January: A familiar red cup to warm up the spirits
I was still adjusting to the Turkish way of life. Tomatoes for breakfast were still a complete mystery to me although I was quite enjoying the other aspects of Turkish cuisine. Since there is nothing much to do in Ankara other than food and shopping, I was exploring the culinary delights of the city and indulging myself in buying whatever I wanted but certainly did not need. Now, I regret that but it was my way of coping in a city where nothing was familiar other than Starbucks. I was happiest when I was sipping my filter coffee sat in one of the comfy sofas at Starbucks – what’s best (or worst) about international food chains, they are the same everywhere you go, down to their playlist. Continue reading A Year in Review→
My Dubai trip ended up being a reunion with all sorts of people, mostly people with whom I share my surname, some of which happened to be on honeymoon in Dubai – why would anyone want to have a honeymoon is beyond me but there we go (if you’re reading this, which I know you don’t, I’d appreciate an answer) and some very good friends from London. I spent my last two days with said friends catching up and exploring, giggling like little girls basically.
We got shown around by an Emirati the first day and went on a very long drive out to Sharjah, one of the seven emirates. Sharjah is quite smaller and definitely less wealthy than Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Since we were getting driven around, we weren’t quite as free to explore the city as we wanted, and were stopped at some places for just a photo opportunity. It was however quite nice to just sit back, have girly talks and just enjoy the drive.
After a week spent in Dubai, I think we were all begging for a change of scenery – and my cousin for us to go home so she could clean the mess that had piled up. Since I wasn’t expected to be in Turkey until the end of September, I had extended my stay by a few days, which gave us enough time to fit in a day’s trip to Abu Dhabi. We hopped on a bus to Abu Dhabi in the morning and 90 minutes later, we were in the capital of the UAE. I’m not sure quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a completely normal bus station which could easily have been one in Turkey or any other place in the world. Yes, a week in Dubai had really skewed our imaginations about how the whole Emirate kingdom should look like.
We grabbed literally the most expensive breakfast ever and then got on a bus to go to the Sheik Zayed Mosque – the only reason I had been able to drag the lazy bums all the way to Abu Dhabi. Since we weren’t quite sure when the mosque actually was, we ended up following an Asian couple but at some point, it somehow ended up with them following us.