Dubai, Take 2


It’s always easier the second time. When the taxi driver didn’t seem to know where my hotel was, I was able to ascertain that he was, at least, heading in the right direction, so I could guide him in. It was also great to see a few familiar faces, particularly a few blokes I’d been out with last time. And, finally, in at “the office”, it was great to know people and procedures, and not have to ask seemingly-stupid questions.

Work has been flat out. Visiting a school is pretty full on. Just when you think you might draw breath, something else needs to be looked at. This round, we seem to be all visiting Indian schools. At a rough count, the schools covered last week must have accounted for about 10,000 Indian students, and we have three weeks to go! You certainly cannot fault the desire of the students to learn – last week’s students were amazing – so polite and wanting to know things.

I think I understand why so many celebrities go off the rails. Living in a hotel room for an extended period of time is nowhere near as glamorous as some might think. However, when you pretty much just work and sleep there, I suppose it is okay.Getting to the gym is difficult, probably more because of motivation than time.

The Rose Rayhaan has cooking facilities, and it is actually easier to throw something in the microwave or the frying pan than head out. Just about every skyscraper has a 24-hour Indian supermarket in the bottom of it, somewhere. Om Friday I went to “the Co-op”, cross the road (via the train station – the only way across) and on. I got there just in time for the closing for prayers. It was open when I returned, yesterday, and will be where I’ll buy most food. It has a way better range than the small places – you can only eat so many chicken tikka wraps.

This weekend was fairly busy. A few of us went to a sports bar on Thursday night (the end of the working week here) and took it fairly quietly. Friday night was spent at the “Irish Village” watching Scottish brother “The Proclaimers”. I only know their first album, but they were very good. There was a big enough crowd to pack out the place, and make it difficult to get to the bar for one’s round of beers. We then stopped at another Irish night spot closer to the hotel for one last one. It was packed, and smokey.

So, it’s one down and three to go. Tiring, but interesting so far.


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