September 19, 2013

"Really Hot Water"

Dear Reader,

Abu Dhabi is an awe-inspiring place. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world are here, working, living, and playing together. It's absolutely remarkable. I didn't even know that a place like this could exist. One thing that I've realized is that I know SO LITTLE. Seriously. Every day I encounter something new and strange.

For instance, last night, I was being driven home by a man named Ashif who works as a temporary driver for our family. We were at a red light and were checking out the car in front of us. It was the second Rolls Royce I'd seen this week. Ashif pointed out the license plate. "5".....He turned to me. "Do you know how much that plate cost?" He said with his Indian accent. "No," I replied. "How much?"
"One million dirham. (appx. $300,000) It's for the Royal Family. Very expensive." He said. The light turned and so did we. But I turned my head to watch the royal Rolls Royce roll away into the city. (I forgot to mention....Just before we stopped behind the Royce, we had been driving next to a Maserati.)

Another example. I was sitting in math class the other day trying as hard as I could to pay attention. Suddenly, the call to prayer blasted from an enormous mosque across the road. Everybody in the class kept working like it was nothing. All I could think was "Sweet gypsies! Do y'all not hear the loudspeakers?" But they've lived here long enough to ignore the call to prayer. I'm fresh meat, so I still hear it loud and clear. Which is a good thing, because it's a consistent reminder that I'm "not in Kansas anymore." As the math class dragged on, I just smiled to myself and thought "That would've NEVER happened to me in the States." There are so many little moments like these everyday...I can't write them all. :)

It's getting so much better. Things that freaked me out and shocked me before have now become almost normal. It's been like jumping into really hot water. While initially extremely uncomfortable, you eventually adjust. I'm feeling more comfortable. I think that, given more time, I just might fall in love with this place.

It's my birthday today (09/19/1996) and I'd like to thank everybody for wishing me a happy day. It's been great. :) (Especially everyone in choir that sent me handwritten notes. That meant a lot. :)

Well.....Ashif is here to pick me up from school. Guess it's time to get off the internet and back into the fray.

Rock on,


P.S. I love shade and A/C. It's hot.

P.P.S. Arabic is totally coming along!!! It finally clicked today!!!!! :D

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