Thursday, April 20, 2006

Home again

And away we went. Two out became three, and we took a wrong turn somewhere, so we were on the road for three hours, but we also talked for three hours, so apart from being 30 minutes late and hoarse, that was just fine. No pics of the desert because we weren't stopping, but it showed the impact of three days of rain in February: every little scrap of scrub was green, and a few whiskers of new grass had poked up. Camels everywhere, but also bulldozers and trucks dotted across the dunes, and many many signs of new development. I rather assumed it was just Dubai and Sharjah, but it seems that they are building everywhere, beginning with infrastructure. If you've seen Syriana, think of George Clooney at a brand new crossroads in the middle of the desert, and add roundabouts, flyovers and curly intersections, all smart in yellow and white paint, and sand dunes in all directions, and that was our experience today. A few more signs would have been nice though!
I think that the mountains are volcanic - hard grey shale, no soil, no plant life - except for the odd tree that had rooted against all odds on a summit. This photo looks inland from the Oceanic Hotel in Khor Fakkan, over lushly maintained gardens. The greenery is a ribbon, and beyond it, desert, mountain and more desert.
I was impressed with the hotel bikeshed. Irrigation or rain?!

I had a beginner's anxieties about my part in the conference, but it was straightforward, as such things usually are, and a very satisfying experience. Lunch was good too!

Five back became two back, and another stimulating conversation as we bowled home by a different route, this time through the mountains, rather than round the southern tip. Coming back to Jebel Ali along Emirates Road, there were hundreds, and hundreds and hundreds of trucks and water tankers toiling along in single file on the roads leading on and off the massive Dubailand roundabout, like cartoon ants marching off with the picnic. It's hard to contemplate so much construction. You've seen computer simulations of construction projects, and that terrific hp logistics ad with people somersaulting into seats on platforms that flew in a nanosecond before: a timelapse photographic project of this place would match it. Back to town, but only after a very good day.


nzm said...

Nice to get out isn't it?

Once and a while we need to be reminded that there's more to this country than construction and traffic.

I love the east coast.

MamaDuck said...

Hi sweetie. Thanks for coming back! I read your replies to last week's super-rant but was still exhausted from writing it. Also, term-time brain does not function at same rpm as vacation brain, so probably totally trivial for a while to come. Relief all round, I think!

nzm said...


I had an English teacher in my last year of school who always marked my essays with the words, "too verbose".

Funny what sticks with you after all those years, but I still haven't learned how to be concise!

I'll be a regular visitor because I like your reasoning and ability to think through your topics. I like blogs that make me think!

It seems that we're all really busy right now - to use Habibi's acronym - TBTB! :-)

Our blog is suffering too. It's doubly hard when J is also my boss - so she thinks that if I have time to waste on our blog, that I should better spend it on my work!

The concept of separating my personal time and work time is foreign to the workaholic J!

MamaDuck said...

Personal time? Tell me about it.God bless the entrepreneur. I came on line when Habibi finally went out for a pint weekend at 2 p.m. after working from 7 a.m. One day I shall make him semi-retire in a haze of convivial red wine, home-grown roast chicken, salads dressed in balsamic vinegar & local olive oil, and home-made bread (Semi-retirement: he'll still have to cook!). He'll get used to it.

PS Verbose? Surely not.

nzm said...

I think that the Spanish lifestyle that you are planning for sounds like heaven.

We too are thinking of Spain somewhere in the future. The Canary Islands perhaps. But haven't done too much background into it because it's a few years off. And I haven't even been there yet! lol.