So, these are some of the other ways we amuse ourselves :
Dinner Cruise :
(well ok, so it is technically eating, but we did do something else at the same time, so it doesn't really count, does it?)
One Friday night we took a boat cruise on a dhow (a chuggy old boat type thing)... around the harbour and looked at the city lights - it was magnificent - complete with fish leaping out of the water. The cruise included supper which was a buffet with lobsters, prawns, all kinds of chicken and meat, veg, salads and lovely puddings. It was really great and very relaxing - took 2 hours to complete the cruise (and 2 hours to pry DH off the dhow -he has now decided on a career change .... wants to be a dhow boat driver.... !!)
Jet Skiing :
Next, DD and DM went off to one of the hotels and tried some jet-skiing. DM was too scared to do it on my own, so the lifeguard drove and I sat behind him, holding onto his bronzed, lean, muscled, taut young waist .... oops, forgot where I was for a moment .... oh yes .... I got the "Super Tour" because he took me all around the harbour - saw the Sheikh's private beachfront disco, private floating restaurant and his huge hangars full of all kinds of boats, yachts, speedboats, jet skis etc. There is a huge island off the beach which belongs to him as well (as do many of the islands around Abu Dhabi) - nobody is allowed to go there except him and his family. Ah, the life of the rich and Arabic ....!! DD meanwhile was scooting around on her own jet ski - in and out of oncoming boats and yachts at full speed! Afterwards we did some paddboating and kayaking (well, DD did it - DM watched from a safe distance!) It was really lovely - quite hot, but there was a bit of breeze, so it was bearable. Afterwards we had a delicious buffet lunch ... can't get away from the eating ....
Movie tickets cost a small fortune : the equivalent of R60 to R80 each and a small box of popcorn is R40. But we did score in one area - on the way to the cinema, we discovered a coffee shop that serves cups of pure melted chocolate, with biscuits and fruit to dip into it - like your own private chocolate fondue. Now that's more like it!! Eating again!
One thing they do have here at the movies, that we don't have .... mielies. Yes, actual corn on the cob mielies (well, it's off the cob, actually) - a cupful of warm corn with butter to munch while you watch! Oh yes, and tortilla chips with two dips - one tomato salsa and one melted cheese. MMmmm Munching AGAIN!
Golf is that "sport" where you take the stick thingy and wiggle your butt, then wallop the ball with all your pent-up aggro. In the meantime, the other ladies stand around, some tittering and giggling and some gyrating and jumping up and down screaming "Stay up" and "Get down" and "Fabulous shot dahling", as the ball dribbles a metre away into the sand trap.
Suffice it to say, we spent more time looking for our golfballs than actually hitting them, well, I did ... DD spent her time looking at the cute coach. But the course was magnificent - just what you would not expect in the middle of a desert. Hey, - we DIDN'T do any eating .....
Horse racing :
What we learnt at the horse races :
We learnt that as the gates open, you realise that the start takes place several miles away making the horses look like a flock of stampeding squirrels. Try as you might, there is no way you can tell which horse/camel/donkey/squirrel crossed the line first - I think the commentator decides on which one has the most pronouncable name.
We learnt that it is possible to bet on ALL the horses in the race and still not make a profit!
We learnt that eating a LARGE buffet causes one to feel drowsy and lose concentration on the actual horseracing ...
Ice Skating :
(yep - in the desert!! In the foyer of a shopping mall!!)
DD found out that the biggest problem with ice skating is gravity - without gravity it would be so easy, even DM could do it. And she had the wrong equipment - she had ice skates - ice skates are too slippery and, combined with gravity - spell disaster. Skates should be designed with a combination of golf shoe spikes, Velcro and superglue!
More to follow later about how we amuse ourselves in this desert we now call home (..... or is that dessert??)