Hothouse

The weather is starting to heat up here. It’s not so miserably hot that you can’t go out and do things, but I find that you start to get tired a bit sooner… you get that lethargic middle-of-the-day-and-its-time-for-a-nap kind of feeling. You are less inclined to do things. I can only imagine how bad it is going to get.

A lot of markets and outdoor events are starting to shut down for the summer, or are moving indoors. The Ripe Market will now be available… at the Times Square shopping mall. It’s not quite the same. Times Square isn’t even one of the good shopping malls. We thought we would attend the last Al Barsha Pond Park Ripe Market of the year, and headed there last Saturday night with Sylvia and Marco. My main motivation was the likely presence of camel milk ice cream.

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My precccccciousssss.

As you can see, I was successful in obtaining some. There were a few tacky little market stalls at the event, but the main reason we tend to go are the food trucks… you know how we enjoy a good food truck! This time, I had some sort of fancy home made KFC style chicken, with (of course) some caramel biscuit camel ice cream to wash it down.

Last time we visited with Catherine, we laughed at the little swan boats with beacons on top to, one would presume, guide you back to shore. This time, we decided to take one for a spin! We all snickered when Matt pulled out his Platinum card and asked for a discount, but he somehow got us an extra ten minutes for free. Which was not really that much of a blessing when keeping the boat moving meant more vigorous paddling, but never mind. I didn’t care, I wasn’t doing the paddling. The evening wasn’t insanely hot and it was fun to float around the lake, although we were unsuccessful in herding the baby ducklings we found behind our mothership. We all arrived back without falling in, which, knowing my luck and lack of grace, could be considered a win.

Today, we went down to City Walk for some lunch and to visit the Green Planet. I’ve been staring at the ‘biodome’ out the window for weeks and thought it might be nice to visit, particularly as it contained a sloth. Given how people treat their animals here, I wasn’t holding out too much hope for it. We were both pleasantly surprised!

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That white triangle smack-bang in the middle is the Green Planet. 

City Walk is quite a new area of Dubai, a range of shops and restaurants… some of which are located around a fake looking London high street. After a lunch which turned out to be 50% off for a final total of 56 dirhams (win!), we wandered over to the Green Planet. It was nearly empty, which while not totally unsurprising for Dubai, is always pleasant. We got another discount there (second win!) and wandered into the biodome, not really sure to expect… but it was a really nice place for a walk. The dome is filled with all sorts of tropical fish, birds, insects and animals, and was my first experience in Dubai where the people working there were actually enthusiastic and interested in their jobs. As it was so quiet, they seemed pretty pleased to be able to wander around with us and explain to us about the animals, and we got to touch a little python (insert dirty joke here) and of, all things, a millipede.

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And we saw this guy. Look at that face! (photo credit to Matt).

Amongst the other animals in the Green Planet were lots of birds, including a tooky tooky Toucan – who was enjoying a spot of lunch – insects, frogs, and a very sleepy sloth who was comaed out in the bushes, with his little claws wrapped around his tree. I think they just wake him up for a half hour every day to feed him and do a keeper talk, then let him do his own thing the rest of the time. Which, by all accounts, is not a terrible lot. The animals seemed well looked after and happy, and there were lots of keepers to attend to them all.

It was a nice place to spend the afternoon. The 27 degrees inside felt positively cool compared to the 35 degrees outside, and they had those misting machines they put on at Disneyland to keep the cranky Americans cool in the heat. Good work, Green Planet. Anyway, I enjoyed it, and will definitely be going back when I am sick of staring out the window at the sandpit. It was nice to forget I was in Dubai for a little bit!

Oh, and the man that was meant to put the second coat of paint on? He never came back. Ah, Dubai. You can but laugh.

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