Published: March 5th 2007March 5th 2007
WOW!! Is Dubai ever clean and orderly...
My journey from India here was quite an interesting one. The airport trek in Chennai wasn't a problem. I had managed to get 4 1/2 hours of sleep in the evening and my prepaid cab was there to get me at the allotted time. Granted it was an old TATA car with lots of rust and dings in the exterior and many rattles and clanks as we drove , but it did the job. The airport had a large and very comfortable lounge area so I was able to sleep a little more before boarding. The plane was full and I was the only Caucasian woman on board. One of the stewardesses , a youngish blond woman had been on the plane to India on Feb4 and she recognized me ... she wondered where my friends were and was amazed that I had travelled India by my self...It turns out she is a Chechoslovakian and that many of the pilots on AirArabia are Canadians.
Flying over India and the mountains of central India kind of prepared me for the landscape of this area. Those mountains looked quite bleak and very barren unlike the lush coastal areas. I slept over the Sea and when I awoke it was to the desert areas ,again quite rocky ,of the Middle east. The flight was 4 1/2 hours and the last hour the sand in the air prevented me from seeing much of anything. Flying into Sharjah was flying through reddish dust for at least 1/2 hour. We did not see land until we were nearly down. ..and then it was such a surprise!
Streets on a grid pattern , trees in rows and in parks , new buildings and older buildings with no signs of water damage from monsoon rains...big cars and trucks...NO autorickshaws , bicycles ,animals or even motorbicycles on the streets and roads...a whole new world ...and CLEAN!!!!
It was all quite exhillerating. Fortunately the traffic wasn't too bad and I got to the apartment in @45 minutes and it was great to see Lesley and amazing to be in a modern , large ,beautiful well equipped home!!Toilets with toilet paper and soap!!A coffee machine AND a refrigerator!!!That night MaryAnne hosted a CANADIAN BBQ of hamburgers and salad (green and RAW!!) and Les had made potatoe salad . I ate too much and enjoyed serving my own plate rather than having a someone elses predetermined amount .Dan and I finished off a bottle of excellant red wine and a good time was had by all.It is these simple things I realize that I miss when I travel.
Dubai has been a surprise. I find it friendlier this time. Not as noisy , big or chaotic as I had the first time. Everything IS relative isn't it. Yesterday we went to Ducks , a walk into the fabric area and then spent 8,649 steps (on a pedometer) walking at the beaches. We even went to a park...it turns out there are several of them in the city...and finished the day with some excellant Arabic/Lebanese food and a bit of JohnnyWalker Black.Life is good.
Tonight I head to the airport again for the marathon home. 19 1/2 hours of flying time broken up by 2 stops ,one for 4 hours in Frankfort and the other for 2 hours in Toronto .The next bed I sleep in will be my own!!
Talk to you soon.