I’ve moved to my third home in Dubai in 11 days and the first thing one must do is set out on foot, looking for the cheapest supermarket, quaint family run restaurant and cafe serving the finest coffee.
It must be the weathered, exhausted look on a travelers face when asking how long to the closest market/cafe/restaurant that a ‘local’ feels responsible to offer a moments gratification by saying “only ten minutes”.
I walk for perhaps an hour along a 2ft wide unfinished pavement, dodging speeding traffic, salivating at the promise of a cheap Arabic restaurant or cafe to rest my weary legs, chill and reflect on my day. Finally at the end of the yellow-brick (read sandy) road I chuckle at yet another polished high rise, lego land village and squinting towards the end of the courtyard I spy.. a Spinnies supermarket, Italian cuisine and wait for it… a starbucks!
I give up and purchase bread, crunchy peanut butter, baked beans and a half dozen eggs. I negotiate my own way home, between construction and skyscrapers trying to keep all 58 floors of my new home in view. My internal compass is usually on the money but with the rapidly disappearing Dirhams from my money clip the needle strength rivals that of my left knee trying to lock during Standing Head to Knee Pose and I wonder if I’ll get back before midnight.
Alas, in the last 50 meters I find a short cut through the construction site and as I leap over a 4ft wide x 6ft deep trench clutching my shopping bag, visions of laying at the bottom in a perfect egg encrusted Savasana flash before my wide eyes.
Matt’s Hot Travel Tip #1:
When you’re sharing an apartment with air crew, never try to gulp a quick mouthful of orange juice from the fridge.. they can be away for a very long time!