It’s 6AM and I’ve already heard the call to prayer twice (or something resembling that, given that this website informs me that it shouldn’t have happened twice yet). So I’ve decided to get up and write something. The first challenge was logging on.
Our trip to Dubai was relatively uneventful, but rather long, as expected. It was a full plane, and I spent my time crammed into the window seat next to two middle aged German men. Waking up mid-flight from my only short period of sleep with Hans asleep on my shoulder was a fun experience. Then again, I’ve had worse experiences with German men on planes – I’m sure mum remembers German-guy-who-wouldn’t-get-off-his-cellphone-so-built-a-fort-in-protest-and-listened-to-ABBA-inside-said-fort. I managed to get a fair bit of work done, although I’m not entirely sure how coherent it was – sorry TEC folk. I hope you were able to decipher my ramblings.
We didn’t park at the gate at Dubai – and I watched, alongside all the common folk in economy class, as the first and business class buses pulled away, wondering if I would ever see Matt again. Thankfully, he was waiting for me at the other end, along with a rep that breezed us through the airport in about 30 minutes. Apart from a brief moment of panic when Matt thought he had left his passport on the plane, it was all very easy, and our driver took us through to our hotel – where we have a small, but comfortable, room for the next two weeks. I spent a good few minutes lying in bed and wondering where the arrow was pointing to on the ceiling (why is the fire escape in the hallway?) before I figured out that it pointed to Mecca.
It was raining when we arrived. There were thunderstorms overnight, and peering out into the darkness, the road appears to be flooded rather badly outside. It’s just like being at home.
After napping for a few hours at the hotel, we went and met Nikki and Andrew for lunch at the Mall of the Emirates, which is about a five minute walk away. Lunch was delicious – I didn’t really expect to be eating eggs with hollandaise sauce on a kale, beetroot and potato hash, but I’m glad I did. We actually ended up going to a movie – Arrival – which was an excellent way to zone out and stop worrying for a few hours. We spent some time after that wandering around the homewares and furniture stores, and shopping for groceries at the behemoth that is Carrefour – which actually wasn’t as bad as I thought (we came back with hummus, crackers, carrot sticks, oatmeal, peppermint tea and kinder chocolate, so I’m pretty much set).
Today, we’re going to go to the ex-pat fortress of IKEA, before Matt starts work tomorrow. I’m hoping there is slightly less of what Matt calls the “Arabian flair” there – i.e. overpriced gold plated dining table sets. We will see.