Abu Dhabi is truly a tale of two cities: there is the opulence and, then, there are the hard-working masses that toil day and night to keep it the one of the most immaculate cities that I have ever seen–next only to nearly every city in Japan (back when I visited the country). You don’t hear much about these workers, but you see them everywhere. They are so interesting to me, but it would be beyond callous to beg a picture of a sweaty, over-worked, exhausted day laborer because I like the color of his head wrap, wouldn’t it?! So, I never do. Today, I resorted to the sneakiest–nay lowest–form of photography: the kind that is from the car window–paparazzi-like–quiet as I could–making sure he did not see me do it kind of photo. I was surprised that I kind of ended up liking just one of the shots that I was inspired to take last week by my daughter. Red Lights in Abu Dhabi take 500 years–long enough to paint your toenails, change your lens and delete bad photos all before the light turns Green–I am NOT kidding about this. Please, prepare for this. Bring reading material or a camera!
Seriously though, I would love to properly photograph some fellows I see working around town–especially in the Fish Market. I wish I represented National Geographic or some real publication that would lend myself some sense of legitimacy; other than having to utter the usual “I have this blog, and I’d love to…” Until that day, I’ll continue snapping from my car. I intend to elaborate on people like this and others who represent the other side of Abu Dhabi–the ones you do not see in magazines.
Abu Dhabi City Gardener