So, I am the worst at updating. Apologies. In my defense, it is really hard to write blogposts when you’re on the road. And who wants to read just a whole bunch of words right? But it is really difficult to upload my pictures from my camera to a computer and then post it here. I do my best anyway, so patience! Good things (I hope) come to those who wait.
So I arrived in Dubai. Flight was bearable, and Dubai airport is very modern. The metro system is also pretty amazing, and I took it down to Zehra’s place. Got out and wow, it was raining. And cold. I felt very cheated – it’s Dubai! In the middle of the desert! Jeez. Anyway, at Zehra’s place, I had a delish lunch prepared by her sister-in-law, Kalya and took a nap.
I needed to kill time till Zehra got off work, so Nadir (her brother) and Kalya dropped me off at the Dubai mall, the world’s largest shopping mall. Guess what? It’s like any and every other mall I’ve ever been in.
If you know me at all, you would know I’m not a fan of malls, so of course, after 10 minutes at being quite taken aback that the mall was so huge it needed taxis to ferry people around, I was bored.
Thankfully, there was a pretty cool fountain show to entertain me for a bit more.
The Dubai mall is also home to a pretty cool aquarium, so I spent a good 20ish minutes watching the marine life float around, watching people gawking at them. I wonder what life must be like for a fish that’s slightly more intelligent than a goldfish.
Well, Zehra turned up soon enough, and we had a lovely Arabian dinner with hummus and kebabs and all sorts of yummy things.
We went to a quaint little place just under her apartment block after that, and coincidentally met up with a bunch of her friends there. It was fun, meeting new people and talking about this and that and really, after 20 minutes or so, it’s like you’ve known them forever. Interestingly, I always find that people are more willing to share intimate details of their lives with complete strangers, perhaps with the knowledge (belief? hope?) that they will never meet again, and that their secrets are safe. Hm.
Anyway, my second day in Dubai was rather uneventful, apart from the fact that Dubai was FLOODING.
It was hilarious really. It was drizzling, and within the hour, entire streets were flooded. I was very amused. We visited Zehra’s office so that she could run some errands.
And then it was off to old Dubai! The gold souk featured some of the most excessively extravagant jewelry
(including the world’s largest gold ring)
I have ever seen, and the spice souk had, well, spices!
We also took an abra across the creek, for 1dirham, which was pretty fun, because the abras do not have sides to prevent you from falling out/off. Pretty cool stuff.
Dinner was at Zehra’s favorite place in Dubai, Wokyo, and the food was pretty yumz. The rest of the evening we just chilled, and had an early night.
The next day! Zehra’s friend Zac brought me to a beautiful place, the Jumeirah … (I’ve forgotten the name). It was all obviously man-made but extremely beautiful nonetheless. I had fun wandering around, taking pictures like the real tourist that I am (or am trying to be).
We even snuck into the theatre where a rehearsal for some show happened to be going on. The trick to get into restricted access places is just to pretend like you belong and know what you’re doing 😉
After that, it was off to the desert! I finally got to see my camels – huge herds of them wandering around (within enclosed compounds) being all calm and cool in the desert.
Part of the tour included dune bashing – being bounced around in our seats as the driver maniacally steered the car up and down the sand dunes. It was almost exactly like being on an extended roller coaster. Fun fun fun.
After that, we were dropped off at a large tented compound in the middle of nowhere, and I had my first camel ride on a delightful camel named Sheila!
Dinner in the desert was accompanied by belly dancing and tanoura performances, and interesting conversations with the Bolivian lady I met, Irene.
That evening, back in civilization, I bullied Zehra into performing at this pizza place we went to. (: She was super nervous, but it all went well in the end! Thanks for the performance, Zehra!
And that was pretty much the end of my stay in Dubai! Probably won’t be back again (for a long while), but it was fun nonetheless! Next up on my agenda – a super long flight to the other side of the world!