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Curry in a Hurry The plan for this trip is like this... 3 or 4 days in Dubai, then another week in Oman, then I fly into Bangalore, India. The main goal of this trip is in Mysore, India, where I'm going to spend a month doing yoga and learning Sanskrit :-) Then when I'm bendy enough, I'm going to the West Coast of India, through Kerala, Hampi, up to Goa for a while, and then to Bombay for a few days of shopping. I leave Bombay and fly back to Canada via London, where I'm stopping off for a few days to see some friends. I'm going to try and update this site as much as I can, but if I have to use dial-up I'll go crazy! I'll try to make friends with people who have broadband :-)

Dubai & Oman

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Friday, 5 January 2007 | Views [962]

Dubai is like Las Vegas, if you replace all the casinos with shopping malls, and subtract the alcohol.  If it were a person, it would be Madonna - very hardworking, very pretty, and demanding attention 24/7!!

It's an amzing city with construction happening at a pace that is really hard to believe.  Ambitious doesn't even start to describe it...

I've done and seen a lot so far (pictures to come next week I hope!)

I've seen some amazing hotels, including the impressive "7 star" Burj Al-Arab (looks like a big sail), some of the souqs (markets), I've crossed the Dubai Creek on an abra (boat) which cost about 20 cents.

I've been really lucky to have connected with Jenn, a teacher at the American School in Dubai.  She has put me up for several nights and shown me around.  I spent New Year's Eve with her and her friends in the presidential suite of the Dusit Hotel - and we partied until 2 AM when they told us to shut down the party :-(

I wandered around and saw the Bastakiya, a museum-like display of traditional Arabic houses.  After my own private guided tour, Mohammed (my guide) said to me that I had to stay for lunch, so I did, eating with my right hand with some other tourists who had just been invited in off the street.  It was really nice talking to him - it's hard to meet Emiratis (the citizens of the United Arab Emirates) as they account for only 20% of the population here.  The remainder are foreigners - many Indians, Pakistanis, Brits, Germans etc. etc.

I rented a car and drove to Oman for 3 days which was a blast!!  These two countries are filled with roundabouts, which I feel I mastered during my last trip to London (thank you Jo and Malcolm!)  Drivers are incredibly erratic here and drive very fast, so I think I fit right in.

Oman is very different - the people are much friendlier, there are fewer foreigners, and there are fewer shopping malls.  I spent some time at the Omani dive center, which is run by a German couple.  I went snorkelling and saw a turtle (huge!), but the next day my dive trip was cancelled due to rough seas.

The roads both in Oman and the UAE are excellent - much better than in Canada.  And I can honestly say that both countries are safer than my neighborhood - but for those who know where I live that's not hard :-)  People are very respectful, I haven't been hassled at all travelling as a single woman, although it seems to confuse people a bit...

I'm going on a "traditional" desert safari tonight, complete with dune bashing, dinner in the desert, belly dancing, and camel riding.  The next few days hopefully include seeing Cirque du Soleil, Global Village, Wild Wadi, and some souvenir shopping.  Jenn has a hookah pipe and I tried that for the first time ever - special flavored tabacco filtered through water. 

I leave on Monday for India and I can't wait.  Dubai/Oman have been really fun, but I can't wait to get to Mysore for yoga!

Take care, write me at libby7419@yahoo.ca :-)

Tags: On the Road

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