My First Halloween Growing up, I never did Halloween. It's not a thing in West Indian culture, so my parents weren't with it. I spent most Halloweens giving out candy to other kids; and that was okay with me. But this year, for the first time, I got in the thick of it. I truly enjoyed dressing up for the Halloween party at Aloft Abu Dhabi!
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Guest Blog: Advice for Newbies

Hi, my name is Patricia. I lived and worked in Abu Dhabi for three years.  During that time, I had a vast array of experiences ranging from horrifying to blissful.  And, yes, many of these experiences were at work!  Each environment and experience will be different, however, here are a few things that helped me throughout my expat adventure!

  1. Know Yourself: Know your strengths and weaknesses, and your limits.  Know what you can and cannot bear. Don’t allow anyone or any situation to push you to the point of no return.  Take care of YOU, first.
  2. Know Your purpose: Stay focused on your goals, whether they are financial or personal.  That will be the one thing that will keep you from losing your mind when things get crazy.  If you don’t have goals, get some! Otherwise, you won’t make it.
  3. Be Open Minded: Learn the culture.  Be willing to learn about the people you will be serving and living among.  The more open you are, the easier the transition.
  4. Forget What You Know: Put aside everything you did at home; things work differently here. Change is constant. You need to be flexible and go with the flow.
  5. Build Relationships: Try to establish good work relationships with your fellow English and Arabic colleagues.  If you show yourself friendly, and willing to learn and share, it will pay off well.  Working collaboratively with my Arabic colleagues helped me greatly with discipline and communicating with parents.
  6. Seek Solutions: If you happen to find yourself in a negative situation, take care of YOU and seek resolution.  Pursue solutions through your organization’s procedures.  Don’t allow negative feelings and situations to linger; it can be bad for your physical and mental health.

With that I say: Welcome to Abu Dhabi!

 Patricia and I at Tribes in Dubai.

Doin’ Tea at St. Regis Saadiyat

I love a good hotel afternoon tea, but it’s not often easy to find. Recently, I took a chance on tea at The St. Regis Saadiyat after reading that they were among the top four afternoon teas in Abu Dhabi. They did not disappoint!

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It was a perfect afternoon for tea on the terrace!

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We enjoyed views of the golf course and the ocean.

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A delightful pineapple amuse-bouche to prepare the palate.

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Everything was wonderful!

Treat Yourself: Fresh Flowers

I’m not the kind of person who waits for other people to give me flowers. However, the flowers I give myself are usually the supermarket variety. Recently, thanks to Groupon, I was able to treat myself to an arrangement from the florist for the cost of my usual supermarket bouquet. I got to choose the flowers I wanted and they opened up beautifully! Every once in a while you should definitely treat yourself to fresh flowers from a florist.

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Treat Yourself: Body Scrub

Have you ever tried one of those salt or sugar body scrubs? I have and the results were underwhelming. But I’ve figured out the problem…you’re supposed to have someone apply it! I recently had the citrus body scrub at Maven Spa. It was their March special so the price was right! It was part massage, part hammam, and totally bliss. I walked out feeling relaxed,
with skin like a baby’s bottom. Every now and then, treat yourself to a body scrub at your local spa.

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A bit of the lovely treatment room.

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I love the tub in the treatment room! Maybe I'll try one of the bath treatments one day.

A Bad Day at the Beach is…

better than a bad day at work! 

Back in the fall, before the mercury started to drop here in Abu Dhabi, I bought a weekday pass for Yas Beach Club on Groupon.  At the time, I didn’t attend to the fact that it would expire on February 1st.  So here I am, on the last day of January, taking advantage of said beach pass.

It’s a blustery 68 degrees out here; far from my idea of beach weather.  But, after the day I had at work, I’m happy to sit on the shore and listen to the lapping water.

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This is definitely going to be one of my favorite places; looking forward to when it gets warm.

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I braved it for about half an hour, then took refuge in their restaurant, The Tikki Bar.

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Hawaiiana decor that doesn't feel tacky

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Snack time...

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View from The Tikki Bar

A Tribe Called BALA

Abu Dhabi City

January 23, 2016

Dear Reader,

Today, I travelled to Dubai for the first ever meet-up of the Facebook community BALA, Black Americans Living Abroad.  We met at Tribes restaurant at The Mall of the Emirates. It was a wonderful afternoon of good food, good people, and good vibes.  I was reminded of how important it is to connect with like minded people; sojourners who are traveling the same path.

Wishing you many opportunities to connect with your tribe,

Fondly,
Maxima

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The food was delicious!

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Appetizer, grilled calamari


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Entree, butter fish

A few of the awesome people I met…
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