Now, we all know people behave...differently when they're on vacation. They spend more money, they make friends more easily and often more likely than not forget about them when they go home. Maybe they eat more, act up, experience more, stress out more easily...how do you act when you're on vacation? I know I try to suck up every last bit...and I try to act like a guest. An indulged guest, to be sure, but a guest nevertheless.
Summer in Dubai, however, is the long hard part of the vacation. The part where you're stuck in the hotel room.
The joke goes something like this: How do you know it's summer in Dubai?
Your tan fades.
It's not just the heat; with the temporary way of the world here, I had my first unpleasant experience with coming back when several friends were not. Lots of good-byes, lots of "they're not coming back?" discussions. Then, perhaps due to the economy, perhaps not, more are leaving every day. It can be disheartening.
Losing friends and staying inside is even harder for the kids. "They're not coming back and we'll probably never see them again" is a hard thing to explain. Going back to school helps, but we find that although the staggering temperatures have dropped a little as the season goes on the humidity rises, some days to 100%, and that thick heavy wetness is unbearable, so we're still stuck inside.
So how are we dealing with the heat and humidity?
One way I am dealing by sticking two fingers in the face of the weather and running in it anyway. This is brutal but it's far better than feeling unfit and going stir crazy.
I am also taking photographs of some of the more interesting pieces of the everyday that you just don't see back home.
Here is how one worker I spied alongside the road deals with the blazing sun:
I hope you can make it out: he has taken a roughly square piece of cardboard and made a hole in it, then fitted the whole thing atop his hard hat. Voila! Instant sombrero!
This next fellow's sole purpose is to keep the blowing drifts of sand off the road. It keeps him busy, I can tell you.
Bet you didn't know there was a machine just for that, did you? Good thing too. Those piles of sand look soft, but try to drive into one with your car.
These are my neighborhood buddies, the lawn ninjas:
The first time we went to the park and saw them, frankly I was a little intimidated. I mean, they look enough like terrorists to give one pause. Taking the bull by the horns, as soon as they stopped Thomas and I swallowed hard and went over to make conversation. Beneath the face covers were some very smiley, super sweet guys who let Thomas sit on one of the riding mowers. The face covers, which you see employed everywhere, are to keep out the sun and sand and have nothing to do with concealing the person underneath.
Good to know.
You have to love the John Deeres and baseball caps.
There's one more thing that we're doing to get through the summer. Planning our next "real" vacation.
After all, we are at the crossroads of some really interesting places, places we'd probably never go if we had to come all the way from North America. We promised ourselves that while we were here we'd make the most of the location by exploring and traveling to places we've never been.
Sooooo...I'm asking you: where should we go? Not Europe, (we'll hit that up later) not Africa, this time, anyway...so, Asia.
We're throwing around Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia...
Where would YOU go?