Sunday, December 20, 2009

From the update desk

It's a quiet Sunday in Abu Dhabi -- a good time to catch up on some earlier posts.

Travelin' blues: My son finally arrived at 2 o'clock this morning, completing an 80-hour odyssey from Atlanta to New York to Amman, Jordan to Abu Dhabi.

Sounds like he had quite an adventure. If I didn't know better, I'd think he had the whole thing planned all along.

His highlights: A visit to MOMA in New York, where he had never been, and smoking a cigarette on the roof of the Amman airport with the captain of the airport police, watching the sun set over the city. (He doesn't really smoke, but when a police captain in a foreign country growls "Come with me" it's probably best to go along for the ride.)

And the lowlight: Trying to buy a ticket on Gulf Air, which will not allow you to buy a ticket less than four hours before a flight, even though their Amman ticket counter opens just two hours before the flight to Abu Dhabi. He finally came in on Royal Jordanian Airways (at about twice the cost).

* * * *

It's raining, it's pouring:
That predicted 20mm of rain I scoffed at? It turned into almost 120mm in a single day, drenching the city and causing 10 deaths in traffic accidents across the country.

Storm drains were overwhelmed, and the rising water flooded most streets and many ground-floor apartments and businesses. Cars and buses were stalled everywhere.

My street stayed relatively dry, but a block away the water was well over a foot deep. The city had to send out pumper trucks to remove the backup; the drainage system just wasn't built to handle that much water.

When it was over, we had received almost an entire year's average rainfall in 72 hours.

* * * *

The taxi drivers:
I knew I had good reason for keeping Rafiq around. Razon is peeved (somewhat justifiably so) and has been "too busy" to pick me up the past few days.

Here's what happened: When I called Razon for a 6.30 am ride to Dubai, I was certain he said he could not do it because it was too early. So I arranged for Rafiq to do it.

But as we were pulling away from the villa, I spotted Razon's car coming our way. I watched in the mirror as he stopped in front of the villa and called me, as he always does. He was not too pleased when I told him I had made other arrangements. I think he had gotten up extra early to accommodate me.

I've been trying to patch things up, but so far, he's not buying it.

1 comment:

  1. Re: your rainfall update...120mm is WAY cooler and more impressive than 4.72 inches! :D

    Have fun with your son! Happy Christmas....