Down But Still Out

I’m sick with I-don’t-know-what and have been worn down on and off for the past nine days. Luckily, I felt ok last Thursday and Friday nights so I was able to go out and socialize a bit. The Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place at Yas Marina Circuit this past weekend (won by Lewis Hamilton) and though I didn’t attend, there were dozens of activities in and around town that were fueled by the race. Concerts took place night after night, including Jason Derulo, Pharrell Williams, and The Who. Last Thursday, two of my friends gave me a ticket to the Formula 1 concert featuring various well known Arabic artists- not well known to me, of course, but to the locals. It took place at Du Arena, which is a nice outdoor venue next to the racetrack. Coming from Chicago, I’m often amazed at how thin the crowds are here, with tons of space for people to set up chairs and blankets on the Du Arena lawn. A draft beer was $17US, so with prices like that there was NO beer line all night. And since many of the people in attendance were locals and therefore not drinkers, there were no bathroom lines, either!
The following day, I went with my friend Gemma to the World Tour Championship golf tournament at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. One of the few names that either of us recognized was Rory McIlroy, and by a stroke of luck he teed off just after we arrived. We followed him until the 4th hole and then wandered around for a while, walking across the course before making our way to the gift shop (my dad’s now the proud owner of a golf ball while I added a magnet to the growing collection on my fridge.) A fun experience as it was the first golf tournament I’ve ever attended. It’s exactly like it appears on TV- lots of walking interspersed with short periods of quiet followed by refined applause. The parking lots and spectator walking paths were annoyingly all sand, but then again this is the desert so that stuff isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.


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