Well, here we are! After sitting on that plane for about 14 1/2 hours, we arrived to a totally deserted surreal Emerites terminal. The black wall in the back is a waterfall.
We were greeted by a lovely young lady who directed us through immigration in about 2 minutes.
Again, hardly anything at baggage claim, including our bags which popped in after about half an hour.
Our hotel is spectacular and attached to the famous Dubai Mall which houses 1200 glitzy shops! Our room is Asian modern and the coffee table was laden with fruit and a box of Middle Eastern candy.
The fruit was particularly interesting: Inside each strange package is a delightful little ball of yummy “stuff” that tastes a little like Lychee nuts:
The view from our room shows the top of the mall because it is actually attached to the mall. The crowds there on Friday and Saturday (their weekend) was something to behold. It was literally teaming with thousands of women in beautifully decorated black abayas and colorful saris, shopping like there was no tomorrow. Actually there probably wasn’t…they were headed back to their countries to start their week today (Sunday).
We have a nice view of the infiniti pool below our room:
And yet another wall of water falling down an enormous stone slab about three stories high:
Our little breakfast buffet is lovely:
And the view from that room is amazing. Everywhere you look there is spectacular architecture but many buildings are still unfinished. Cranes sit beside them, waiting for the recession to end. Our driver yesterday said that two years ago there were 5000 people working on one building at a time. Now there are about 300 and some are just totally deserted!
Yesterday we took a boat out to see Dubai Creek, which isn’t very big but gave us a great view of the “old Dubai”, meaning they’ve been there for maybe 10 years
Last night we “went to the mall” and realized that there probably isn’t anything you can’t buy there…except books! We did find ONE bookstore which we’re visiting tonight.
There is also enormous cluster of theatres! The tickets were only about $8 but if you wanted to go to have a Platinum experience with just your family, or just a date, you can buy seats for $40 each and have a home theatre experience with lazy boys and a small “big screen”. No thanks!
We went to theatre 22!
And saw….drum roll…Iron Man 2, which was definitely the dumbest movie of all time (sorry to ruin it for you boys). By the end I decided that they were really trying to be dumb so maybe they’ll get an academy award for that!
Two very funny things made it worth the price of the tickets:
1) Watching guys in full Muslim regalia in line to buy tickets (even though movies are strictly forbidden in Saudi)
2) Going to the rest room afterward where there were 5 stalls in that gigantic complex with about 30 women waiting and a young girl with a rag in her hand who rushed in to the stall as each “customer” left to wipe off the toilet seat, which was always drenched with water from those crazy water nozzles. The rag finally got so wet that she had to resort to paper towels! Only women who have traveled in Asia will know what I mean. I still don’t get it so don’t ask me! Hilarious!
The mall really is an amazing bastian of capitalism but fun to see. Women really do wear these things under those black abayas!
And tell “the kids” that grandfather is thinking of buying a remote control plane or helicopter for the lake this summer…when we get home!
We are literally 5 blocks from the tallest building in the world! It doesn’t look that tall from here, but apparently it is twice as tall as the Empire State Building! We’re on our way over there right now so you’ll be seeing the view from there in the next post!
We haven’t seen the ski resort yet but that will coming in the next couple of days too! We have a dinner tomorrow night with our hosts and then our meeting on Tuesday night and we’’ll be on a plane on our way home on Wednesday.
Since church was on Friday in compliance with the Muslim world (Curtis Cannon picked us up and took us to a great little branch. There are also two wards. Amazing!) this is a Mother’s Day I’ll never forget! Happy Mother’s Day to all back in that Mother’s Day world!