Last night I went out to dinner with some of my husband’s coworkers and their spouses. We went to the Al Qasr Hotel, which is know as ‘the palace of the Madinat Jumeirah’.  The drive up to the hotel is lined with gorgeous golden horse statuary.  It’s life sized.  Very impressive.Golden Horse sculptures in front of the Al Qasr Hotel

The company was also impressive.  While there was a couple from Spring, Texas, most of the others were from all over the world.

One gal was raised in Paris, lived in Dubai and travels all over the globe opening up duty free shops in airports. One Romanian woman lectured us on how insulting it was to guess a Romanian was from Russia. The Scottish couple showed us how to ‘air kiss’ in the European fashion (both cheeks). The Indian girl and Norwegian girl both drank Cosmos and laughed about “Sex and The City” episodes.

It was a surreal experience. I guess I never thought about what a parochial outlook I had on life. My exposure to the wide world has been limited. Now, I’m living in a cosmopolitan place and befriending folks from all over the world.

Little things are startling me. Like realizing that a South African’s summer and winter are reversed. When they leave Dubai in July and August to head home, they are going into winter weather. I think I knew that the other hemisphere had flip-flopped seasons, but knowing is different from listening to a friend bemoan the difficulties.

Everyone thinks my accent is interesting and wants to know where I’m from. I have to constantly remember that ‘public displays of affection’ are against the law here. It’s a whole new world. New culture, new experiences and new people.

As a writer, I’m a people watcher. An observer. Even an eavesdropper. I’ve been known to troll through a store after a couple watching how they act together, trying to visualize a book character doing a similar thing. I’ve stalked a man in the airport trying to memorize his looks and movement, convinced he was the hero in my next story.

I think that this foray overseas is expanding my worldview. Giving me even more examples of people and places that I can use to inspire my writing. I certainly hope so.

–Sandee Wagner


9 thoughts on “Worldview

  1. It’s cool that you’re in such a diverse city and meeting people from other cultures. Most of the Americans I know who have lived overseas (mostly military folks) wound up hanging out with other Americans all the time.

    Wonder what the man in the airport would have thought of his stalker? LOL. Sometimes when I get too obvious in my observation, I want to whip out one of my books and say, “Look, I’m a writer. I’m harmless.”

    • Marilyn,

      I’m pretty sure THAT guy was used to be stared at by women. He was just that good looking. I think I’m fairly harmless, too. spw

  2. Sandee,
    That is what makes the world a smaller place and just a bit friendlier. You are a role model just a bit different from Sex and the City seen on t.v. You are less stressed than many actresses they see on American t.v. As a midwesterner and military wife you’ve lived interesting places and have a larger world view to make all of us look better overseas.

    I can’t wait for you to write about the Arab Spring and the shifting you did.
    Have a book for you. NYLON ROAD; A GRAPHIC MEMOIR BY PARSUA BASHI. I liked how the character grew and what she had to say.

    Also, for a laugh despite my review tomorrow, THE GODDESS OF FRIED OKRA by Jean Brashear shows middle America as I grew up and still find it.

    Glad to see pix of horses but tell us about the meal. Hopefully, portion sizes are smaller than our super deluxe world. jean

    • Jean,

      I have yet to eat a native meal. Everyone wants to eat at other types of restaurants when they go out. We ate at a Spanish themed restaurant, a tapas meal. So of course, the portions were small, but tasty! If I can actually get someone to take me to a real authentic meal, I’ll take pictures. spw

    • Jackie,

      Right now, I’m not writing about it, but maybe after it percolates for a while? I’m still in the stars, you know! spw

  3. Danged! You’re making me wish I was there. I’ve always wanted to travel the world. Other cultures, what I’ve read of them, absolutely fascinate me! Keep sending your observations, Sandee. They’re the closest I’m getting to a world tour right now.

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