We spent last Sunday (June 25th) with our family in the farthermost part of the UAE (I guess) which is Al Ruwais. Al Ruwais is a 4-5 hour drive from where we live in Sharjah. Since it was a special holiday because of Eid Al Fitr, an Islamic celebration after Ramadan, we had the time to travel and meet up with our cousins, aunts and uncles. We left Sharjah at around 8 in the morning and reached the capital (Abu Dhabi) at exactly 9:35 am. We quickly dropped by in one of my uncle's home there and headed to Yas mall right after. The mall was jam packed with people that it took the rest of us hours to find parking due to the #Megasale.
Since everyone were complaining about their growling stomachs, we soon looked for a place to have our lunch. We first went to the food court area and boy the whole court was crowded with so many people. So many that I was a bit anxious at that time already. Some were even sitting on pavements having their meals! We then decided to eat somewhere else outside of the food court. We went to this Italian/ Mediterranean restaurant Al Forno which sounds like Inferno, but anyway! Everything from Pasta to pizza was on the menu. The price was a bit expensive (for me) but it was worth it for the deliciousness of the food. My sister and I shared with a slice of Lasagna which was soooo yummy (I wanted more.) As usual, my other sister and cousin couldn't finish their share of risotto w/ shrimps so I luckily got to taste that too. Not bad! I also didn't say no to pizza (of course).
After an hour or two on the table, we decided to head out and start the travel to Al Ruwais. Al Ruwais is close to Saudi Arabia's border and another 2-3 hour drive away from Abu Dhabi. We split into three cars in convoy and well, I got to be with mom and dad and the quiet'er' cousins. My sisters got to be with our 'oldest' cousin on the wheel and the noisy and makulit (naughty) cousins in another car.
I badly wanted to get sleep, but I had to resist the urge as I wanted to take pictures along the road for this blog (ughhh) haha! I wasn't able to get a good night's sleep the night before as our neighbors were kind of making noise because of their Eid celebration. 'The night before the night before' okay, 2 days ago, (Friday) I wasn't also able to sleep well because our neighbors had visitors come over that I could literally hear kids screaming every now and then until it was was almost four in the morning. I was so much stressed, but I had to do just what I had to do. The photo above is just a proof of how those people were making me jealous for choosing to be in a quiet car.
There wasn't that much happening but it was all desert and construction stuff on the road. I had to take pictures for memories and for you to see it as well!
Finally, we arrived at Al Ruwais residences where the rest of our family lived. Thank you, God for the safe travel.
It came too suddenly for me that the moment I hopped out the car, I felt my upper body stiffen probably because of the cold temperature inside the car. When we reached my aunt's home, we brought our stuff we'd use overnight. I was so tired and lay down wherever I could, then later told my sister to take photos of me and soon enough, we had a photo session in our room. Some minutes later we had our dinner. Spell KFC! It was also my first time to try their cheesecake and I'm so glad I did because I had been craving for it just a few days ago.
After dinner and some serious (or not) conversations on the table, my cousins and I decided to do a self-made photo shoot. Just some good background and a camera with timer, we were good to go! I loved the quality too! By the way, this happened when the parentals were out walking and shedding calories. :) We spent the rest of the night playing cards, Scrabble and watching random stuff. Since I couldn't tackle some more activities, I went to bed straight away. Note that I was already not feeling too good.
The next morning, I was feeling tipsy (not that I drank), but I had a terrible headache and sore throat. After breakfast, my dad and cousin played Chess while the rest of us cousins played Scrabble and guess what? The youngest of us won the game. All these happened while our 'oldest' cousin was fast asleep. Nothing's changed.
We ate one home-cooked meal and prepared our stuff as we had to leave soon. The time we had wasn't that long, but we had to go home right away because a bunch of five cats were waiting for us.
Over all, family time is so special for me as it's rare that I get to spend some time with them as we live so far apart. And for what it's worth, I've been longing to meet the rest of my clan and know my roots back home in the Philippines. I already know some of my relatives in my dad's mother side, but I also genuinely want to know my relatives in my dad's father side who have the same family name as mine. Not to mention my family in my mother's side. Just some of the fall backs of being a third-culture kid. I've got so many things to do and just don't know where and when to start. For now, I wanna tell you I/we had fun this Eid. Long travels and all.
There are many things that will always get in the way of families from time to time, but if there's something I know is more precious than anything else... it would always be family. Today, choose to show you care about them.
Happy Eid to all my Muslim friends!
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