INGULFED

(Notes for the Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah)

Archive for December, 2010

Ups and Dhows



Emirati stock exchange: the Dhow Jones. Emirati wedding gift: a dhowry.
Mina: Dhown-and-dirty…
The sun sets over the port.
   — Mina, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Outlook — آفاق


A fisherman sits on the wharf at the end of the day.
     — Outside the Fish Market, Mina, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

No Slaughtering


You don’t have to tell me twice.
     — Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

[Photo]


Fish cages — Mina Wharf, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Going, Going… — …ذاهب، ذاهب


(B&W)

F1H2O Powerboats — the Corniche, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

A Formula 1 car
     — Yas Island Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Rainbows — راينبوز


— Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Snowy Balls — كرات ثلجية


Harness some Jungle Energy and put a few Snowy Balls in your mouth. Happy Christmas!

Send-Off/Kickoff — توديع\بداية

For the next week or so, to send you off into the new year, INGULFED will turn into a photoblog with a picture or two posted every day. So spend your precious vacation time reading something more worthwhile, like Proust… or Twilight. To kick things off, here are some photos from the FIFA Club World Cup Final between Inter Milan (F.C. Internazionale Milano) and TP Mazembe Englebert, the cinderella story from the D.R. Congo.

Mazembe had a full brass band, permanent cheering line (unfazed and unfaltering down one, two, three goals), and zebra pelt in their section.

Goran Pandev draws first blood. (13′)

Eto’o’s got groceries. (17′)

Presented by Etihad.  Stewardesses. Merry Christmas.

Checkers

Nationalism is left outside the gates of the FIFA Club World Cup, where the winners of all six continental confederation cups (plus the host nation champion) are gathered in a kind of mini-Olympics. Inside the stadium, Pakistani and UAE locals go crazy for Inter Milan, watching as they demolish their Korean opponents. Sometimes its nice just to be on the winning side — many fans still wave FC Barcelona flags at the jumbotron cameras (last year’s winners, not even in the tournament).

Also left far outside the gates is the self-evident truth that all bags are created equally likely to be checked. No, here, bag-checking is a sophisticated process that involves profiling on many levels, bolstered by the analysis of “is this really worth it” on the part of the checkers. You never know whose father bought that bag.

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منتصف الطريق — Middle of the Road

At the fish market near the port and harbor, Mina, everything is way too easy. A four-pound fish fresh from the morning catch, a half-kilo of calamari, another half pound of shrimp — all for about 80 dirham (22 bucks). And around the side of the market, half a dozen grilling and frying experts wait outside their restaurants to spice and cook everything you’ve just bought right on the spot (25 dirham). Get some minty, spicy arabic salad (from the same guys) and a couple lemons (from next door) and it’s without a doubt the best lunch in the city (priceless).

Abu Dhabi is a city that lacks a middle. There isn’t much of a middle class, or a stable one at least — the kind that spends christmases in the UAE. And there aren’t a whole lot of midrange places to eat where a sandwich might cost eight bucks, coffee would cost two, and everything else would be something else average. Everything is either high or low.

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