Day 253: Goodbye, Dubai

Believe it or not, I’m tired! All of us are pretty exhausted. Jeff’s actually already asleep on the couch! We are not ones to come home relaxed and refreshed after a vacation because we try to fit in and see as much as we can wherever we go. My motto is “we’ll sleep when we’re dead.”

Last night the kids were in bed after midnight and Jeff and I around 1:30 am. I always like to sit and chill in the quiet and write my blog before going to sleep. We were up at 5:15 am to catch an 8:30 am flight to Holland. I think the lack of sleep might be killing me – or at least my head! Maybe that’s why I keep getting headaches.

Asleep in the taxi on the way back home

Asleep in the taxi on the way back home

Before I pass out, here are a few quick observations about Dubai:

Weather
* It’s so nice and warm, even at night. It was very comfortable at the beginning of April, but I hear it can get unbearably hot very soon.
* The air feels humid and warm, like Hawaii. And the feel of the town feels like a mix of Miami, Vegas and the Middle East.

Shopping
* You can use a credit card anywhere you go, unlike in Holland. I miss being able to use my credit card.

* You can find anything you could possibly want. There are large malls everywhere around town.
* Stores are open until 12 or 1 am and people are out shopping.
* Stores are open on Sundays until late too! Love it.
* Customer service is available in the malls. People actually help you, and acknowledge you. In Holland, it’s hard to get help or the attention of those working. I don’t understand that.

 

Food
* Any type of food you like is available in Dubai. We ate Ben’s Cookies from London, Baja Fresh, Baskin Robbins, Starbucks, and drooled when we saw PF Changs.
* We ate Lebanese food for Easter outside on the patio with mostly locals on The Walk — that’s a first!
* Coke cans have the old fashioned tops with the pull tabs – so retro and cool!
* NO alcohol is sold in stores or restaurants. You have to go to a hotel to buy liquor.

Retro Coke can pull tab top

Retro Coke can pull tab top

Entertainment/Culture
* Since the culture/religion doesn’t believe in alcohol, you will see people out later in the malls and restaurants, smoking hookah pipes and watching soccer games on big screen tvs, cruising The Walk in really fancy cars with plastic covered leather head rests which was so strange to me.

Hookahs at the sports "bar"

Hookahs at the sports “bar”

* There are very few people walking dogs, and we might have seen one or two cats – unlike in Istanbul where they are everywhere! Signs are posted by the Marina especially that you will be fined 200 DHRMS if you don’t pick up after your pet’s doodoo.
* Outside of the Walk area, we heard the Call to Prayer from the mosque towers.
* Prayer rooms are available at the airport.
* Expensive cars are driven by the locals up and down The Walk. One dad had his 3 year old boy sitting on his lap driving with him in his ferrari.
* The women dress differently. Some are covered head to toe. Some have their faces completely covered, and some show only their eyes. Most have their heads completely covered. Some of the burkas have sequins or designs on them, but most are all black for women. The men walk in white thobes with a white headcover and typically white open toed sandels. What you’ll especially notice is that for the women covered completely, most carry an expensive designer handbag that rests on their forearm and designer shoes, which is all you can see of them and differentiates one woman from another. You’ll also notice that they wear beautiful eye makeup to highlight that part of their body that you might see.
* Most don’t wear wedding rings.
* Women can drive.
* No beggars or homeless people were noticed.

Transportation
* We took taxis most everywhere and most prices ranged from 30 DHRM to 80 DHRM which is about $7.50 – $20.
* Seat belts were not required.
* The metro system is especially clean and modern, yet moves more slowly than the metro system in Holland. It is also not completely connected to all or most areas of town.
* We tried to ride the bus, but we had to have a special card to ride and they didn’t sell them at the bus stop nor on the bus.

metro map Dubai

Souqs
* We visited the Souqs late at night last night to see what they were like. We got a feel of how the working class lives and walked through the narrow connecting streets along the way. We bought a couple souvenirs, but no gold or textiles, for which they are known.

* We probably didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked because we got there late and were very tired and hungry when we arrived after 9 pm.

* The boats on the creek would have been fun to ride if we hadn’t been so hungry or tired.

gold bracelets in the souq

gold bracelets in the souq

gold prices in Dubai

gold prices in Dubai

And that’s all for now, folks!  We’re back in Holland again where the temperature was a mere 3 degrees Celcius.  Home COLD home.

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