Minarets,Mercedes, and Mafiz...Oh My
Trip Start Apr 29, 2008
19Trip End Aug 03, 2008
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I apologize to everyone in London....after several delays I finally left 9 hrs late....and arrived just in time to catch my connection to Dubai...which landed in the middle of a sand storm.... After being stripsearched for looking like a druggie...I wandered dazed out into Dubai. The climate of Dubai is like a damp barber's towel that clings to your body like a film, warm and humid. Everywhere are signs of progress of construction and insane amounts of wealth. Calgary ain't got shit on dubai for economic growth..I flag down a nervous looking cabie who says his name is Zhabir, he looked like he was part monkey, part ferret, with a bad moustache to top it off... I take care of business and we head off in what I think is the direction of old city bazaars, or Bur Dubai.... Whether it was a miscommunication, or I just didn't pay enough attention next thing I know the crystal shards of Dubai are melting into the desert and I am on a massive highway heading for Abu Dhabi...at this point I tell him to pull over, he shoots me a half assed apologetic grin and says no pullover...we argue about Abu Dhabi and whether I know where I want to go...Me, sleep deprived and quickly becoming impatient use the big boy voice, Zhabir pulls over, I get out he chucks out my camera bag and fucks off, I look around and start to laugh....smack dab in the middle of nowhere, luckily I bought water and didn't have my luggage...so I started walking back the way I came, many mercedes limosines and sedans flit by at high speed, I get a flash of puzzled sheik wannabes staring at the foreigner humping it along the Sheik Zayed highway.About 45 minutes later and one bottle of agua left, a blue mercedes with heavy bhangra cranked speeds past, I stick out my thumb but no luck....about 200 yards ahead, the Merc stops suddenly and pulls around, the tinted window slides down like a smoky curtain and out pops a south indian knock off of super mario but with aviators on...my man Mafiz. "Canadian???" he yells..."Naam" I shout back as I head toward the car..."english??" I ask..."yes, yes I am indian"..he replies and the bhangra fades into the background....he asks the 2 million dollar question..what the hell am I doing out here...so I tell him and he looks me up and down then smiles..."where you going?" I tell him anywhere near Bur Dubai..he smiles "get in."
Now getting into a mercedes is nice enough in Canada. but after humping through the shitty scrub of dubai, the cool interior and leather seats were tamaaam...perfect. Mafiz is a taxi driver and just finished ferrying some Germans to Abu Dhabi, he says they are too serious and they didn't like his bhangra, I tell him he just got his next fare..He tells me his particulars and asks me a barrage of usuals, why am I here, where am I going, am I married..blah, blah..I get back to Dubai in time for the bazaars, which are pretty mellow on fridays,
While Mafiz naps in his car, I take a water taxi back across the creek,
then he takes me to the beach....
it is mind bogglingly huge, even in the distance, 160 floors at 2087 ft...Mafiz tells me they just announced an even more ambitious tower the Al Burj..3281 ft high, a monument to Dubai's modernity....