My Farewell Tour

Years ago, sitting in class, didn't you wonder why you had to learn where Mesopotamia was? Why learn about the places so far away? What was the point of knowing about some huge desert in a place it was unlikely I would ever visit. Well, now I know why. One never knows in life what sort of interesting things will come about. And my life has certainly been interesting. But, now it's time to learn about another part of the world and depart from my safe haven of New Hampshire and head out to parts unknown in a place called Abu Dhabi.
I am calling this part of my journey, before I leave, my "Farewell Tour" because haven't you ever noticed that when a cool rock band is going to change members or break up, they have a Farewell Tour that lasts about a year? Well, I began my "Farewell Tour" at the Thanksgiving dinner table last November as I sat and looked around at my family, my cousins, aunts and uncles and I asked my mother what she would think if I decided to teach overseas. My mother responded favorably and I thought, well, then, this is it. This could be my last Thanksgiving dinner with the family in New England, for a couple of years. I mentally looked around at the family as if to impress their faces and that moment on my mind. At that point, my mother was the only one who knew that I was planning such a crazy, wild journey of my heart. I applaud her for being open to such an idea. Now that I am further along in my journey, she is still so very supportive. What more can one ask from her parents?

Monday, September 19, 2011


Today's episode in Abu Dhabi was a trip to the mall for internet wifi use. I do this almost every day with several teaching colleagues. Today, the bus dropped us opposite the Khalidiya mall. There used to be a broken fence that we could sneak through, but the good maintenance folks of the Abu Dhabi highway system have fixed it. So getting to the mall, now requires a long walk around the fence and crossing two 3 lane highways. I stand perched behind three Pakistani men who are going to the mall for the same purpose I am...laptop bags dangling from their shoulders. I see a break in the traffic and one person runs. He makes it. The next two wait for a break in the traffic. I prepare to run with them. I check to see if my colleagues have made it across. Tim is in the middle of the median strip, waiting for his wife Cindy to venture across. 
Let's pause for a moment to consider the drivers of Abu Dhabi. These brave souls man the driving wheel attempting to avoid cabs, motor bikes and the occasional pedestrian. They peer ahead into the traffic and see a hapless soul about to step off the curb...they speed up, in an attempt to splat him or her over the front of their grill. I have seen them grinning and even laughing as they bear down in their expensive cars. They get big points for catching one of us, and particularly huge points for catching an American over 50 ... I am a prime target. However, I have seen 60+ year old Asian women who qualify as prey, as well. Asian women can run particularly fast. 
I step off into the morass of traffic, wait for the opening between cars and run as fast as I can for the median strip. I pause, breathing hard, looking down the street for the next break in traffic. I see Tim and Cindy have made it safely. I watch the young men run and I follow in their stead. I reach the safety of the opposite curb. Today, I have negotiated the traffic, safely. I'm pretty sure the game designers of Frogger spent a lot of time in Abu Dhabi.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea the dangers you faced in posting your blog and FBing!!! You are truly a gift to these drivers. You help them hone their skills and they give you no quarter. :)