“There are two aspects of individual harmony: the harmony between body and soul, and the harmony between individuals. All the tragedy in the world, in the individual and in the multitude, comes from lack of harmony. And harmony is the best given by producing harmony in one's own life. ”
~Hazrat Inayat Khan
As I left South Africa, it was still emotional, but not as bad as the week before when I left Durban for Cape Town with saying goodbye to many beautiful soulful friends. I will admit that I was crying as well, but didn’t have the floodgates going on. The good thing about changing my ticket, I got to take advantage of the going to Dubai, a city that I’ve been itching to see.
Early worm catches the worm with an early arrival into Dubai. I couldn’t believe that with my upgrade to Emirates that I was in luxury in coach with cozy seats much better than South African Airways on the way over. Overall, I was quite please with the service of the flight crew & probably had the best vegan meal on my many international flights. The personal telly was a super doper upgrade with an in flight phone that you can connect your smart phone to, I opted not to take advantage of the lovely roaming charges from AT&T, a wide selection of movies, online duty free shopping, updates from the BBC & the flight map that cameras showing you the take off & landing of the plane. Honestly, I felt like I was back on an ANA flight, cos on one of my domestic flights in Japan they had the camera thing going. Customs & Immigrations was easy peasy, I found out for being a passport holder of one of the countries listed for express service I had rather a speedy time going threw immigrations.
|World's Largest Gold Ring, Gold Souq|
I took the Dubai Metro to the Al Rigga Ibis Hotel & found the hotel intuitively on the street since I never received the directions from my travel agent. It worked out ok. I think that I showed up around 7 AM & had to wait a wee bit for the room to be ready. During that time I basically sat in the lobby & napped for a bit on the couch with occasionally using the free WiFi. Honestly, I don’t know when, I’ll have a proper sleep in, since I’m used to getting up at the crack of dawn in the bush. I did enjoy having a cup of tea as well while waiting. I had to make the best of the situation. Around 10:30AM, I was able to check into my room & I was quite impressed with it. It’s definitely an upgrade from all those Japanese business hotels that I used to stay in for like the same price.
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”
|Women & Children Section of Metro Car|
For my first day in Dubai, I decided to check out a few souqs. I took the metro over to the old part of the city in Deria for the Gold & Spice Souqs. The aromas over in the spice souk were heavenly with fresh scents of curry powder, dried lemons, anise, chilies to name a few of the Arabic spices. I felt like I was in Sex ‘n The City 2 when Carries goes to the souk in Abu Dhabi looking for shoes, I did end up getting a pair of camel leather shoes along with a few other things. I had a nice chat in one of the spice stalls with an Iranian about the US relations in the Middle East in terms of its foreign policy towards Iran. Basically, it was a friendly chat about missing the beauty of getting to know the people & it’s cultural from a political ideology viewpoint. I did quite well with my barging skills. For food, I went into a Turkish style restaurant where I scored a dhal meal for 15UAE Dirham’s, which was dirt cheap. It was nice going into a local restaurant observing how another cultural interacts.
I’ve noticed in my travels during the first day here that women have special rights. I ended up eating in the restaurant in the women & family section with a blue cloth screen closing myself from the men section. On the metro, men have given up their seats for me & I ended up having a nice chat with a lady from Switzerland about the friendly gestures that men make towards women. Also, I did ride in the women’s only section of the metro as well. Overall, it’s been a beautiful day here. The desert heat is rather sticky. It’s nice to smell the Persian Gulf & embracing a new part of Asia that I haven’t been to yet with a mini stop over in the Middle East. I think that I’ll have to rest up for a marathon style type day again…