Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I just tried to take a look at my Flickr page and found the following message in its place: "We apologize the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates." I don't know if this is the case for the whole country, or just from where I am (the press center at the Arabian Travel Market). I recall there being tons of photos from Dubai on Flickr. UPDATE: Apparently it's blocked outside Dubai Media City, which is where my office is.
I have two things to note.

The other night I went to a bar and watched a band play. It was a bar band playing cover songs that everybody knew. I realized I've spent so much time in Eastern Europe that I've gotten used to the idea of things being good only because they're so bad, if you catch my drift. I am told this is never the case here in Dubai, where the good things are good because they're so ridiculously superlative. This bar band, fronted by a little Filipino woman and two white guys in homeboy duds, was hands down the most amazing bar band I have ever seen in my entire life. They were so tight they must have practiced ten hours a day, everything down to the synchronized boy-band dance moves. (No kidding. One of the guys even did handstand push-ups!)

Everybody warned me about the traffic, but mere words are not enough to prepare you for this. I have never experienced anything quite like it. Last night I had to get from the New Gold Souk, where I live, to the Hyatt Park hotel on the other side of Dubai Creek. It's a journey of perhaps, I'm guessing, 7 kilometers, through downtown Dubai. It would have taken about an hour to walk, but I unfortunately I didn't bring a map. The cab ride took close to 90 minutes.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

At in my new office now in Dubai. My desk has a view of the Persian Gulf.

I wasn't sure how many spaces to reserve for my going away party Friday at Abu el-Sid restaurant in Cairo. I figured my friends would come but I don't have any idea how much friends I made in my seven months in Cairo. So I said 12, and just invited pretty much everyone I knew. Eventually 12 people showed up but they weren't all there at one time.

Emirates is a truly excellent airline, with over 500 channels of TV shows and movies on demand. So excellent, in fact, that it makes you wonder why they have to take so of your movie-viewing time with passenger announcements (which stop the movie mid-action) explaing how stupendously excellent the airline is. So numerous are these promotional messages they I could barely finish "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" during the flight from Cairo, and did so only by when the plane had taxied to the gate.

I can offer no further reflections at the moment.