Sunday, June 29, 2008

And with June came the humidity

A little narrative excerpt...

And they rose up out of the sea. Some said it was the heat, that it could trick the eyes. Some said it was simply humidity hanging thick in the air. But I knew it was more than that. The Gulf itself would send her men crawling up the shore, stepping out of the waves to wrap their arms around the palms, to kiss the woman who floated across the expansive sand on the wings of her Abaya. And the few cars parked at that hour out on the open beach would never see them pass. Headlamps, you see, only illuminating the obvious. Yes sir, the humidity came. It crawled across the sands and into the unsuspecting arms of Jumeirah. It crawled under the villa gates, over the villa walls and across the hidden gardens and courtyards within. The men of the gulf crawled out of the jolly rancher sea and poured their hearts around the half built skyscraper shells of Marina and Business Bay. They smothered the sandy beige of the desert and dusty greens of Safa Park till the grass and brittle palm fronds glistened. The flying lights down the city’s artery, Sheik Zayed Road, pushed through the clutches of the humidity, unaware. The men rose from the surf and made sweet illicit love to the neurotic empire until the construction lights grew into vast holy halos in the night, until the city of Dubai was illuminated by it’s own hungry construction, glowing as if it had already sunk into the sea.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Days of randomness

What's more random than giant bugs, shesha, graffiti, wine bars, pissed camels, the great grocery caper, evil Betty Boop, and of course, jellyfish.

Jumeirah Madinat Souk...aka cool market that actually does justice to Arab architecture.
I like. This place is a maze. It took me a good 20 minutes of circling just to find a Starbucks I'd visited quite a few times before. And no, it's not my crap sense of direction. I have a splendid sense of direction, thank you very much.


Freaky evil Betty Boop.

View of the Burj Al Arab over the Madinat Hotel rooftops. Any self respecting...anything has a hotel attached. Madinat Souk is no exception.

Outside there's a walkway lined with overpriced restaurants and bars. But the atmosphere is worth it. The crappy service is not. But it wouldn't be Dubai without "leisurely" service.



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Beach day with Milos and fam...
Totally over exposed. Yes, it was THAT bright out. but I sorta like how surreal and floaty it looks :) It was also the day of the tentacle-less jellyfish! The girls collected them off the beach, cramming them into a plastic grocery bag, because that's the most obvious thing to do with a washed up jellyfish carcass. Save it for later.

Awesomeness. They're like crazy tough blobs of J-ello, and fun to poke with your finger.






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Different beach, different day, different mood. Sunset. Shesha. Beer. Not sun-burnt, preceded by a dissapointing buffet with nasty sweet Sangria that may or may not have had an liquor in it. (A good reason to hit one of the awesome-decadent buffets later on.) Good day though, complete with a view of hump-less camels cruising for tourists on the Marina beach. Isvel and Intern-Dave thought it'd be fun to go say hi to our camel friends. Here's Dave's splendid recap. Oh, sweet eloquence. Sing to me, Dave.

video



Hauwt.


Nice kicks, eh? Everyone loves a hip cameltoe.




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Dubizzle
The new Westin is open. And we approve. Good wine bar. Good vodka bar. Cool funky hump-beds.

Comfy red lounges. Awesome friends.

Oh happy happy wine, you make me blush.

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Notice how the giant grasshopper nearly fills half the brick. We had a nice chat, then went our separate ways, both marginally traumatized.




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In the land of TWAB

Daryl tries to block out the world. Big headphones = heavenly solitude.

Mural art in the making. Forget big brother....Buddy Holy is watching you.




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Every self-respecting art-falcon carries his own camels.



Then one day the chickens hopped their villa wall and set out down Jumeirah Beach Road. Like good little pedestrian chickens, they used the crosswalk.

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BJ Services anybody?


This is a screen inside our elevators at work. It shows you what sort of happy surprises you'll find on each floor. The folks on the 3rd floor have yet to move in, but as you might imagine, we're all eager to see just what line of business they're in.


Never trust a pizza place that brings your silver sealed in tacky smiley face plastic.


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A lot of the trucks that carry scary fluids around...anything from sewage, to gas, to camel milk, to lord knows what...are all decked out like it's Christmas. This is a wee bit blurry, but you can still see how colorful it is. The cement trucks are usually red and white, where you'd expect peppermint candies to come flowing down the chute.

I have no idea what they use these trailers for, but the walls are made of reeds or palm or something of the sort. This one is parked a few blocks from my place, outside the compound wall of a palatial villa.



This is how folks here announce an engagement. I *think* this is the bride's house.


Camelicious...not so licious
The Sheik owns this brand, and all the lactating camels. I hear he has a thing for camel milk. I was curious. I tried it. I will not be trying it again. It comes in three equally disgusting flavors: Regular, Saffron, and Strawberry.



Parmesan? Tacky camel picture frame? Jesus?

Yoghurt. Guaranteed homemade. Guaranteed sterility.

The Sultan grew these mushrooms just for me. Direct from the Sultanate of Oman. Crazy weird.



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Beach art

One of the big real estate developers here held a marble carving competition among some international artists. From what the security guy told me, they were trying to reflect something of the Arab culture, or desert gulf setting. Here are some of the results. There's a whole new lineup of these bits of misguided rock outside our office building. That are even uglier than these.


Your guess is good as mine.


Graffiti
There's not very much tagging or graffiti around Jumeriah. Maybe it has something to do with living within meters of the Chief of Police, who I understand is also part of the royal family. Any big government title stays in the fam.





Speaking of the Royal family, you can spot them by their license plates. The lower the number the more important they are. I imagine this particular number went to someone super special.



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Meet my new mascot, The Ferocious Chiwawa. Rarr. If it's a crap day at work, she growls on my behalf.