Okay… Dubai… Here are a few of the highlights and mishaps. First up. Turns out I had 3 days here not 2 which was a little alarming when I turned up at the place I’d booked for the night, only to find I’d arrived a day early! I blame the time distortion of a long haul flight… But sleep deprivation prevailed and rather than worry about being homeless in a foreign land I thought “bugger this I’m off to the Fish Souk” (My host Saini generously let me stash my kit in his apartment so I could wonder unencumbered).
Needless to say that sunday market on Wellington’s waterfront has nothing on a Middle Eastern Souk in full swing! The Fish Souk is actual 3/5 fish and 2/5 fruit’n’vege with everyone wearing blue or green uniforms respectively. Soooo much seafood, sooo much noise, sooo much mayhem! I decided the best approach was to get amongst it all and annoy every one by only wanting bucket loads of photos rather than fish. Actually a lot of people called me over for photo ops – does my reputation precede me? Haha more like I was the ONLY white man in sight. A routine was quickly established “No I’m from New Zealand”, “Yes a great cricket team” (apparently??) “Yes photo, no fish, No fish”.
As a side note – pretty much everybody here is Indian or Pakistani, some Africans and a few Arabs (You can tell cos only they wear robes). Where I was (the old Dubai) was far enough out of the tourist trap that I was literally the only white man, and I got a few odd looks I can tell you. Oh and every shop sells phones (record was 6 shops in a row!)
Right so back to my host and working out where Im staying that night.. To cut a lengthening story shorter, The building manager of ‘my’ apartment (after offering me his office to crash in..?) took us all (4 by this time) around the corner to a dodgy looking hotel where I basically paid too much for a 2 bed room with a smashed window, an on-suite and a couple of cockroaches (actually rent is really high here so i think i got lucky).