

Passage to India, E.M. Forster
Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
Money, Martin Amis
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
Exit Ghost, Philip Roth
Princess (life story of a saudi princess)
Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee
The Complete Short Stories of JG Ballard
The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's heating up around here

This just in:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/uae-detains-dubai-democracy-activist-blogger-who-called-for-elected-parliament-in-gulf-nation/2011/04/08/AF5EwA2C_story.html

Monday, March 21, 2011

more fun quotes

" You can't make fun of the future."
- Kevin McCoy

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gunboat Diplomacy

Yesterday Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. sent security forces into Bahrain at the request of the ruler.
This is after a month of protests by a very large number of people there for political reforms, including calls for a constitutional monarchy and other economic and political reforms.
I'm a resident of the U.A.E. I live here and am working here. I think it is a big mistake to send in foreign troops. It's a big slap in the face to the legitimate political demands of the people there. I don't think this can end well and I don't want to see the armed forces of the U.A.E. caught up in it.
Already a number of colleagues have come by to discuss the situation, which really is the goal of the sign. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

eating out in the UAE

I was just in New York for a few days staying with my dear friend Cindy and going to see art and "get shit done". Well, its done, and I'm back in the UAE dealing with some serious "end game" issues. Cindy pointed out that it is much like the kids on their year abroad who went home for Christmas. They just weren't serious and didn't get immersed the way (we) hardcore study abroad students did. Well, too late now. For a start, certain elements that were annoying but charming have become intolerable to me. Namely, the grocery store. I filled a cart with two items today and then promptly left without buying them. The knot of people over by the turnips was just too much to infiltrate. Couldn't do it. Hopefully, the kids will be happy with sliced cheese and the tin of tuna fish this week...

Also, I've started planning our summer (hooray!) and it looks good. Damn good. Also, I feel that people who are living here longer term (there are few permanent residents) have started to slack off socially. Or maybe we are. I must redouble my efforts there- these are good people to know. They see as short timers though and its easy to think, "why bother?". I know, we will invite them out to dinner!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Anyone want to buy my tickets to Cairo?

Hello readers.... today is the day we were supposed to leave for Egypt. This trip was a finely crafted Faberge Egg of a trip. 2 days in Cairo, a sleeper train to Aswan, a Nile cruise to Luxor, then the reverse trip.

As disappointed as we all are (particularly my older daughter), it is exciting to be in the middle east at this historic time, speaking to friends from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Syria as well as Americans who have had postings in many places throughout the region. Everyone is aghast at the length of Mubarak's regime and hopeful for change. As far as information goes, we have the same BBC and CNN feeds as anyone. I haven't heard any reaction from the rulers of the UAE.... its hard to see when the effects of this might be felt here. There is a much smaller population of citizens than Saudi for example.

So, its hard to see when our dreams of travel to Egypt and even Jordan might come true! We are doing more short trips to the region. Apparently many wealthy Egyptians are now in Dubai hanging out so we will join them. Anyplace else we have thought of has its own issues (floods in Sri Lanka, protests in Thailand, etc). The weather is spectacular here, so we'll stay in the desert for now....