4 September 2010

Dazzling Dubai

First impressions as we walk through the airport is that of politeness, respect and service.  I was even handed a rose as I walked into the airport.  We managed to get a free coach into Dubai and talked to a very helpful SAF air hostess on the way in.  There is construction, high rises and wealth everywhere.  Our hotel was awesome and we even got upgraded to the executive suite. Enjoyed a meal and cider at the English pub before hitting the sack. 
Next morn we stuffed ourselves with the breakfast at the hotel, and waited for Carina (our good friend from SAF who taught with us in Kiev) to meet us.  She has just got a teaching job here and only been here 4 days.  We spent the day exploring the city with her -- seeing the museum, gold & spice markets, the biggest mall which also had an aquarium, and tried to look at Palm Beach and put our feet in the water but to no avail. 
We managed to arrive during the month of Ramadan, so learned quickly we weren't to eat or drink anything in public.  We paid way too much on taxis (as I write we are in a taxi back to the airport which ended up costing an arm & a leg, plus he got us really lost, we ended up on the side of the road with some other taxi, arguing over money & we were almost late for our flight!!!) and were astounded by the BIGness and heat.
Interesting experience in an amazing melting pot of cultures -- obviously the big reason being that this has been a trade route for thousands of years.

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