Dubious about Dubai; travelling-lite #travel #thoughts

I’m off to Dubai. Which is near Abu Dhabi and part of the United Arab Emirates. But apart from that I couldn’t stick a finger on the map and say I’d hit the spot.

It’s the sort of place I can’t imagine in a ย month of mother in laws ever expecting, or wanting, or needing, to visit. But then the Lawyer gets posted there and he says: ‘You must come’ and I look at the Textiliste and she looks at me and I sort of know this is going to be a ‘man thing’ so I’d better suck it up.

Why the reluctance? I like buildings. I enjoy modern architecture. I know a lot of men in dresses; hell, I’ve even some Scottish friends so a few thobes aren’t going to put me off. I’m good with clean streets. I enjoy different cultures; I’ve been to Birmingham.

Yes this is a sort of adult disneyland that is a touch on the gross side. If John Waters (of the ultimate bad taste movies) did architecture I’m guessing Dubai might be in the top five.

But there you go; my prejudice is close to the surface already. I think it’s because I know I ‘shouldn’t’ like it or pander to it. It’s conspicuous and it consumes. It’s capitalism’s sniffly cold, it’s our affluenza. It has ATMs that dispense ingots (okay, it may not since I got this from Jeremy Clarkson, but hell, does it sound like it might? Sure).

So, damn me and my small-minded liberal metropolitan ya boo sucking. ย I’m going to go open-minded and share my raw experiences with you. It can’t just be sand and mammon, can it? That’s reserved for the Starbucks food counter surely?

So, this is where we are right now…

Well, I have a seven hour flight booked with ‘no frills’ Qantas, somewhere in row 86 of one of those Big Storage units they manage to get into the air these days. My seat is close to the toilets which may or may not be a good thing. It’s a full flight so I’ll be sharing my recycled bodily gases with several hundred other souls. I decided to ‘go vegan’ to see if that means the food is more palatable than the usual ‘chicken as a soft toy’ corruption I seem to attract..

‘What would you like sir? Chicken or fish?’


”We’re right out of fish.’

‘What? Between you offering it to me and me asking for it?’

‘Yes sir. So is that chicken or fish?’

I land at 23.00 their time. I doubt I’ll be met. He’s a trainee lawyer. He’s there because they de-sanguinated the last one over Christmas (what’s the difference between being bitten by a vampire and undertaking a training contract at a city law firm? At least with a vampire, you can see how they drained the blood out of you). So I’ll experience the metro (built in three years, at the cost of Gambia, it is run by driver-less trains which will give me a chance to experience what may happen to the London underground in circa 2035).

I have my currency. I’m not good with currency. See, I like to look like I know what I’m spending which isn’t easy when (a) you don’t recognise the notes – and the Americans are the worst; sorry guys but what in God’s good earth possessed you to have all the notes the same fricking colour? and (b) multiplying by 4.24 to get the number of pounds melts my brain. ‘Round up’ I hear you cry.’ Sure but then I try and do a sort of mental adjustment, like garnering reward points and I know, as I’m doing this, that the shop-assistant/wait-person/ticketsalespeep thinks I’m half-witted which was what I was trying to avoid in the first place.

I’m really looking forward to this trip.

PS. I’ll miss Dog too, as well as Herself. So much so I seem to have turned him radioactive, what with the worry…


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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60 Responses to Dubious about Dubai; travelling-lite #travel #thoughts

  1. Have a brilliant time – I just saw your camel picture on Facebook…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    You’ll have fun. My brother lived there for a couple of years. I never got a chance to go. Was gutted but my parents did a few times and they loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s an experience, one I’d love to have one day. Try to enjoy !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Smith says:

    I look forward to reading about your trip and thoughts on Dubai.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. trifflepudling says:

    Come on, Geoff, they play cricket there! Can’t be all bad ๐Ÿ™‚

    I bet it’ll be fascinating – lucky you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      There’s a patch of gravelly car park opposite Sam’s appartment where the expat Pakistani and Bangladeshi play like The pics one sees from India. And would you believe it but he doesn’t know where the ground is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • trifflepudling says:

        Do take a photo of them! Dubai reminds me of Singapore to look at in those evening skyline photos, although culturally very different of course. My second cousin has a son who works in Dubai, and sheโ€™s off there often. Lure of seeing grandchildren etc plays a part though. Hope secondment going well and your prejudices will be disproved somewhat! Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Yes I am gaining a begrudging understanding if not exactly respect..


  6. lorilschafer says:

    Have a great trip, Geoff! Be safe ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not somewhere I ever want to go either. For any reason. Hope you make it out alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had a friend who lived there for 7 years and loved it – but then, she’s a bit odd……. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And I tried the vegan thing on my last long haul – I swear I was served the same stodgy, lumpy stuff no matter what meal it was – but I did get lots of nicely packaged grapes …….. Have a safe and happy trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Erika Kind says:

    Wow! Enjoy, Geoffle! My youngest sister was there and she goes again on a cruise this year. My mom invited her for her 40th birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hilarious. Have a good time, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Darlene says:

    I loved Dubai when I was there a few years ago. Have fun. Your dog looks like mine!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lucky duck. It won’t be all work; there’ll be time to see the sights and all. Did I mention you’re a lucky duck? o_O Can’t wait to hear all about your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jools says:

    I confess I hold much the same prejudices as you about Dubai- so I stand by to have them either disrupted or reinforced with reports from your trip. I await with great interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah, that’s why he’s radioactive, saw this on Instagram and did wonder why…. Have a fabulous time Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I must say I have a similar sentiment towards Dubai, but I’m sure you’ll be as good as your word and open yourself up to the new experience. Have a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rowena says:

    Beware of Dubai, my friend. We’ve spoken before about the high and never-ending costs of having children and we hadn’t even factored in a trip to Dubai.
    My aunt went to Dubai to visit her daughter living there. She not only spent all the kitchen reno money, she arrived back at Sydney airport in full Muslim attire with big sunglasses and took great delight in standing right beside my uncle without being recognized.
    I doubt you have my aunt’s weakness for Chanel bangles and other designer bling but be on your guard. The place could get to you. Watch you wallet and your soul.
    xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mick Canning says:

    I’ll be very interested to see what you think. Until then, I keep my own counsel.


  18. Have a great time, Geoff. I went there one April (about 2,500 years ago). Very pleasant weather. Not too hot. Had a great time in a water park, but that’s for another day.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. noelleg44 says:

    Don’t you just love the fact they’ve increased the size of the flying tins so they can pack in more sardines?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. An unexpected announcement, Geoff — especially considering I had it in my head that you were retired. Wishing you safe journeys and a safe stay. Mega hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. RahulYuvi says:

    I am probably very late in putting up a comment but I hope your Dubai tour went as per your plan & expectations .I too visited Dubai with family about 2 years back and Dubai still lives with us. The whole experience was so wonderful that I could not sum it up in one blog and had to therefore write 2 (Chapter 1 & 2) to include all the tips & tricks while exploring Dubai..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. guilmarkines says:

    So how did your trip go?


    • TanGental says:

      better than i expected; I went thinking it would be a bit of a drag, too much glitz and no substance and was challenged to change my perception. Quite a place, considering how quickly it has risen from the sand.


      • guilmarkines says:

        Quiet a place indeed in a short span of time. As the saying goes “expect for the worst, hope for the best”… :))

        Liked by 1 person

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