Hmmm…

You know you’ve lived in Dubai for too long when you somehow end up on a spam email list for private jet charter deals:

Useful, right?

But hey, if douchey transport deals are your thing, I also have a yacht coupon that might float your boat…

(HA, GET IT?)

I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying

Out for an innocent lunch and some errands this weekend, Alex and I happened upon this life-changing work of art:

If you think I’m exaggerating when I tell you I almost teared up at its beauty and begged Alex to let me leave a complimentary note for its owner, you clearly do not know my predilections.

I’m warning you guys now: the era during which I maintain the willpower NOT to paint my Hyundai hot pink is drawing to a close.

A new day is dawning…

(Enthusiasts may wish to check out the rest of my meticulously curated collection of pink cars in Dubai, including the pink Carrera, the pink Avalanche, and the pink Hummer.)

The Slow Dance of Douchery

Scene - driving to lunch in Dubai yesterday afternoon.

Me: Blah blah blah, something inane, blah blah.

Alex: [Falls silent and stares off into the distance mid-conversation.]

Me: Why so distracty, babe - what’s on your mind?

Alex: Oh, nothing… just watching this tailgating Maserati engage in its slow dance of douchery with that Ford Focus up ahead.

End scene - cue applause.

***

[For definitional clarity on the concept of douchery and how it relates to life in Dubai, kindly see this post.]

A Haiku about Winter Running Clothes in Dubai

Tonight’s running wear:

Short shorts and a teeny tank.

ALMOST shivered.

***

Pay no attention to the zen masters of traditional Japanese poetry rolling in their graves thanks to my use of CAPS LOCK in a haiku, and instead distract yourself with my moonrise view from the track at Safa Park…

(Yes, this will continue to be a weather-gloating blog until sometime around April.)

A Haiku about Winter Wardrobe Selection in Dubai

Mid-December morn

Skimpy satin dress - too cold?

Nah, it’s 80 F

(And yes, you have to pronounce “farenheit” as “eff” to get the syllables to add up right… deal with it.)

Fridays Are For Running

30.5 kilometers / 19 miles: Trade Centre to Burj Khalifa, quick loop around Old Town, back through Za’abeel to Trade Centre, down Dhiyafah to Al Wasl Road, and then cruuuuuuuise the length of Wasl to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, where Alex will be waiting with Gatorade and sympathy and, most importantly, the car.

Podcasts are downloaded, water bottle is full, and it’s a beautiful day in the desert - 77 F with “abundant sunshine.”

Happy Friday!

No, But Seriously This Time

Aaaaaaand… registered!

After skipping the Dubai Marathon last year and failing to get my act together to run Beirut this fall, I am doing this race come hell, high water, or 6-hour finish, mark my word. 

And now that I’ve put my $120 registration fee where my mouth is… well, consider my word marked.

As of last week I’m up to 17 miles for my long run and 5 x Yasso 800s for my speed work, so while I’m not, like, “in shape in shape,” I have a decent base to build on over the next seven weeks… it’s certainly a better scenario than my first Dubai Marathon four years ago, also known as “that time I was an incorrigible 26 year-old and though I could run a sub-4 marathon on zero training.” (Moral of the story: ouch.)

Anyone else out there on the interwebs hoofing it through the desert on 27 January?

Spirit of the Union

It’s been quiet around these parts as I’ve wrapped up the Month of Gubbi and prepared to start my new job, but I couldn’t let UAE National Day - my favorite local holiday in Dubai - come and go without a mention.

National Day is always a hoot, but given that this December 2nd was the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, the powers that be pulled out allllllllll the stops - including the creation of a fancy-schmancy National Day logo depicting the founding sheikhs of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE, as well as an official National Day motto, “SPIRIT OF THE UNION.”

This logo has been errrrrrywhere over the past few weeks, but fittingly I took a picture of it displayed at a local gas station. Proud of oil to be Emirati, indeed!

(And yes, only in the UAE would there be debate over how you spell the name of your own nationality in English. You say Emarati, I say Emirati…)

When I tell you the logo has been everywhere, please understand that I’m not exaggerating.

Coffee shop specials? Check.

Work telephones? Check.

Car windows? Check.

Although to really do it up properly Emirati-style, it helps if you’re slapping the logo all over a $500,000 car.

I know it’s a blurry picture so you’ll have to take me at my word - but that, my dear friends, is a Bentley with National Day propaganda foiled all up over it. Because honestly, if you have a half a million bucks to spend on a set of wheels, why not cover your ride in celebration of the country that gave you your riches?!

Frankly though, I like it when people get away from the party line and show patriotism in their own ways, like this festive display:

Creative use of apostrophes is also a fitting tribute to the union, ‘cause God knows they love misusing ‘em in these parts.

For the twelve-thousandth time, people! It’s = “it is” and its = possessive! I’d be happy to do the proofreading for all official English-language communications in Dubai if only someone would give me the call… HELP ME HELP YOU.

But my favorite display of patriotism this year goes to the Fairmont Dubai, which spent the past couple weeks painting a gigantic mural of the seven current sheikhs - not to be confused with the seven founding sheikhs in the logo above - that is visible from my bedroom window:

Because what’s better - or weirder?! - than having larger-than-life painted sheikh-heads peering into your room as you sleep?

I’m sure it’s exactly what Baba Zayed would have wanted… ish? At any rate, happy birthday to my adopted home!

Only in Dubai

So you know how sometimes you’re sitting at your desk working on the computer and all of a sudden you hear this earsplitting “WHOOSH!" and you look outside and this is what you see, flying right past your window:

And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it’s actually happening, an Emirates flight has been hijacked, and they’ve scrambled fighter jets to intercept it, but is the UAE air force really on top of those things? - maybe it’s the US air force and they took off from our new “secret base on the Arabian Peninsula,” I’d kind of feel better about that, and I wonder if it’s Al Qaeda or maybe this is the start of shit going down with Iran, and oh my gosh, I wonder what it’s trying to hit?”

And you’re torn between wanting to pack a “go bag” to flee the country (“let’s see: passports, Blackberry, cash — oh crap, we don’t have any cash in the house! — jewelry, maybe some bottled water?”) and feeling you should be a “citizen reporter” and continue to take pictures…

And you see the plane flying between Emirates Towers and tracking towards the Burj Khalifa and you’re like, “OMG, OMG, OMG, shit’s about to get real, they’re bringing down the world’s tallest building…”

… and then the “fighter jets” (okay, yes, I realize anyone with aeronautical knowledge would have known these were not fighter jets, but we’re talking about me here) release festive smoke in the colors of the UAE flag and you’re like, “Ohhhhhhhhh right, this must just be the finale of the Dubai Airshow!” 

No? This doesn’t happen in the city where you live? How unexciting.

(And yes, I am occaaaaaaasionally prone to overreaction, why do you ask?)

In Between

Driving back towards Dubai after our weekend away, I couldn’t help but chuckle about living in a city where you see this:

"Yeehaw momma, the truck bed’s fulla camels!" 

… on the same highway where 30 seconds later, you round a bend and see this:

An uber-modern skyline featuring the world’s tallest building.

We live between worlds here, in more ways than one.