24 years and counting
I haven't done a UAE National Day post (not that I can remember - my aging brain being what it is). Unlike most (expat) folks - especially my fellow Indians - I have not amassed any wealth. Not the conventional kind anyway but (cannot resist the cliche) a vast wealth of new experiences and memories, some very strong friendships (with all its attending ups and downs) and a new home. UAE: Where I remember that most weekends (especially during cooler weather), we escaped to the depths of the wadis and the desert in the Northern Emirates and the only way was through Sharjah of course. On the way back, we always stopped at the best fish restaurant in Sharjah near Al Khan - Sanobar where the mom was in the kitchen, dad took the orders and the sons (when they were home from Uni) were the waiters. The fish was always fresh from the nearby fishing village and cooked to perfection over a barbecue converted from an oil drum. The fish place is still there - the sons have grown up and I hear they're running the place now. Unfortunately, we don't go through Sharjah as often and haven't been to Sanobar in a long time.
UAE: Where I went from debauched weekends (where I started the weekend on Thursday afternoon in the pub at the Lodge, followed by the one at the Ambassador (now what was that one called), Pancho's was hopping by now, and then back to The Lodge when I used to get home AFTER breakfast at The Lodge) to spending lazy mornings getting an omelette paratha sandwich with chilli and cheese (you have to try it to believe it), washed down with a glass of karak chai.
UAE: Where my friend and I decided we had to have dinner on the beach behind our house and carried our table, chairs, wine and barbecue for a dinner under the stars just because we could.
UAE: Where I have eaten like a pauper and a king and enjoyed both
UAE: Where I learnt to play Rugby and Softball and played in tournaments
UAE: Where I tried Sushi for the first time
UAE: Where I made friends that come from all over the world and despite the "transient society" forged friendships some of which have lasted close to 20 years
UAE: Where I continue to live and thrive with new experiences every day, that gives me a community that inspires me.
Happy 42nd National Day UAE and I hope you will let me stay and accummulate more - I'm not done yet!