Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Omens or not?

Munich presented a very elegant street life last weekend. Ferragosto meant a long weekend for the Italians and many opted to spend it close to home, in Monaco di Baviere. The Italians do, it must be admitted, have a more acute sense of style than the Germans.

Elegant, too, were the quartet of girls in their early twenties. Their black black garments were opulently embroidered, hijab and abaya matching sets, the supersized sunglasses Gicci and the other usual suspects, handbags by Hermès, Vuitton, Chanel and co, shoes in at least one case by Louboutin.

They could have been the older sisters of the chess-player pictured at the left. (A shot I've been waiting over a year to have an excuse to post!)

Now I was sitting in the café at a table for two, with empty tables for two on either side. Being a gentleman I offered to move to one of the vacant tables so that the four ladies could sit together. They thanked me politely with friendly smiles and excellent English.

Of course I asked them where they came from. And, yes, two of them were from Abu Dhabi. Almost neighbours, in fact, in Al Markaziyah.

But it now seems I shall not be spending week 35 in Abu Dhabi. I was supposed to receive by mid-day yesterday confirmation of the meetings planned (and that my flight had been booked and paid for) so that I could clear my calendar and re-schedule my commitments here in Europe.

I had, of course, forgotten about... bukhara, insh'allah! So, what with Ramadan starting in week 36, it looks as if my next realistic possibility of a return to the Sandlands will be after Eid.

Nevertheless, this very morning, between the bus-stop and the offices of my Munich client, I found this camping car parked with its painted scene of Araby. Omen or what?

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