The Gym Ladies and the Generosity of Generoso, Jr.


I woke up feeling like I live here. Maybe that’s because our furniture came yesterday, so I cooked spaghetti for dinner and we sat at OUR dinning room table to eat.

Or maybe it’s because life is reaching a comfortable cruising altitude.

I think, hope, we now have a regular morning driver–at least until I can get David on the school bus. (He’s on the wait list.) Our new cab driver recently relocated here from the Philippines and his name in Generoso Jr. He’s a bit timid on these streets and doesn’t know all the locations. But at least he’s cautious and now, after our second morning together, he knows the way to the American International School and back to Mangrove Place. It’s a huge relief.  I will continue to wing the afternoons as the traffic is not so bad and I can hail a cab from wherever I might be.

Today as Generoso dropped me back at the high-rise, he asked how I was doing after I asked him.

“I’m fine, but a little tired.” I answered.

He looked at me in the rearview mirror and said, “You look tired.”

images-1I shrugged. I guess I am. It has been hard work getting oriented in Abu Dhabi. I asked Generoso if he would come back tomorrow. He said yes.

An hour later, I got a text from Generoso, which included an emoticon of a smiling green alien.

Even though you looked tired..your aura is as refreshing as a rose that is blooming. Have a nice day ma’am.

I had planned to nap, considering my tiredness, but his email revived me.  I headed down to the gym to hit the treadmill.  I’ve been treadmilling since our arrival in the U.A.E, even at the Royal Ramee Hotel 20140922_101510_resizedwhich had one lone machine on the top floor–near the brothel. Mangrove Place has four, plus some other equipment.

As has been the case for the last two days, two lovely ladies from India are treadmilling too. I really like their companionship for a number of reasons: 1) they are hilarious, gabbing about life’s trials and tribulation 2) one of them plays music on her iPhone, 3) they talk about the delicious food they are going to make for dinner.

One of the gym ladies brings her mother and housemaid to the gym too. Today, that mom decided to ride the stationary bike in her sari.  SASSY!  Meanwhile, the three of us knocked our workout out of the ballpark while listening to the sounds of Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.

…And then the soulful sound of John Denver came on the iPhone. The lady immediately turned it back to Bruno Mars.

“WAIT!” The other lady and I screamed at the same time.

“John Denver is my favorite,” said the other lady.

Unknown“Mine too!” I added.

“But it’s not good for working out,” said the first lady.  “It’s too slow.”

“Losing weight is a slow process,” said the other lady.

First lady acquiesced, and there we were all lined up on our treadmills humming along to “Annie’s Song.”

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Because this song always makes me feel a bit weepy, a few tears joined the sweat on my face.  A handful of those tears were for the generosity of Generoso, and the warmth of the Gym Ladies–each one making it easier to feel at home here.

Like a sleepy blue ocean.










One Comment Add yours

  1. Al says:

    Well it will never really be “home” but it will be home…all in all I guess you had a great day while I was treating myself to talking with Indian children in the town …no CITY! of Hyderabad ( a city that I did NOT know of until two weeks ago…what is wrong with me?
    Anyhow glad you are settling in…I am on the road which is something I know how to do better than settling in…go figure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s