Sunset in Abu Dhabi
I recently learned that there are thousands of cells up your nose that are specific to specific smells. It’s not one cell type for all smells, as you’d imagine. Well, as I had imagined, anyway. Cells can sit there doing nothing until you finally smell that specific smell they were built for.
One of my favourite things about disembarking a plane is the smell. So when I stepped onto the runway in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and I smelled a special blend of heat, something floral, and jet fuel, I imagined tiny cells up my nose jumping awake, having spent 32 years of existence lying around doing nothing.
I have to admit that I had to Google where Abu Dhabi was before I flew to it. Turns out it’s nestled snugly in the arms of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. Feels vaguely extreme. I’ve never felt more alive.
Just kidding — it’s 6am Australian time and I only slept about three hours so I am the animated dead. I woke up on the plane forgetting where I was and when I saw the rows of seats and people, I panicked. Brains can be ridiculous.
I’ve never been anywhere where English isn’t the main language. Arabic looks incredibly beautiful. I imagine creating fonts for it is hard.
I went to an Arabian Burger King. I wasn’t hungry, and didn’t eat anything, I just wanted to see what it looked like. A girl sat across from me wearing a black chador, perfectly lined eyes. Her hands were covered in intricate henna-like designs, and as she chomped on her burger, a Chanel long-sleeved shirt poked out of her robes, a beautiful watch flashing in the light. She looked fierce. Straight fire. Gorgeous.
I am the only person here who speaks like me.
When I speak, it is slow and enunciated. I sound soft and friendly.
I always say I like the me overseas better than I like the me at home. Not that I dislike the me at home, I just think I become better overall when I am away.
I wish I has landed here during daylight.
I wonder what the colours outside are like.
A third of my life is gone and I’ve spent it in such a small area of the planet.
It is 1:38am and I’m about to board my connecting flight, so I’ll talk to you all again soon. With more sleep. With more to say, more succinctly. Hopefully.