Friday, 24 August 2012

Is this thing working?

This blog kind of got forgotten for a while there. Since I got back from New Zealand last spring, life has been taken up by a lot of studying and that's left me not in the mood for writing. The end is (sort of) in sight. The hectic round of short papers to take me to the end of my Post Grad Diploma is pretty much over, culminating in having 3 assignments due in 8 weeks over the summer this year. The exam for that course is in mid-October and then I start a long course with a much more relaxed schedule of 5 assignments over 10 months. And then, I am done.

Needless to say we've not stopped travelling. Spring this year saw us using up the airmiles we'd earned from all those trips to NZ with a short break in Dubai. It was winter there, which meant temperatures in the high 20s, just perfect for us. We swam every day in the unheated pool, saw the sights and cruised some shopping malls. Dubai is great for me, if only because of the cheap and plentiful taxis. A real contrast to London or Greece (of which, more later).


We stayed at the Arabian Courtyard in the centre of the older part of town, a few kilometres (or a £5 taxi ride) from the glitzy highrises of Sheikh Zayed Road and the 5* resorts of Jumeirah. I like this part of town though, because you can walk places and it has a bit of life. We were right opposite the old fort, now the city museum. Beyond that is the central mosque, then the old souq and beyond that the creek, where a short abra (open boat) ride takes you to the gold souk. If you want to go further afield, you just hail a taxi. Most of the 'locals' in this area are Indian and Pakistani. Tucked away just behind the central mosque are the city's Sikh and Hindu temples. We spent some time on the creek front watching boats come and go, everything from the ubiquitous abras and dhows to million dollar motorboats.

That area also contains a number of historic buildings, although historic is more akin to NZ's meaning of the word than Scotland's. Like all tourists, we had to demonstrate the fact that some of the doors were on the small side...

I've almost perfected my ability to pose for a photo while hiding the crutches, you'll see.

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