Monday, April 7, 2014

UAE: Flight to Abu Dhabi

I am really mad at myself.  I planned this trip months ago with the intention that I would have plenty of time to buy some language learning software and pick up some phrases that would help me communicate in the United Arab Emirates.

That never happened.

When traveling, there is nothing I dislike more than feeling like a tourist, but I already knew language wasn't going to be the only issue.  I packed 3 times more than I normally would for a 12 day trip because I had no idea how to dress either.  Coming out of Chicago's deep freeze was challenging in itself, but arriving in Jordan for a connecting flight made it even more interesting.

I had a three hour layover in Amman, Jordan until my flight to Abu Dhabi with nothing to do, so I sat at the gate waiting for my flight.  After a while I realized that I shared a gate with a flight to Yemen.  The terminal began to fill with people and I was the only woman not wearing an abaya and niqab.



My jeans and long sleeved shirt suddenly seemed severely out of place.  I walked over to a corner and just observed.  During boarding there was a call to prayer and about 30 men stopped boarding, lined up to face Mecca, took off their shoes and started a prayer session while the chanting could be heard over the loudspeakers.    

After the flight to Yemen departed, people on my flight to Abu Dhabi started to fill the seats at the gate.  Thankfully, I stopped looking like a neon flashing light.   

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