Monday, November 07, 2011

Down Came the Rain and Washed the Spider Out

Young man of steel.

We woke up with rain this morning at 7AM. I went out to take pictures, and it rained fairly hard for about three hours. It has been dry for awhile, now, but the sky is still grey and threatening.

I forgot to write you about Halloween, but there was holiday action here. Initially, it was not clear how many people would be participating or if it would even be acceptable. Vito's school had planned to have a Halloween parade after school on the day, but it was canceled at the eleventh hour due to a misunderstanding by some parents that all students were required to participate. In any event, we kind of did everything at the last minute. Luckily, Angela found a nice costume and it all worked out.

Pumpkins and palms.
Earlier in the week, someone had forwarded a picture of a pumpkin to everyone at work and suggested that, if we wanted trick-or-treaters to stop by our residences, we should print out the pumpkin and put it on our doors. You can see in the picture below that some people even had real pumpkins. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pumpkins. When we priced them at our little neighborhood Lulu's, they were around $5 per pound! Maybe next year...

Anyway, there were roving bands of costumed kids and adults in our housing lot. Everyone was walking from house to house looking for the pumpkins (or other obvious indications of Halloween welcome) on all the doors. It turned trick-or-treating into a kind of mystery as we had to look for the residences that were participating. The weather has been splendid, and many people were out on their porches to greet the kids and parents. There was even a haunted house in one townhouse that was quite good. It scared Vito, dressed as Superman, irrevocably. After the haunted house, he wouldn't go near anything that was on the scary side. Loot was generous and Vito could hardly carry his treat bag at the end of the evening. All told, we had a great time, and it really made us feel like we were back in the states for a little while.

On Saturday, we went to the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum with a friend and her two kids. The museum looks like a castle or a fortress with a large pond in the front complete and an old dhow or traditional wooden Arabic boat in the water. There appeared to be two main wings to the museum, although we only visited one on this occasion. Here, at left, is an unlabeled painting that I liked; however, there were dozens of others, equally unidentifiable, still on their easels. After viewing the old Arabic dress, jewelry, weaponry, furniture, doors, paintings, BSA motorcycles, carriages and children's toys, we thought it would be more interesting for the kids if we went to look at the animals that were rumored to be somewhere nearby. I had read that there were oryxes on the property but, after driving around and dodging all of the peacocks, we couldn't find any. I don't know if it will be in my best interest to say so, but there was a great deal of trash on the premises. Much of it, aside from the upturned snow-white styrofoam containers and blue plastic bags, was covered with dust, like everything in the desert, and difficult to see without close inspection.

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