Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why on earth did you move to Abu Dhabi?

Yes. It does seem like a crazy idea doesn't it? Actually, that's exactly the first question that popped into my head when I heard my boyfriend, who is now my husband, say he was moving from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

I remember he spoke for hours. I must admit I did not really listen to a single word. My mind was miles away and all I could think about or visualize were camels, men with long beards, women covered from head to toe and sand, a lot of sand...

I know. I know. You must think I am extremely limited and alienated. After all, all you need to do is turn on the TV or go through a newspaper or magazine to find information about the United Arab Emirates.

Well, today this might be the case, but the truth is a few years back you didn't hear a lot about this country. As a matter of fact, with the exception of a few stories about oil or terrorism, nothing really was said about the Middle East. Although if you live in Brazil and have watched some of the soap operas produced by one of the main TV stations in the country, you might also remember things like: this is the sort of place where men are entitled to more than one wife, people do bellydancing and there is a lot of gold around (ouro, muito ouro!).

So, of course I had a little bit of a tantrum! What could this man possibly want so far away? What was so good about that place that was making him consider leaving his family, friends, city and country behind? Would he really be happier flying there? Just in case you are wondering, he is not Superman, he is an airline pilot...

I went straight to the internet to try to find my answers. I researched the history and culture. Saw maps and pictures. Spoke with a few friends who are also from the Middle East.

You know what? NOTHING prepared me to what I actually saw when I came here for an initial visit. You need to see it to believe it. And after seeing and believing, you have to actually live here to try to understand what it's all about. And it is much more than just sand and camels and women in burca...

So, in 2007, I got married and moved to Abu Dhabi.

Abu who? Dhabi where? I'll tell you all about it on my next post...


  1. Muito lindo Mari...
    já estou ansiosa para o proximo
    Chego de manhã no trabalho e já abro para poder viajar por esse mundo tão distante e agora tão perto com suas palavras.

  2. Mari to adorando seus posts! Keep writing! Beijinhos

  3. Que bom saber que estou conseguindo diminuir um pouco a distância entre esses meus dois mundos!

  4. Bom, vamos ver se agora consigo escrever, pois já tinha feito algumas tentativas frustadas!
    Mari, estou AMANDO, isso tem que virar um livro, sério mesmo!
    Beijos da sua mana que te adora,

  5. Quem sabe?!?! Baby steps... Por enquanto estou curtindo escrever os meus posts aqui e receber esse feedback legal. Keep reading!