Friday, December 3, 2010

How I Spent My National Day

First of all, don't worry--I'm planning to blog, at some point, a bit about my thoughts regarding the new arsenic-metabolizing life form NASA discovered in a California lake. It is, needless to say, pretty mind-blowing considering that literally ALL life uses phosphorus (along with five other elements) as its building blocks. This new bug subs arsenic for phosphorus. It is, literally, a unique life form... at least for the time being. Awesome.

Now then. Let's talk about the last couple of days, starting with yesterday, National Day. The natives, and, let's face it, everyone else took to the streets for a colorful and noisy celebration of the UAE's 39th birthday. It's weird--you never see Emiratis acting so unreservedly happy until Dec. 2 every year. And boy do they take it to the extreme.

A VERY tame vehicle.

The fireworks were shorter this year than last year; the walk to find a cab (several miles) was longer and there was more backfiring. So much, in fact, that when I came home, Mrs. Blog--who sat it out because she was not feeling well--commented that I smelled like a gas tank. Which, upon close reflection, was accurate.

Today involved a lot less silly string and engine revving. We have wheels this weekend, thanks to a generous friend, and we took advantage by heading out for a picnic in the park. It was packed! But we found some nice shade, settled down, ate some snacks and watched a spirited game of pickup basketball at the nearby court. Mrs. Blog practiced her Arabic with me as flash-card holder and I daydreamed about walking onto the court and showing these guys how a KU grad can hoop. (in my case, slowly and with a gradually worsening limp.)

It looks like the evening will end with a delicious meal, the only kind Mrs. Blog knows how to make, and a funny movie. Not a bad start to the weekend. The UAE will be fortunate to have as good a start to its 40th year.

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