Well before we hit Dubai we had an unexpected stopover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This was totally part of the schedule but news to us. Still, we got a wee look at the city and it appears nice through the left hand side portal.
6 hours of comfy seats later and we land in Dubai. We had a fair idea what to expect (i.e heat and construction) but weren't really prepared none the less. We got through customs reasonably quickly only to spend 90 minutes between 1am and 230am queueing frantically in 38 degree heat trying to grab a blasted taxi. Kate had been expecting crushing efficiency and we were solely disappointed.
Anyways, we got to Dave's apartment quite happily around 3:30am. After a bit of a sleep we hailed a cab and headed to Madinat Jemeirah. This movement would be a familiar one for expats (i.e the A/C room, A/C car, A/C mall combo) This mall-etta is an upper class, smallish mall right next to the famous Burj hotel. Anyways, we partied there for a bit before hitting up the Mall of the Emirates. We shopped for ski gear, sports gear, fashion gear, shoes, perfume and cinnabons. It was a western style paradise. Greatest mall I've seen thats fo-sure. Cheap too.
At night we (Kate, Dave and I) headed into the gold souk for a looksee and a cheap dinner. We rounded off the hectic day with a nice impromptu dhow ride on the Dubai river. Good times!
Next day was more of the same but instead we hit the Ibn Battuta mall. He was some Marco Polo type explorer of Dubaian origin and we were again in awe. After much kerfuffle we finally managed to meet Dave who treated us to an Arabian meal of some note. Halloumi, Hummus, Shisha, Shish kebab, vineleaves and the obligatory cinnabon and we were in heaven. Big Special thanks to Dave and his massive hospitality. We both needed and appreciated it immensely.
Sadly after that was the trauma of a 4 hour sleep, a long day of flying, 45 minutes sleep the next night and finally an arriveal in Sydney at 7:50 am. It was great to see Jan and Bill and great to see a nice bed with innersprings too. We slept for ever that night and awoke happy but flu-ridden. It was raining :( Anyways, we also managed to catch up with Alex, Loz, Mike, Jess and Marcel which was excellent.
Saturday involved a quick flight to NZ, a bus ride and finally a taxi to home in Timaru. It is now tuesday and it hasn't stopped raining. I am still flu ridden but happy at home while Kate is now into her second day at Timaru District Hospital. She reports it is very nice. We are off to Tropic Thunder tonight on cheap Tuesday and really, it's like we never left...