Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let's pretend today is a Monday

     I know, I know, Monday in America means the weekend is gone and there are at least 5 more days before the next one. Bummer, right?! In the Middle East Mondays are a work/school day, but it is not the start of the week. In some countries the start of the week is Sat. and in others it is Sun. The holy day here is on Friday. Yep, it is crazy trying to keep it all straight. SO, anyway, why am I pretending to day is Monday and not Wednesday? First, its because on Monday this week I was basically a walking zombie due to the fact that our dear Kristopher did not sleep Sunday night. (transitioning from the bassinet to the crib :/) Now that I feel rested I can finally post what I wanted to post earlier in the week.  
A fun read on Life in the Middle East
      Every Monday I am going to try to blog about something we are experiencing within the culture here. I will admit that I got this idea from the book, Mondays in the Middle East: The Lighter Side of Arabian Nights, by David Cross. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cross's stories about adventures he had while living in the Middle East. The book made me laugh as it educated me on Arab culture. I knew after reading it that I wanted to create something similar.
This week's subject is: The Camel
    "A camel looks like God took all the left over parts he used in making all the other animals and mashed them up. They are awkward." My mother-in-law
Taken by Brett Seay Photography 2012
      Living in Egypt we saw a good number of camels in Giza, the area near the pyramids. But the number of camels there does not even compare to the numbers of camels we have seen living in the Gulf. We have seen bedouin women barter for them at auction, seen herds of them in the desert, just down the road from the Burj Khalifa (the current tallest building in the world located in Dubai, UAE) and watched them race! Being from Aiken, SC I have seen a couple of horse races, but camel racing is a whole different ballgame! Some of the best race camels in the world come from the Gulf. Racing camels can cost as much as $150,000! Another difference to horse racing is that camel jockeys are young boys. And I mean really young. Some even as young as 5! Really, after the age of 7, most boys are considered too heavy!! Its rather dangerous, as many boys get hurt from falling from so high up. Not to mention the speed a camel can get up to! 

Taken by Scott Nelson, Kuwait Racing Club 2004
   Camels have become a part of our daily life at home too. Instead of playing "horsey," Alexis climbs on Hans' back and says, "giddy up camel!" And you can even find camel milk in the grocery store. It comes in six flavors: date, cardamom, rose, chocolate, saffron, and laban (a kinda sour cream taste.) I can honestly say that I have not tried any...not sure if I want to. I don't even drink cow milk. Camel Latte, anyone?? Also, its pretty common to see camels riding in the back of pick-up trucks.  And often you can see up to three or four sandwiched together with their heads swaying in the wind! 

Alexis and Hans at the Zoo
Two camels in a truck
Camel Milk

1 comment:

  1. And many of the little jockeys are trafficked from India... :(