We are not able to truly comprehend the scale of our planet, let alone the universe. Having just arrived home from Dubai, that view is just reinforced. Dubai seems big enough, from just travelling around on the train. However, it’s once you get out a bit that you begin to realise just how much development is going on, and that more is planned for the future. There are apartments and other large buildings going up everywhere. Presumably, the apartments will house people who will provide services for those already there, then more apartments will house people who will provide services for the newcomers, then …. To me, it seems a bit like a potential house of cards, but the people in charge, hopefully, know what they are doing. I’ve been told that a majority of the world’s (construction) cranes are in Dubai. There are a lot, but, having lived in China, I know there are a lot in other places. There is also plenty of room (sand?) for expansion.


Certainly, no expense is spared. Almost everything is built with quality in mind, which is a selling point for the tourists. The malls are full of designer shops, and prices are not cheap anywhere, even in the souks, when compared to Asia. Anyway, the point is, just in one small corner of the planet, the scale of development, wealth and commerce is hard to take in. We have no chance dealing with the whole planet.

The very great majority of the population in Dubai are not from there – most of them seem to be from India. One of the Indian schools I visited had 3,700 students. I think I must have personally said “hello” to all of them – they were very polite. Colleagues went to a school with 10,000 students! This is incomprehensible for someone from a country with less than 25 million people. Then, of course, I return to Jakarta …



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