Saturday, 29 March 2008

An Arabian Fairytale Part Four: Some culture in the desert

Time has passed so quickly in the desert camp and yet the days are slow and the pace is quiet. The weeks race by over days that change little. The Princess and the Sheikh have their daily duties to attend to and the leisurely evenings are cool and pleasant. The Princess knows there will be times like this when each of the days melt into one another.

Having moved to this strange place the need was felt to learn the local language. So the Sheikh, the Princess, some of the ladies of the hareem and Sheikh Brian Ibn Playin Gitar all signed up for lessons in Arabic speaking and writing. This turned out to be similar to a camel endurance race. Ivett of Czech and Blandine of France have proven to be the stayers with Nerissa of Victoria, Moraig of Kiwiland (wife of Sheikh Brian), the Princess and the Sheikh (ie. Sheikh Ron Bin Drinkin Redwine) all falling short of the course and throwing it in just after learning numbers and colours and a few letters of the alphabet!

However that has not meant that the desert has been totally devoid of all culture and the Sheikh and the Princess have been out and about seeking cultural opportunities reminiscent of the old country.

The first opportunity came when the Teatro alla Scala Symphony gave a concert at the Al Jahili Fort. It was indeed an auspicious occasion with visiting Sheikhs from other kingdoms, ladies all dressed in their finery and the Italian military on parade. The symphony was a string ensemble and they played Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and other composers the Sheikh and the Princess had not heard of before (a lull in musical education perhaps!) The setting was lovely with the fort well lit and looking very fairytale appropriate. A slight breeze lifted the dust from the floor of the desert and puffs could be seen floating amongst the violins and cellos – I wonder what the musicians thought of that! It didn’t stop them from playing and the notes wafted above the fort and out on the air to the desert beyond, settling in the palms and houses of the surrounding neighbourhood.

And just this week the Sheikh once again showed his benevolence with the purchase of tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet performing Swan Lake at the Emirates Palace. Here is a link to photos of the Emirates Palace. it is quite a spectacular spot for the presentation of a ballet and the auditorium was beautiful. The stage design was excellent and the ballet was perfect. Here are some photos, but that can never show the absolute beauty of this ballet and the precision and timing of the dancers. The movement of feet was amazing and the athleticism of the performers was superb.

The Princess and the Sheikh have now returned to the desert camp and the passing of the days - likes sands through the hourglass - and there is plenty of sand around here! The Sheikh and the Princess will be returning to the land of the kangaroos in July and they are looking forward to counting down the weeks as they pass, and yet still enjoying the pleasures of the desert as time goes by.