There have been very few things I have missed, or not been able to find, since moving to Abu Dhabi. But one thing I have missed is my weekly visits to a farmers market. That is no longer true. The Ripe Food & Craft Market opened today in the new Mushrif Central Park. What a joy…so much produce and all organic! Needless to say I filled a large shopping bag with pears, oranges, kiwis, peppers, and carrots. This was a good thing until I realized I had to carry it the rest of the afternoon. The shopkeepers did offer to keep my bag until I left, but I knew they would be busy, so I just carried it.
Along with the farmers market, there were over twenty booths of local crafts. Everything from homemade olive oil and avocado soaps to leather goods. I resisted the temptation to buy a few items, but knowing they will be set up weekly means I will be back! There were plenty of food vendors selling everything from fresh coconut milk to Italian gelato (which I did try after I had my Lebanese sandwich!).
As I sat enjoying my meal, a young man, 16 years old, stepped up to a microphone, guitar in hand. He introduced himself and said this was his first gig. I stayed for the entire set which was all covers of current American top 40 pop. He may not be ready for Arab Idol, but props to him for performing. After his set, I told him and his parents I truly enjoyed his performance. Hope he performs again at the park.
Back to the park. It is the result of a major renovation project. Complete with amphitheater, children’s play areas, lots of water elements, prayer rooms, and endless walking paths. Truly an oasis in the middle of the city.