Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Global Village has taken it up a notch

My mom and the kids and I went to Global Village last night. I've gone every year we've been here, except for last year. (There are a lot of "except for last year"s in my life, thanks to Sterling.) I've always enjoyed it, even as I recognized some of its shortcomings. At times, it was just wads of loud people and long lines for food and never knowing quite where you were.

In 2013, someone died at Global Village in the amusement park area, and they closed down that portion of the park immediately. I don't know if that led to a greater overhaul of the park in general, or if it was already in the works, but what a different place it is now!

It costs 15dhs instead of 10dhs to get in now, but there are clean, free, plentiful bathrooms that you don't have to walk down a dark alley to get to! The amusement park area is on a nice boardwalk now, instead of in the middle of a dusty lot. They've cleared out the inefficient food/restaurant area, so there is now a beautiful, open central plaza with a nicer stage. The food area has its own lane now, and each outlet has proper indoor (tent) seating instead of plastic table/lawn chair sprawl by the stage.

There are also some peripheral attractions now. We only went to one since they require a separate ticket, and it was one of those times where you eat the entrance fee (5dhs) and call it a cultural experience because otherwise, you'd get mad and want your money back. It was called "Animal Land" and it was filled with...animatronic animals. You may never see a weirder picture than this, of an animatronic gorilla with a weirdly long arm, in front of a giant pavilion that says IRAN:

Oh yeah, some of the pavilions have finally rejuvenated their previously sad, tired exteriors, and tidied up the interiors as well. Also, there is an Americas pavilion (for the first time, at least that I've noticed), which is nice, even if it was filled with junk and also sweatshirts that said London (FYI, not in the Americas).

(The new exteriors led to an exchange between my mom and me that so, so weirdly echoed a moment on The Simpsons - we were trying to name the Persian king featured on the facade, but neither of us could quite get it off the tip of our tongues. I said Ahaseurus, she said Darius, and then, before I could beat her to it, she blurted out "Artaxerxes!" JUST like Todd did during that game of Bible Bombardment. SO WEIRD.)

Anyway, Global Village is kind of awesome now, and I'm glad! And it's still good for a cute pair of shoes. That and scarves is all I ever end up buying there, but it's fun to have a look at everything else on offer. Even the animatronic gorillas.

February 13th, outsourced

Wadi Bih 72km Relay

Wadi Bih 72km Relay