Monday, July 9, 2007

Welcome to Dubai

It's been a harrowing few days...another little bicycle smashup, although the blame lays squarely across my shoulders this time, and I was the only thing that got smashed up, in addition to having my front wheel stolen, in broad daylight on 1st Ave. All this the day I departed! No wonder I barely squeaked out to the airport in time.

Too many hours in the air, followed by too much harrassment at the Dubai airport. All my luggage was searched, exhaustively (pots of hair and face product were unscrewed, yes) and then my body was groped a bit in excess of what I thought was decent (by a very heavily made up Emirati woman in full abaya sporting blue contact lenses, no less!) particularly in the breast region. This is the benefit of looking like a drug trafficker, I suppose.

Good times.

Initial impressions: a city rising from the sand, mostly as monochromatic as the sand itself.
Clumps of construction workers form a sort of human topography, rising in dark, sweaty swells clustered around cranes. They work around the clock, and the music of the night differs only slightly from the day. The din of vehicular congestion is replaced by the steady throbbing of African drums and techno music emanating from hotels around the city, but the steady clanking of structural steel and pile drivers is perpetual.

I am restless, and the sun will be up soon. I need to get over this jet lag, but have no idea how or when. Arabiya music television is rather surprising, or not. Lots of buxom women with ripe mouths and bodies singing poppy songs, "mudwrestling" while singing said songs, amidst strange backdrops involving Satan, sadomasochism, and marriage.

Who knows? More soon.


ruminations said...

I had heard much better descriptions of Dubai than yours.
Perhaps in a few years, when most of the construction is finished it will be better. However, you should be impressed with the vitality of the place.
I suggest ear plugs at night.

Kathy Hernandez said...

Who knows what other surprises will rise out of the desert sand. Needless to say, you are in the midst of a culture caught somewhere between the past and the future. Sounds almost eerie.

amycue said...


You are a delight! So wonderful to be able to read about your adventures in that far away land that us mere mortals will never visit. Amy