Penguins Wouldn’t Like It Here

Day 5:

My final full day here, and a rare day off from meeting with any customers. Sitting on the beach all day wasn’t an option, because that wouldn’t make interesting reading. But mainly because I didn’t have any sun cream, a beach towel or swimwear.

I woke up a whole 5 hours later than yesterday, and made it down to breakfast with minutes to spare. A strange breakfast set up here. The hot buffet consisted of bacon, baked beans, curry and stir fry veg. The eggs were at their very own egg-station, and were cooked to order. I plated up a mish mash of cold items, and ordered poached eggs.

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Minutes after finishing that, my poached eggs arrived, sat on top of some bread. Not toasted, not buttered, just bread. Whilst I didn’t understand that arrangement, they did managed to absolutely nail the eggs.

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After breakfast, I fired out a few emails for a while, then headed to the gym for a chest and triceps workout. Again, I had my YOLO moment, and helped myself to an apple.

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Early afternoon and I decided to head out. This is where things got more interesting.

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I’d hoped that being the middle of the afternoon on a work day that the Metro would be quiet. It wasn’t to be. Although it wasn’t as crowded as rush hour, it was still an uncomfortable ride with the chap in front of me having some award winning smelly armpits, and the friendly man behind me who seemed determined to make body to body contact with me. To be fair to him, he did a great job.

Off the metro and into a cab. The driver was chatty, in fact he didn’t shut up for the whole journey. Kind of weird though as he wasn’t talking to me, just himself. I don’t know if he was questioning his life choices, singing, or wishing a curse upon me. Either way, I didn’t like it one bit.

I got dropped off at the Organic Foods Cafe by Jumeirah Beach, as I was hunting down a Nom Bar after being told I could find them there. I left disappointed and Nom-less, but it was still a cool shop. I quickly devoured my emergency Quest Bar.

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After a quick stroll along the beach, I started to get desperate for food. While on my walk away from the beach, I was near a building site when I saw 3 guys trying to push a large minibus to jump start it. Being the friendly, muscular and modest guy that I am, I offered to help. Managed to get it started pretty quickly – I’m not sure if they were really trying the first time. Elated at our success, I got caught up in the moment, got my phone out and went to take a picture, only for my hand to be batted down. Confused, hurt, but still muscular and modest, I picked up my man-bag and left (turns out that there’s a lot of illegal immigrants that work on building sites, and they don’t like being photographed).

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I stumbled across the Mercato Mall by chance, and found a great little spot for lunch called Taste Kitchen. Here I ordered a chickpea soup with chicken, chilli and chorizo, along with a citrus, pineapple and coconut smoothie. Probably the best meal I’ve had here.

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After lunch I walked 4km to the Dubai Mall to kill some time. On my way, and in the mall, I noticed something about Dubai. The place feels loveless. Couples seem unsure of the rules, so it’s very rare you see people holding hands. Not a place for the romantic. Monty the Penguin wouldn’t like it. Plus it’s 50 degrees in the summer, so if he did move here, I’d be very surprised.

I headed back to the hotel for a Skype with Vikki and a spruce up before dinner. I walked down the street from my hotel, and managed to find a Lebanese restaurant in the middle of the Filipino district.

Dinner was another mixed grill, with some baba ghanoush, and A LOT of bread. I normally avoid gluten, but, when in Rome (or in a Lebanese restaurant in the Filipino district in Dubai). No doubt I’ll be like a puffa fish in the morning.

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Feeling like a pig, I had a peppermint tea, as it tricks my brain into thinking it’ll make everything okay. I enjoyed the tea while watching a football match between Yemen and Bahrain, on a plasma screen in a picture frame. What else?

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I paid my bill then headed for home, but not before enjoying the restaurants pride in the fact that the rapper Nelly (or Mr. Nelly) once visited.

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After an enjoyable meal, my night was slightly marred on the walk home as I was briefly harassed by 4 Filipino women (I think) asking me if I wanted a massage – it was outside a massage parlour, so it wasn’tย that weird. I swiftly walked on, thankful that not all stories have a happy ending.

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