Monday, May 21, 2007

Second Day In Abu Dhabi

Lying awake at 0400 this morning I could hear the call to prayer. Very unreal to look out at a darkened city across the park to the mosque with the loudspeakers blaring.
Hardly any of the buildings around the park have their lights on, but the park is well lt with street lights along the paths. There is no movement to speak of in the area below but the car parks are still packed, just as they were during the day.


Spent a big day yesterday. It is now 1500 and we are sitting in the marina Mall. I am very tired after waking at 0400 this morning then going for a walk at 0600. We have had a late/light lunch at “La Brioche” a pseudo French café in the mall. Most interesting to watch the variety of costumes go past. Arabs drinking coffee in a French pattiserie, very surreal. A small number of men (about 10%) and slightly more women in traditional dress, the men in white or occasionally light coloured full length robes. Different varieties of head dresses, sometimes a turban like arrangement, but more often the expected cloth held with head bands. Patterns in red and white are common, but so are plain white ones. Very occasionally young guys have a baseball type cap or similar.
The women are much more varied, ranging from colourful head scarves only with normal fashionable clothing, all the way through to complete black, head to toe, without even eyeslits, only a see through veil. I noticed a couple of the older women had a brass (?) face piece with a strap in front of their mouths and one in front of their eyes. It might be something to stop the veil touching their face (maybe). I can’t think of any other use, other than purely decorative.
I just saw a younger girl all in black but with a pink tee-shirt over the top, she might be staff at one of the shops on her way home. I bought a long robe yesterday, Uschi wants me to buy a head dress too!

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