Dubai – Part 2
So the biggest difference for me since the last blog has got to be moving into the hotel. Which might not sound like such a big deal, seeing as we were right across the road, but it’s made life so much easier with the convenience factor. Everything is now an elevator away and you save time on fiddly travelling and security checks, etc. The room I’m in is one of the bodyguard rooms and it’s pretty cool. Just like a regular hotel room. It’s tucked out of the way. It’s definitely better than the room I was in. Bigger, nicer and we get all the hotel freeby things that the normal guests get. After 30 seconds in that room I’d eaten all the biscuits and was jumping up and down on the bed, wearing the shower cap screaming, ‘what can I do no! What can I do now!’ … Not really, that was just some Dylan Moran for you folks playing at home. Here are some pictures of the room before I moved my stuff in and it looks pretty much the same now:
I’d answer some questions, mostly from my family. Make no mistake, this is a holiday. I’m treating it as such. Just a cushy (coushy? cooshy?), cruisy, well-paid holiday.
There are some whack man-made islands here. The Burj Al Arab is on one of them. There is also a series of islands in the shape of a world map, plus a couple of ‘Palm’ island:
The ‘A’ is the Burj Al Arab. You can see the world islands. You can’t really go there. It’s exclusive or something and the islands are private. The palms are just full of hotels mostly. There’s a nice one, Atlantis Hotel I think, on the Jumeira Palm. It has a huge aquarium there with a whale shark knocking about. I’ll probably check that out sometime.
Some people have asked questions about food. I mentioned the stuff I usually eat here which is fairly standard, Western stuff. Dates (the food) are supposed to be a big deal here. The dates they have are especially imported from Morocco and they are GOOD dates. Apparently, in times gone by, the Arabs survived for generations in the desert on dates and camel’s milk. That’s why they’re a big deal. Camels are respected or something. Camel’s milk is supposed to be good for you but it tastes a bit sour. Basically all the food is imported. At this hotel it’s usually from somewhere special, grown and imported exclusively for Burj Al Arab.
Originally I thought the coffee here was good. But either they’re getting sloppy or I’m getting fussier (probably both). Granted, I mostly drink it in the place I get to eat it. At Sahn Eddar (the place I play at) I get it sometimes and it’s good there. I think it’s just the black coffee they’ve been struggling with. It’s getting weaker. At Sahn Eddar there is an Arab man knocking about offering people traditional Turkish coffee and/or dates. You’re supposed to have it with sugar because it’s supposed to be strong. It’s not. It tasted like regular. But yeah it is all nice still but the strength is a factor. And I’m not trying to be all tough and like, ‘this is piss-weak!’. Some people have made me coffees back home that I’ve considered to be strong-to-quite-strong, namely Tom Duck. I’m going to leave the coffee rant there.
Most people speak English here, to some extent. Arabic is the national language though, interestingly only declared to be the official language earlier this year. All the signs, etc. are in Arabic and English.
I’d mentioned a couple of other nearby hotels in the last blog and here are pictures of them.
This is Jumeirah Beach Hotel:
This is Madinat:
Both these photos were taken from the long driveway bit that leads to the Burj Al Arab.
Madinat is awesome. I like it more than the Burj. There’s just more people knocking about which just gives the place a better vibe. I like the way the place is designed in old Arabian fashion but mixed in with modern stuff too. There are a couple of cool bars inside that actually have people in them, normal people too. Not like in the Burj where everywhere just has a few rich people. When I started here the place was supposed to have been booked out, that’s why I was living outside for the first couple of weeks. Even then, there was hardly anyone around. They don’t have a high capacity, only few guests so they can give them more attention or something. Whatever.
Anyway the other good thing about these bars is they have good bands in them. There is one South African band that play in one place and another keys/vocal duo in another one. Both bands are really good, they play stuff that has some energy.
In our hotel there are two venues that have music. Sahn Eddar is the cafe-type place in the lobby area. There’s also the skyview bar at the top. At Sahn Eddar there are some Arabian musicians in the morning, some Russian classical musicians in the afternoon and then us in the evening. At the skyview bar there is a classical pianist in the afternoon and another piano/vocal duo in the evening. All the other musicians are pretty good, in this hotel and the other ones and they’re all nice people too. The Russians are a bit… Russian, but they can’t help that. I thought I was wrong about them when the piano player turned out to be OK, but then it turned out he was really from Ukraine. Either way, I’ve got my eye on those sneaky Russians, not to mention the thieving Gypsies!
I’m waiting for a clear day to take some photos from the top of the skyview bar. There was a clear day when I first arrived and I didn’t realise it would be such a rarity. I think it’s the sand. Anyway, I took a photo from the driveway part of Burj Al Arab looking across to the central part of Dubai where the Burj Dubai is. You can kinda see it towering over the world. It was easier to see because the sunset was reflecting off it, that’s why I took the photo. The Beach is the one outside Jumeirah Beach Hotel. To answer Robin’s question, or rather, demand: I do plan to go to the Burj Dubai soon. It’s not actually open till next year but apparently the fountains are awesome (Burj Al Arab has some pretty wicked fountains of its own). Fountains don’t really do it for me anyway, but I do plan to head there and just stare in awe from it’s base.
Speaking of staring in awe, there are a lot of stairs here if you decide to take them. I’m on the 22nd floor, but each floor is kinda like two storied, but then you have to climb four flights of stairs to get to the next level or something. So it works out to be a lot of stairs. Anyway, I like to stare down between them into the infinite abyss. It was hard to take a photo of it but here’s a couple to show you what I mean:
I really can’t be bother putting too much effort into these blogs so apologies for using the same adjectives and any other grammatical errors, poor sentence structure, etc. This is kind-of a blanket disclaimer for every blog and anything I’ll ever do ever.