Today I had dinner with friends. Friends who had not eaten all day. (I had eaten though).
They were breaking their fast, because they are Muslim friends who are fasting during Ramadan.
A few years ago I made friends with my neighbour and her family. She introduced me to her friends and here I am several years later, meeting old friends and making yet more new ones.
I come in and they are talking with great clamour - the conversation continues until it is time to break their fast.
It is broken as dictated by tradition with dates and milk. Very sweet. Followed by samosas, soup, flat bread and then cous cous, lamb and vegetables. More conversation, news of friends in Libya, what it is like to live in Abu Dhabi. Two children race about jumping on and off furniture. Some washing up ensues - ending with tea or coffee and chocolate cake.
The party starts to break up - time to go home, the children need their bed (and the adults do too). I kiss a friend from Bosnia goodbye and they laugh at me for being so "Arab".
I climb in my car and drive home, with a full heart, remembering laughter and conversation. Arabic flying around the room and brightly coloured head scarves.
How I love my friends.