Due to the great response i got to my last blog post I thought I should post this before yall get tired of wating for more details. I checked into Dubai midnyt of 7th December. Kinda tired from the entire journey it took to get there. I’d left Germany just as the winter rains were beginning. Up till then the lowest temperatures I had experienced were 0 degrees celsius and this was usually at the crack of dawn before the sun’s dim rays thawed away the frost. Day temperatures would warm up to about 4 degrees so things weren’t too thick then. The cold morning temperatures got to me soo bad that I had to wear leather gloves and like 3 layers of clothing every time I would go for my morning jog. I’m sure you’re wondering why, at those drastic temperatures, was i even bothering going joggin. Well… I absolutely HAD to jog, there is a way the German fetish for cheeses and breads had not passed me by and as such there was just a little more padding around my waist than I was comfortable with. Little fact, there are over 900 different types of breads in Germany. 900! Whoever said the French were famous for their bread most probably never stopped by Deutchland.
The day I left Bonn was when the rain truely begun. Though i was absolutely looking forward to the holiday destination i was headed to I was sad to leave my sis, her hubby and my adorable 3 year old niece behind. Staying with them for 3 months had me feel like part of their family and I must thank them for hosti ng me that whole time. I truely am blessed to have such amazing family in my life. Their door is always open to me and this I will not take for granted. I leave Germany with its single digit temperatures and overcast skies to get to Dubai with its…wait for it….15 degree night time temperatures! 15 degrees?! Really?! I thought the moment i stepped off the plane I would be hit by a front of warm, no, HOT air but alas-it was winter in Dubai as well. The highs were 23 degrees in the daytime. Come to think of it this wasn’t bad as it meant I could go exploring without fear of soaking my clothes through with sweat or turning sudanese in colour after my 2 weeks exposure. I hadn’t slept much on the plane which is very shocking for me. I tend to fall asleep whenever I get into ANY automobile. It was a coping mechanism i developed while growing up because to get to primary school we had to go all the way across town. This meant we waking up at 5am on the regular and getting back home by 5.30pm (on a good day). We were mostly stuck in traffic during our transit times (maisha Eastlando) and thus i developed the habit of sleeping. I call this ‘transit sleep’-best sleep ever! Somehow I always managed to wake up just as the mat was turning in to our estate so no, I was never pitishwad (I never missed my stop) Wow…memories.Seeing as i was tavelling Emirates i love their inflight food. It’s like it never stops coming; the drinks, then the meal, then the coffee with cheese and crackers after, then more drinks should you want, then… Ok, you see why the jogging was necessary?? 🙂
On checking in I took AGES in passport control. Yikes! I’d gotten my Dubai visa online and the procedure is quite straight forward if you travel with Emirates because they have a visa processing service. But for online visas one needs to go through an electronic check before passing through passport control so they can register your data first. Now, i had no clue as to this so i just pangad the Passport control line. Seeing as they are such a large airport they were processing tonnes of people at that time and thus the lines went on for ages-each 25 people deep with about 10 different open counters (and the slowest officials i have ever seen!!). Having lined up for about 15minutes I was directed to the data collection area. I hurriedly rushed there thanking God the line for females was pretty short. Being an islamic state they have segregated certain services into Male and female. I guess this was because the data collection involved having a retinal scan being taken. Maybe they didn’t want their boys getting all flustered staring at womens’ eyes all day…does this mean beauty does lie in the ey es (of the beholden)? The transportation is also segregated with women(and children) being allocated the front sections of the bus or metro tram line. As a woman you don’t have to sit in the front, the provision is mainly for the local arabic community.
When i got back to the passport control queues after like 5 mins though i couldn’t find my spot so i had to begin queueing all over again. My sis, Susan, who was going to be my host over the next 2 weeks, had apparently warmed me over email about the data collection but I didnt get to read it before I left. She jipangad though, came to pick me about 30mins after I’d gotten out. And there I was thinking perhaps she’d waited soo long hadi she’d probably gone somewhere to kill time then come back. I was soo glad to see her!! My 1st impression of Dubai (from the airport) was, “is this Mombasa?” The faces were so diverse all from different ethnicities: asians, arabs, africans, europeans, americans. And everyone was in shorts,sandals and tees or vests. Yay! Holiday mood CHECK!
We leave the airport get into the Mercedes and I’m thinking, way to go Susan!!-loved that car. In Dubai cars are all you see till you really find them common place. Ferraris, bugatis, jaguars, Rolls Royces. The land of flashy people and even flashier cars. One of my other sisters, Angy, was also around for a conference so we met up one afternoon at one of the malls in town-Mall of the Emirates. Me, her and a family friend called Fred. Wondering what to do for the evening it was suggested we go to this japanese place called Wagamama. Oh my, if you are ever in Dubai please please PLEASE go to Wagamama and ask for the number 71. You will die! Its marinated bread crumbed chicken breast with rice. The meal went on and on….and on. Great value for money. And kudos to me-I actually managed to eat the entire meal with chopstix-winning! To get to the Wagamama in our area we took a short walk through the JBR-Jumeirah Beach Residents. The night was warm and the streets were packed with pedestrians and people dining at side walk cafes.
JBR is a development of posh apartment buildings, the colour of desert sand, lining the beach designed to look like the turrets of a palace. On weekends (which begin on Thurs-So thurs is literally the new Friday there) everyone drives their cars down to the JBR lane for a kind of show off. Lol. Remember Will Smith’s Summer time song? Yup, they actually drive at 2 miles an hour! We were walking faster than the cars! And those cars were hott!!! You don’t just drive along JBR if you don’t got something worth showing off. I dunno where they get their money. The Dubai lifestyle is just tooo flashy. They can be described as the jeng’s of the Arab world. We tried syking up Susan to take the Merc out for a lap. Why?-just cause we could 🙂 but Angy had to pack cause she was leaving the next day so home we went.
Next installment of Gulliver’s travels: The Green Desert-fact or fiction?