My plan was simple. Up at 5:45, shower, shave, protein shake to tie me over and taxi to my new hotel in Dubai. Plenty of time upon arrival to drop off my suitcase, have a nice coffee and maybe some food, then walk to my 8:15 meeting. Good plan eh? I thought so too but it transpires that nothing over here is simple. The first issue was the that the taxi driver had absolutely no idea where the hotel was, despite me having a print out of the location map, hotel logo, and full address. He couldn’t understand me.
Lewis’ Travel Tip: Don’t waste your time learning Arabic before you come here, given that around less than 15% of the population are Emirati. You would be far better off learning some Urdu or Hindi, as that’s what nearly all of the taxi drivers speak.
Once he’d flagged a passer by down who spoke Urdu, we were on our way. 2 hours and less than 15km later, I’m still in the cab and running late for the meeting. Nice one.
I finally get to the hotel, drop my bag off and power walk to the meeting, trying my best not to become a sweaty wreck. I managed to do it, but I get there only to find the front door locked. I had no way of getting in touch with them, so I stood in the blistering heat, cooked, and watched planes take off. Finally I negotiate my way to the back door, and manage to get the meeting done and dusted, leaving a textbook sweat patch on their leather seating.
11am I get back to the hotel and find out my afternoon meeting has cancelled. While I ponder what to do with my day, I decide to rest my eyes for a minute. Almost 4 hours later, I wake up and am hangry, again.
I duck into the first place I find – a Chinese placed called Soy and Pepper (nice touch). I order the spicy chicken noodles. Tasty, but severely let down by the chicken to noodle ratio. The 4 bits of chicken didn’t really cut it.
After that, I felt gross and wanted to walk it off. I knew if I was quick enough, I could make it down to the Creek to watch the sunset.
Once that had sunk in, I just carried on walking, not knowing where I was going. I was officially lost, but didn’t really care as I needed to walk off that Chinese.
Got back to the hotel at 6:30pm and headed to the gym for a long overdue back, shoulder and bicep workout. With a post workout treat of, erm, an apple.
9pm and I’m down in the restaurant for dinner. I ordered the mixed grill, which was tasty, but a hell of a lot smaller than I’d hoped. A mixed grill should be like a Man vs Food episode.
Not quite as eventful as yesterday, but still entertaining (for everyone else) to write about.
I go to bed secure in the knowledge that I’d gained two things today that I didn’t have when I woke up this morning:
1. Meat stuck in my teeth.
2. Kofte breath.