Thursday, January 7, 2010

DUBAI CONTINUES, Nov. 21st, 2009


As I rode the Monorail back to the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel, I tried to take in as much of the city as I possibly could. As I said before, everything in Dubai is neat, tidy, and very clean. I couldn’t help notice that many skyscrapers were at a stand still on construction. There was building after building that remained without any construction going on anywhere. It was kind of eerie seeing so many huge buildings with out any workers, moving trucks, or people. It was like they had been abandoned. In reality, I guess they have been, due to the economy. The other thing I noticed was how many sets of two identical buildings there were. I couldn’t help reflect on the World Trade Center and how they mirrored each other. I am sure it didn’t mean anything, just an architect’s design, but I couldn’t help but take it personal. Especially now since Muslims have plans to build a Mosque near Ground Zero. I heard them say on the news they bought the land very near Ground Zero to build their Mosque so Americans can get to know them as moderate Muslims that they are not terrorists. My question is how can we get to know them when we are not allowed into their Mosques. No matter how this plays out I think if moderate Muslims would speak out against the extremists, than we could really get to know them. Their silence on Jihad is very loud, indeed, and speaks volumes. My political views are independent, and these are my personal observations.

The City of Dubai is 98.7% crime free. Now that is another “Wonder of the World.” Our guide told us that the .3% is caused by illegal business misunderstandings. The city is populated by 45% Indians. There are many nationalities working there. We met people from Australia, Germany, Kenya, England, Ireland, and Asia. Many of them said they came to work there for the experience of living in Dubai. Of course, we didn’t meet anyone from Israel. The city is so quiet, so new, so pretty, and so clean, that it is almost sterile. It reminded me of the movie, The “Stepford Wives”, where everything and everyone was perfect. Dubai wants to have the biggest and best of everything and they have a good head start on it. They will soon have the biggest roller coaster in the world. It is certainly a city to marvel at, but for me it was boring. It lacked heart and soul.

In the evening we went to an “Arabian Adventure Desert Safari and Dinner.” we rode a camel, raced over the dunes, had barbeque Arabian style and watched belly dancing. This is what I came to Dubai for. I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, very close to “White Sands National Park.” In fact, that is where I met my friend, Betsy. So I was very excited about this part of the trip. The dunes were beautiful and we saw the most beautiful sun set. It was a big orange ball sitting on top of a large dune. We watched as it slowly slipped beyond the horizon. I got great photos of it. Riding the Dunes in a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser was a thrill. It was like riding a roller coaster going up and down and sideways over the golden dunes. And all the while thinking this car just may turn over. It was great fun!

We then headed to the campsite where a convoy of camels awaited our arrival for a short camel ride. Naturally, I fell off and over the camel’s head when he kneeled down to allow us to get off him. It was my good fortune that there was someone to catch me before I hit my head. After pulling every muscle in my back from falling over the camel’s head we went into the Bedouin tents for a BBQ buffet. Betsy and I got a picture holding a falcon. She got a Henna (temporary tattoo) while I tried to make myself comfortable on the Majlis (low cushions). I can’t understand how they can sit on those cushions and eat their meals. I was aching all over by the time we left. From what I was told the BBQ was very good. I only ate the rice, fruit and a lot of dessert. The belly dancers were very talented at what they were doing, and they invited people to come and join them. All in all it was a great day in the desert, but I was exhausted from sitting on the ground. That little pillow did nothing to help my backache.

Tomorrow after breakfast we will be leaving Dubai and heading back to JFK. ONE MORE PAGE TO GO…

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