Thursday, March 18, 2010

UAE Part 1

So I just have to start by saying...this is, hands down the SINGLE coolest thing I have EVER done in my life!
Life is a series of moments, and in the last two days, these have been some of my moments:

- Having coffee in Sarajevo airport with a German woman who works with the youth theatre in Mostar.
-Drinking Mango Pomegranate Ice Tea from Starbuck's in Istanbul airport while reading Two Lives and waiting for my flight
-On the Istanbul-Dubai flight, sitting next to a guy from Kumanova, Macedonia on his way to Iraq. My friend Iva is from here and her dad works for the same company...and although it's a small town, I've been there! Most of the American responses he gets in Iraq are similar to, "Yeah, man...Madagascar! I know where that is!" so I hope I brought the score up for Americans and their geography.
-Being given VIP airport service at 2:30 in the morning...and getting some stares from people who looked like they were wondering why a girl in jeans and a sweatshirt gets a personal escort.
-Staying up the rest of the night with a Russian, a Chinese, and another American, getting my first views of the desert, a palace, and the tallest building in the world by night!
-Going to bed at sunrise after being brought room service I didn't even ask for...I literally did the throwing myself on the bed and jumping in excitement thing...it's just so freakin' cool! (pics to come)
-Coldstone ice cream on the beach while listening to the Latin Americans talk about what they were doing during the earthquakes
-Visiting the Emirates Palace after our escort made a call to get us inside the gates....by the way, this hotel is one of the most expensive in the world, and definitely one of the most impressive buildings I've ever seen and the fanciest I've ever visited (they style themselves a 7 star hotel)...pictures to come soon! There is also a small museum about Sadiyaat Island, where NYUAD's new campus will be located along with updated replicas of the Louvre and the Guggenheim.
-Swimming at the hotel beach and the world's longest gang of UNO while listening to karaoke so bad the songs were nearly unrecognizable
-BBQ chicken, sushi, hummus, and chocolate mousse all in the same meal...and all delicious
-TOO MANY introductions...like intro week as a firstie at UWC again. :)
....and SO much anticipation of tomorrow.

2 comments:

Jane said...

Leah-
this seems unbelievable! What an experience you are having. Do you keep thinking you'll wake up anytime soon and it will all be a dream? So what is this scholarship/program anyway. Congrats for getting into it! Enjoy, and make the best of it (you always do!).

BiH Bound said...

It does seem like a beautiful dream...but in a very comfortable way! I'm actually visiting a new university here: NYU Abu Dhabi. I have to say I wasn't too interested when I first applied, but I definitely drank the Kool-aid this weekend, so to speak. It's a very impressive project and definitely worth looking into!
And it doesn't hurt that we've gotten VIP treatment in a beautiful city this weekend, either. :)