Sunday, July 26, 2009

So here I am in Dubai

The sunglasses haven't proved to be as much of a handicap as I thought. This is only partly because we didn't leave for Dubai until 2 p.m. or so, and that is only entirely because we left the Shangri La bars at 3:30 a.m. the night before, but that's another story. (although I think you know the ending)

Dubai has been fascinating so far. It is a fantastically modern city in a lot of ways, although it is poorly laid out (with a gigantic highway running through the middle of widely spaced discrete neighborhoods). The Burj al Arab appears to stretch into space. And then on the other hand, there is the old city around Dubai Creek, which we wandered through this evening. It is a sense-overloading warren of tiny shops and aggressive vendors.

Foreground: Nick's head. Everything else: endless commerce.

A sample conversation from the gold souk:

ME (looking at some silver rings)

You like? This one is good. (hands me a ring that won't even fit on my pinky)

Yes, nice. Too small, though.

The vendor hands me a larger one. It fits, but it has a stone set in it.

What is the stone?

Cubic zirconia. Very nice.

I silently give him points for honesty.

Well, I don't know. I'm just looking around.

300 dirhams for two rings. One for you, one for wife.

ME (gesturing to Friend of the Blog Fiona)
She's not my wife, but--

OK, 200 dirhams.

Good times all around. And the hotel is a bit of a vacation in itself. A balcony overlooks the creek; the pool is warm and the staff brings me mojitos; the cafe serves some great Turkish coffee...

How do you say "rocket fuel" in Arabic?

... and tea sandwiches. The pink puffy things were very tasty.

So, yeah. I am officially on vacation. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I ski.

1 comment:

M. Gants v4.0 said...

Excellent! Turkish coffee is yummy!

Hope you have a fun time skiing??!!