Friday, 6 June 2014

The surreal life



Life is good here in Dubai. I certainly can't complain. Sure it's hot and sandy, but it's a good (if not surreal) life.

For instance, it's Friday morning here, the start of our weekend. We've beaten the heat and gone for our early morning swim as we do every Friday morning. We like to wear the kids out before the sun really starts to sizzle and they're stuck inside. This morning Goosey started shivering in the pool proclaiming: "I've got icicles all over my arms!" We checked the water temperature and it was 30 degrees. I must admit I felt it was a little chilly too, which shows how warm the air temperature is.

Hungry and a little tired, I brought the kids home for breakfast while Skip went off to go snowboarding with a mate. That's what you can do in this crazy city, swim before breakfast and snowboard before lunch any day of the year (all thanks to the indoor ski field at our local mall). After that we'll go out and eat lunch as a family, as many others do on a Friday here. Then probably another swim.

I was reading a story last night in the Sydney Morning Herald about Dubai as a stopover city, basically saying once is enough to visit this place. I read it to Skip who raised his eyebrows and said: "I've been here almost two years and there are still many things I haven't seen or done." Reading the comments I'm aways surprised by the fierce opposition to this city, especially from people who've never been here. What is it about Dubai that brings out such emotion in people?!

Sure there's the crazy stuff here but I don't think Dubai is trying to be London or New York. I think the city is actually just trying to be Dubai, different from the vast majority of cities in the world. There are so many parts of this place away from the glitz and the glamour. Sure it's fantastic fun to rock up to a five-star hotel for a sundowner or wander round the upmarket shops at Dubai Mall. It's also equally fun to take a 1 dirham (approx 25c) abra ride across the creek, wander through the gold or spice souq and eat at a fabulous Indian or Pakistani restaurant while sitting on the street watching the world go by.
I think Dubai has a really strong identity, contrary to what a lot of people seem to think. It is definitely a city of contrasts and I love that. Old to New. Conservative and restrained to lavish and loud.

Everyone who has visited us has said they've been surprised by the city. That it had a lot more to offer than they expected. That the people were friendlier. That there was a lot more to do and explore.

Whatever people say, for me it's a wonderful place to live and I feel blessed to be here however long we stay.

3 comments:

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