To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Sunday, February 21, 2010
Went on a spontaneously planned trip to the Dubai Shopping Festival with family. Had high expectations shopping wise seeing as every celebrity touts Dubai as a favourite shopping destination but have to admit I was pretty disappointed. Apart from a lovely piece of jewellery from the famous Gold Souk there, I did not return with anything better than I left with.

Architectural marvels such as Burj Khalifa (tallest man-made structure in the world), Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, Atlantis were definitely worth a look. I didn’t feel much like an outsider in the city as most people one commonly interacted with, such as hotel staff, cabbies, salespeople were either Indians or Pakistanis (one couldn’t tell the difference easily). They all spoke Hindi but with a slight drawl, similar to how we hear Pathans speak in those 70s’ Hindi movies. One particular phrase which I took time to catch and which I found slightly amusing was “Koi Mushkil Nahin” … probably an equivalent of “No Problem”.

The weather was pleasant as we had been told to expect at this time of the year. I was a little unsure about what kind of clothes would be appropriate to wear as I read conflicting reports on the net; some said usual western clothes are okay and some said no baring of legs or shoulders (which made me wonder if sleeveless and skirts were out!). It turned out that most women wore western clothes, and really fashionable ones at that, though maybe slightly more modest than what we would find elsewhere. Most Arabic women sporting trendy clothes also wore scarves neatly covering their hair. Any woman would find it difficult to not be envious of their lovely complexions and expressive eyes.

The most memorable parts of my visit have to be the Dhow Cruise and the Desert Safari. A Dhow is a wooden boat in Arabic. Cruising along the Dubai creek, enjoying the cool sea breeze, sumptuous food, lilting melodies, vibrant coastline must be stuff that dreams are made of! And like a dream it was. The Desert Safari was a first-of-its-kind experience for me. A number of jeeps, of which one was ours, hurtled into the desert at breakneck speed. It felt nothing short of a roller coaster when our jeep went uphill and downhill over the sand—thrilling to say the least! We were told that the vehicles couldn’t risk going slow as they may get stuck in the sand, and stuck we still were a couple of times as our jeep driver tried to slow down at times in deference to an elderly couple who were also in our jeep, and who kept howling at the top of their lungs! The desert ride brought us finally into this oasis of a fest, in the middle of the desert, with a lot of tents, fancy vendors, food stalls, Henna designers and more. The highpoint of the night, after dinner in this wonderfully pulsating atmosphere, was a belly dance. I have never seen a more fascinating dance before or maybe it was the whole ambience that added to it… my eyes were glued for those 20 mins!

Have put up a few pics from the visit…

In other news, I have finally got around to making a page on Facebook. I have resisted getting into this for a while…but as they say, if you can’t beat them, join them! :)