First of all, it means relaxing. I posted once that daily life in the UAE can be like death by a million paper cuts... here in the United States of Awesome, all the paper has nice, rounded edges that don't injure the clumsy. Ramadan, for instance, is a religious observance that the faithful adhere to, not a government mandate against fun and drinking coffee at my desk. Hell, I even have a five-bar wifi signal outside, as opposed to what is usually provided by the good people at Etisalat.
And as I mentioned in my last post, it also means a million mundane but wonderful events, like being able to walk to breakfast and visiting restaurants that serve amazing food without the pretense of being "five-star luxury." I'm looking at you, Uncommon Ground meatloaf.
So far, it has meant taking pictures of everyday things--a baseball game! A pool table! A sun-dappled backgammon board!--and posting them online as though they were interesting to anyone but me.
Boring to look at? Maybe. Excellent way to spend a Friday afternoon? Definitely.
It has also meant wishing our friends from the 'Dhabs were here to enjoy it all. Besides wishing Mrs Blog were here (as I type this, she is cruising around Napa with some girlfriends, drinking the valley's finest and basking in the glow of gourmet cold cuts), I find myself thinking several times a day, "wow, Person X [not a real name--ed.] would love this." Sometimes "this" is a most excellent local beer, sometimes it is a friend's DJ set, sometimes it is farm-raised pork.
So there you go. Sure, constitutional protections and the super-awesome "citizens only" line at customs are great. But, you know, in reality, joy comes from the little things. And there are tons of little things here.