Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Weems

Katie and Mason

Today is the day my Dad died 26 years ago at the age of 33. It's usually a day that saddens me, as I think of all the "what ifs". It certainly has never been a day that I have looked forward to on the calendar.....until this year.

You see for months now, I've had April 28th prominently posted on my fridge as a reminder for a happier event. Today is the day my not so little anymore cousin, Mason, is getting married. It's a day we've joked would never come, but unless he sneaks out of the church, today is the day my fun loving cousin settles down. Not to be cliche, but I'm sure there will be hearts breaking in Virginia today.

Mason proposed to his beautiful bride, Katie, right before we moved from the US, and I've never been so proud of him. Katie is a beautiful person, and the perfect match for Mason's fun and outgoing personality. It just confirms my believe that there is the perfect someone out there for everybody.

The only thing that saddens me is that, because I live so far away I can't be with all of my family today to be part of an event I've been looking forward to since they first stopped by to show us "the ring". This is one of the many sacrifices I have to make living on the other side of the world from those I love. As happy as I am that today is finally here, part of me still wants to sob over what I'm missing out on.

So Mason, since I can't be there in person, and sending a card from here takes forever I want you to know my heart is with you today. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You were the coolest live baby doll a 6 year old could ever have. Wendy, Joy, and I thought you were the greatest thing ever, the very first Eubanks boy! We all wanted to be little mamas to you. You have always been a source of joy and laughter for me from your days of peeing off the back of Granddad's truck trying to spray poor Rufus, to your days of conning the ice cream lady into running a tab for you. Oh, and who can ever forget how hard poor Grandma tried to keep you off of that ditch bank when you were little. You were absolutely adorable then, and you have grown to be a handsome man with an amazing personality. I would say young man, but you're 30 now :)  Seriously though, I'm very proud of you. Enjoy today, and the rest of your days with Katie.

Katie, I want to welcome you to our family officially, although to me you have already been a part of it for a few years now.  I so wish I could be there to stand and watch you walk down the aisle. I have no doubt that you will be absolutely stunning. Mason is a very lucky man! I know you have put a lot of time and effort into the wedding, and I pray it is a day full of awesome memories that you will cherish forever.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Weems!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Only in the UAE

Ok, so we have grown quite accustomed to seeing and hearing things that are odd here. I really need to start making a list, because the minute I think we've seen it all something else funny or odd tops it. It's almost daily that we have these "Only in the UAE" moments. So to give you an idea, here are a few odd moments from this past week in no particular order.

Tea Time in a Box
My son and I were riding our bikes around the other night when we came up on the roadblock at the end of our street. I've mentioned how everything is guarded here including roadwork in the past. Well, it seems the guard at the end of the road has built himself a "house" out of scrap plywood. He isn't the only one, my son's Pakistani friend across the street has done the same, along with another man down the street guarding a new house that is being built. 

Anyways, even odder than men living in boxes on my street is the way they act like it's really a house. As my son and I rode by the make shift house down the road, two men were sitting in it having evening tea. They were quite cheerful to be sitting in a box, and they both greeted us with an "Assalamu alaikum"  as we rode past. Talk about a lesson for kids on being grateful for what they have. 

Applebees in the Sand
We live in an area called Khalifa that is broken into 3 distinct parts A, C, and B. Yes, I know it's out of order, but that's how they run from the coast inland. Khalifa A was developed first, but like Khalifa B it is still under construction. Actually, the whole country is "Under Construction", but that's another story. Khalifa C currently consists of nothing but Zayed University, 3 round abouts, and lots of sand. It's a desert that will one day be the new government center of Abu Dhabi. You might remember this as the place I got busted speeding.

It isn't uncommon to see large groups parked at the round abouts in Khalifa C, and hanging out in the desert. Usually, they will hang out there late at night around a fire. During the day, you may see them dune bashing or having fun on their ATVs. Today, we saw one the of the delivery drivers for Applebees making a delivery to a group of kids hanging out at a round about in Khalifa C. Forget home delivery, you can get it delivered straight to your 4x4 while you're off roading here.

@$#*** in Subway
I have said over and over that I don't think people here understand English curse words, or at least how offensive they are to parents with young children. We were in a Subway restaurant in Dubai this weekend that had a playlist that had every curse or foul word I know of blasting from it's speakers. 

It isn't just Subway. We've been in a place called Magic Planet(imagine Chuck E. Cheese on steroids) in Dubai when the uncensored version of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" came on. Not to be a goody two shoes, but I didn't even realize there was another version of that song with repeated F-bombs in it. Imagine my shock as it started playing in a place filled with little kids. 

These are just a few moments from this week. I'm sure I'm probably missing some I should share, but sadly this stuff has become the norm here and we just shrug it off  when the next odd thing occurs.