Monday, December 13, 2010

Smokestack lightnin', can't ya hear me callin' (Howlin' Wolf)

I went to my first staff do in Al Ain last week - a BBQ picnic style affair at a place called Green Mubazzarah. It's a weird place in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet (the mountain that overlooks Al Ain). Apparently the Sheikh (the one with the palace on top of the mountain) looked down from his palace one day and decided he wanted to see some green as part of his view so he had Green Mubazzarah created. Who knows.

What I do know is they have completed this supposed vision in amazing style. Essentially it's an area of hot springs and water that irrigates the mountain and it's become a huge picnic destination for the people of Al Ain. And that's where we went for our staff picnic.

I, of course, got lost in it looking for my guys. After doing a slow tour of the area (huge children's playgrounds included) I remembered that I had some of the staff's phone numbers in my mobile.

The staff take it in turns to organise and cook the meals. The Jordanian staff were responsible for this one. I really enjoyed it - both the company of these guys (who don't speak a lot of English) and the food. They cooked fish and vegetables for me because they know I don't eat goat, and brought loads of fruit, so I was fine. Generally I am out of my comfort zone with meals in foreign lands - eating with fingers is tough (the fish was HOT off the BBQ), and the types of food on offer can sometimes be a real challenge to my taste buds (which are pretty bland).

The photos give a glimpse of some of the attendees. Wozza is easy to spot - look for the one in the Beatle t-shirt

In keeping with the food theme - Pat and Randy have promised a FUN Christmas for us in North London (hopefully involving knives and forks). Basically it's only about 7 hours to London from Dubai so we decided on a white Christmas this year. Arsenal are playing at home against Chelski on the 27th as well and I'm aiming to get Jacky along to see the best football team in the world battle the boys from the bridge. And beat them, inshallah. We'll leave the UAE on the 23rd and return in time for school to start the next trimester on January 2.

Love and peace - Wozza

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