Here is one thing to LOVE about Ramadan (for non-Muslims). If you wait until all those who are fasting have finished rushing home to break bread (actually water and some dates are the traditional and best way to break the fast and raise the blood sugar levels gently), while they are enjoying Ftoor – the breaking of the fast – the roads are OURS! We are KING OF THE ROAD!
And the restaurants, and the Malls are empty! You can get anywhere in Doha in minutes! And, really, minutes, maybe even an hour, is all you have before the night roads start to get really really busy with people making Ramadan calls on one another, heading to the mosque for evening prayers, taking Mom and sisters to the Malls to check out the Ramadan sales, etc.
As we were heading down D-ring, AdventureMan – and you have to know, this is why we have been married for 36 years, we share the same sense of what is important – AdventureMan says “Look at the LULU!” and I look, and I am instantly busy digging out my camera while AdventureMan is saying “You’ll have to be quick, you’ll have to be QUICK! I don’t know if I can find a parking spot and I can’t slow down too much without getting hit in the rear!!”
(Honestly, when they put up an extra layer of glitz on the already neon-tarted LuLu, they owe it to their neighborhood to put in a photography lane for all the gawkers like us!)
The LuLu is one of our favorite places. When our guests come – especially from Europe – they love that the LuLu has all these exotic soaps from India, fresh fresh pistacio nuts, fresh walnuts, spices and spice mixtures they have never heard of (of which they have never heard, 1001 :-) ), and upstairs, Arabic school notebooks, and a fabulous sari shop, and . . . well you just never know what. Our European friends also like the prices at the LuLu. When we take them at night, it is all lit up in Red, Green and Gold NEON, it shines so bright you can see it from the sky when you take off, if you take off in the right direction and if you are seated on the right side of the plane. ;-)
But ANOTHER layer or neon? The LuLu has really gone to town!
I clicked away as AdventureMan shouted “Hurry! Hurry!” No time to focus, just click, click, click and hope that one or two will show up.
A LuLu, for our non-Arabic speaking friends, is a beautiful perfect pearl, and some of our friends call their daughter LuLu, a nickname, not her real name.
(With special thanks to AdventureMan, who made this post possible. :-) )
Two prawns were swimming around in the sea
One called Justin and the other called Kristian.
The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that inhabited the area.
Finally one day Justin said to Kristian, ‘I’m fed up with being a prawn;
I wish I was a shark, and then I wouldn’t have any worries about being eaten.’
A large mysterious cod appeared and said, ‘Your wish is granted’
Lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark.
Horrified, Kristian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.
Time passed (as it does) and Justin found life as a shark boring and lonely.
All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them.
Justin didn’t realize that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight.
While swimming alone one day he saw the mysterious cod again and he thought perhaps the mysterious fish could change him back into a prawn.
He approached the cod and begged to be changed back, and, lo and behold,
he found himself turned back into a prawn.
With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes Justin swam back to his friends and bought them all a cocktail.
(The punch line does not involve a prawn cocktail – it’s much worse).
Looking around the gathering at the reef he realized he couldn’t see his old pal.
‘Where’s Kristian?’ he asked.
‘He’s at home, still distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy & became a shark’, came the reply.
Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Kristian’s abode.
As he opened the coral gate, memories came flooding back.
He banged on the door and shouted, ‘It’s me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again.’
Kristian replied, ‘No way man, you’ll eat me. You’re now a shark, the enemy,
and I’ll not be tricked into being your dinner.’
Justin cried back ‘No, I’m not. That was the old me. I’ve changed.’………
‘I’ve found Cod. I’m a
Prawn again Kristian’