Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dubai: The Long Walk

Friday morning.

I asked the Al Uruba hotel manager where the closest metro was, as I planned to go into the Satwa neighborhood where I'd stick my foot into the Arabian Gulf at one of the public beaches and also have lunch at a place recommended here. He directed  me to the Al Ras station.

As usual, it was a sunny day in Dubai, right in the temperature zone I like - low 70s. I walked a couple of blocks to the Al Ras station and learned the metro was closed until 1:00 p.m. because it was Friday, which is the Muslim day of prayer (at a mosque, for men) that more or less corresponds to a Sabbath.

What to do? Looked like the buses were running, but that would have required me to climb a learning curve vis a vis routes and all that.

So I commenced walking in the general direction of my destination, with the dubious assistance of a for-shit tourist map that reminded me of the for-shit tourist map for Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Here are some things I saw on my walk:

Customs Building


The Geek Restaurant

I was there!

Lambourghini, parked at the RAMADA, for God's sake!

Men walking and cycling to prayer at the mosque

Pretty flats

Al Burj, that bony finger, in the distance, on the right

Had lunch at Sidra. The mixed grill kebab I ordered was only so-so. I loved the bowl of fresh vegetables, the bread, and the hummous, though.

Air-conditioned bus stop

After lunch, I walked to the public beach. No photos permitted.

Walked into the Arabian Gulf, aka Persian Gulf. The water was a little chilly.

One of the things I'd brought back with me from home was a blue pashmina. I had it with me and I laid it on the sand, sat on it, and read one of my sci-fi classics, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein.

There were quite a few people enjoying the beach. There was a lifeguard, too. I think he was also there to make sure no one took photos on the beach. I saw some people take photos not-so-surreptitiously with their phones.

The sun threatened to set in the near future, so I left the beach and stopped at a grocery store to get dinner and also something for my long layover in Azerbaijan the next day when I returned to Georgia.

I took a taxi back to the hotel.

Later that night, if I leaned out my window, I could see the fireworks from the Creek, celebrating Dubai's 2012 Shopping Festival.

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