Palm Jumeirah

Wake up around 430am. Feel pretty well rested and can’t get back to sleep. I try not to wake Peter up as I get off the bed we’re sharing in his sister’s guest bedroom. Fail. “Can’t sleep?”, “Nah. I’ll just catch up on the blog or something.”

I go out to the living room and look out the balcony window. It’s all dirt lots, pavement and high-rises. Dust in the air is making for terrible visibility. I guess there’s been a lot of dust storms recently. Dubai seems like an odd place. Tons of money but the beauty here feels artificial. I haven’t seen much so far or met the people yet I suppose. I’m sure there’s more here than giant sand storms, heat/humidity and huge buildings.

I get acquainted with their place and make a little blog station out of the dining room table and do some catching up while people start to wake and get ready for the day.

I find some interesting meat to tie me over until people get up

Aslan the cat comes out to hang too.

Everyone starts to stir so I grab a beer. Peter and I had put in some laundry last night. I’ve only packed a week’s worth of stuff and we’re about a week in now. We fill a hanging rack and put it out on the balcony. With this heat it should be dry in 10 minutes.

“I’m proud of you Kelvin. This is the earliest Kelvin’s been awake for… over a year”, haha she nips at her hubby like her mom does to Dave. Michaela whips up a medley of breakfast items. There’s still a ton of stuff left from last night too. The Filipino sausages are good. Like Chinese sausages, kind of sweet. Getting the sausage skin off the little buggers is like reverse condoms. Makes for some slippery, juvenile fun.

We gather what Michaela has made and some of the meze from yesterday. “The English put everything between bread.” We all start making mini breakfast sandwiches except Kelvin who just hits the chicken wings.

Kelvin says that in Nigeria when they were young his parents told them that it was ok not to finish all of your food. There are spirits around that will eat what’s left on your plate, you can leave it if you want. Peter says it’s the opposite in his family, his Grandma made them finish everything. “Children are starving in Ethiopia!”

We put back what we can. Kelvin says “Thank you so much”, “For what? You didn’t eat any of the food I made, you just had chicken wings”, “Haha yeah”.

“What do you guys wanna do?”, “Go to the beach?”, “In this heat, in the middle of the day? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”, “Well we’ve only got today and tomorrow to work with”, “Ok, let’s go to the beach then. Even though it’s stupid.”

I put my bathing suit on. Now I’m wearing an airplane shirt and lobster shorts, horrendously bad combo but whatever. I’m packing up a day bag and suddenly Samuel L Jackson busts out of the closet to yell at me, “I’m sick of these mother fucking lobsters on the mother fucking plane?!

Kelvin jumps in the shower so Michaela takes us up to the roof to kill some time. The sliding doors open to the outside and shoooosh! My sunglasses fog up instantly. Never had that happen before. Peter’s camera lens does the same. And holy fuck is it hot! The air is heated.

There’s a nice pool out here and a large BBQ area. We look around and Michaela points out a few things. We’re right on the edge of the desert. The construction stops not far from here and then it’s just a road through the desert. In the other direction is a large fairy statue. It’s a butterfly garden. There’s a water park and then a formula 1 track just passed it further to the East. We’re just North of downtown.

We grab clean Kelvin and take the elevator down to the lobby. A well dressed black man greets each of us with a handshake and a perfect, pearly smile. His name is Joseph. “Oh my God. You’ve got the softest hands ever!” Peter’s right. They’re like the ass of an angel baby. “My mom loved this guy when they were here. My mom loves you, Joseph. She wouldn’t stop talking about you”, “She’s lovely. Tell her I miss her.” He’s a character for sure, he beams good-naturedness. Looking dapper Joseph.

We’ve booked a ‘Dune Bashing’ tour for 4 o’clock, whatever that is. So we’ve got about 4 hours to kill. We’re back in the Rav 4 and the radio is oooold school. “What do you guys wanna do?”, “Listen to Ghost Busters and drive around Dubai?”, we hit the highway and head back towards downtown.

“So we’re on the palm right now, these are all residences”, “Whaaaaaa? We’re on the palm right now? I can’t even tell.” It’s all high rises, I can’t really get a feel for the palm shape. I check Google maps, haha oh yeah, we’re on the Palm Jumeirah alright. Pretty badass, gotta screenshot that

This is some swanky shit. A man made island with 7 star hotels on it. It’s much bigger than I thought it was. We go down the trunk and out to the leaves through a tunnel. As we drive down the palm trunk there’s a monorail just above us and a massive structure ahead that looks like it’s straight out of Stargate. It’s the Atlantis hotel. “There’s a pool in here if you’d rather do that. Might be expensive.” That sounds like a decent option.

There’s construction on another neighboring Atlantis building that looks crazy. They’re building some futuristic shit here, that’s for sure.

It kind of reminds me of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan where they just cranked all their oil money into marble and gold buildings and a 7 star hotel that no one ever goes to (The British Embassy took us to an ATM in there one time. It’s the only one in the country, but that’s a story for another time). That whole situation in Ashgabat is a total facade from a ridiculous dictator though (#ashgabatshitcrazy), this actually looks like opulence that gets used.

Well that was neat, didn’t think I’d get to be out on the Palm Jumeirah while I was here. We drive back down the tree trunk and out into the streets on our way to some nearby beach. Time for a dip in the Persian Gulf!

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