ASIS Abu Dhabi travel blog

Sari is 5.5 meters long!

Flowery's Sari lesson

Last minute prep

Unexpected hug

Decorations and colours are amazing!

Elaborate costumes

Looking good all dressed up

Loading the elephant on the truck was an event in itself


Today is New Years Day, the start of the Rickshaw Run Event. From the roof top of our building we could feel the excitement building to the official start. All entrants seem pumped just to get going so when the signal was given, drumming of course, the Rickshaws began to jockey their way to the exit. One small accident already happened at the start gate as two bumped each other on the narrow way out to the street. The colours, the noise, and the excitement had numerous spectators see them off on their 2500 km journey. Good luck!

The parade we thought was yesterday is some time today. The funny thing is many locals, when asked, tell us different stories about what time is actually starts. At least it is very evident from the amount of decorations to where the parade route is. The rest of the parade story later.

Elaine had asked Flowery, the Delight home stay host, if she would give me a lesson on how to wear a sari. She was sweet enough to bring one of her own sari's for the experience. She proceeded to dress me in her sari taking careful time to demonstrate methods used in order to keep everything in place. I learned that a sari is 5.5 meters of fabric! Perhaps the photo shows how one end of the fabric has a different design on it. This indicates the part that drapes over the shoulder. I do not look as classy as she does in it but I can see how a sari could be comfortable.

Again drumming gets us thinking it must be close to starting and we head off to the street where the road is blocked off to traffic, for the most part. Police have barriers for spectators to stand behind. The four of us select a spot right up against one of the Barrie's so no one will stand in front of us. Looks perfect. Now we stand, chat, try to hold our ground as locals begin to invade our space and try to edge in front of us and wait and wait and wait . . . . .

The crowds are getting worse. We notice the Australian family with kids across from us that also had a great spot right behind the barrier has now got people inside the barrier on the actual parade route standing in front of them. The police initially kept people behind the said line and barriers but now it seems they have given up realizing they have lost control. So much for getting there a bit early. As the crowds thicken we are pressed mostly from behind. We receive taps on our shoulders by the shorter locals indicating we should let the, stand in front. We hold our ground but not without discomfort. We debate how much longer we should wait. Dick who was not feeling all that well yet was a trouper for hanging in there this long. I believe it was an hour and a half already.

Eventually we too loose interest. Deciding to leave was not easy although Al turned around to scout a possible exit route through the now standing room only crowd. He suggests and describes how to maneuver our way out. Al and I hold hands to stay together with Elaine and Dick managing their way. We made it! Whew it feels good to get out of that can of packed sardines. Back to the Delight Homestay.




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