If you’ve been following my journey, then you know that I recalled my father’s saying “sweet mystery of life”, and that has never been truer than now. Before my husband and I uprooted ourselves by moving to the UAE, life was pretty predictable. Breakfast at the same time and place. Regular movie nights at the usual theaters, and occasional outings with the usual friends. Not much mystery.
Here in the Land of Oz ((fantasy region), everything is a mystery or has to be figured out or remembered. Lighting our gas oven rekindled memories of my grandmother lighting her gas oven with a wooden match followed by a loud WHOOSH that sounded like an explosion. Had to buy a portable clothes line dryer, and again, I was transported back to the time when everyone had a clothesline in their backyard. It’s hard to believe, but hanging clothes outdoors on a warm, breezy day was great “alone time” spent daydreaming, and the smell of clothes fresh off the line was akin to memories of fresh baked bread.
It’s a mystery why many things are done using old methods that have been solved decades ago by other countries. In fact, life in RAK is such a mix of 3rd world and 21st century that it sets one’s mind spinning with the incongruities. Beautiful walled villas, surrounded by bleak sandscapes with goats running free. A beautifully designed mile-long, waterfront park with carriages and brand new tourist buses like you would see in any USA downtown. Portions of town that could have been models for Disney’s World Showcase at Epcot center… except for the dust. One area of town clearly caters to the Indian expats with a square block of beautiful Indian fabrics for sari’s hanging along the storefronts. The second biggest incongruity is the education of young women for a workplace that offers few opportunities for those wanting to work. The primo example of an incongruity is a government that attaches “… great significance to education and learning…”, but disincentivizes nationals from working by providing stipends, free housing, free education, and free utilities to it citizens.
Life is a mystery that is full of incongruities…