There is a reason Dubai is called the other kochu Keralam. Every other person – from the airport trolley handler, to the taxi driver to shopkeepers to the man on the street has that undefinable but immediately recognizable Malayalee twang. My dad says locals (local Arabs that is, because in my books, many of these Malayalees deserve to be branded that) have taken over a lot of the routine business out here, and because of that, this proliferation has reduced somewhat. As some of my friends back in Kerala (ex-Dubai-ites) would attest, it was indeed a Malayalee who taught the Sheikh English. 🙂
It’s hot out here… you wouldn’t believe how hot. I flew in by Air India Express (IX) – the airline created out of tiny morsels that its parent, Air India, threw out to fill that niche of the money-minded customer – and the ride took around 5 hours, with an hour and half (almost) spent at Calicut. Aside from the agonizingly long trip and the really funny costumes of the air hostesses, it was a pretty uneventful trip. The flight landed at the second terminal of the Dubai Airport so I missed seeing the reportedly splendid terminal one with its really long (but splendid nevertheless) route from arrival to passport check to Dad.
Terminal two just sports a five minute walkthru, made a bit longer by a compulsory optical register. Look into the mirror and get your eyes scanned… pretty sophosticated stuff. The passport official though was a lady in a bad mood and worse English, and I had to stutter the names of a few places in Dubai I knew before she would let me through (She wanted to know where I’ll be staying). My mom and my bro fared much better, and I suspect that she took an aversion to my rather wonderstruck face and the nincompoop smile. (Not at her, you perverted morons, at the world and at Dubai, for even the squalor of Terminal Two was splendor enough for me, and also because the optical wizardry described above fired up my techno radar. All admirers of the female figure though need only wait for ample descriptions 😉 ).
Let us talk about important stuff. The weather here is awesome. Awesomely hot. Before I diverted into a diatribe about IX and un-pretty officials, I was talking about how the flight landed me in Dubai at the dead of the night, and still it was sordidly hot. A 41 degree high is apparently fine weather here. The ride to Dad’s flat was in a sporty four-wheeler which my bro appreciates far more than me, and I had neither the energy nor any inclination to spend that night going out. So, talked a lot to Dad about GRE, my company and all, and then fell asleep like a log.
The next day – yesterday – was a whirl too. Dad lives at Karama, and as far as I understand the geography of the place, it’s somewhat to the center of the city. There’s a Lulu center nearby, and Dad took us there. By the time I came back, the heat had drained me, and I spent all my waking hours eating chocolate and then lunch before smashing into bed to sleep. The evening saw us going to City Centre, one of the biggest shopping malls out here, and wandering aimlessly around the place from shop to shop, and buying odds and ends from everywhere. Mom bought loads of jewelry, but nothing (almost 😉 ) exciting enough for me. That, I hope, would come later.
Which brings me to another important topic. Girls. In tight tshirts and perky you-know-whats. In tighter jeans, and short skirts and in pink and blue and black and white, and blondes and brunettes and rich black hair, and eyes blue and hazel and every other color in the spectrum. Girls almost everywhere. Aaah! Dubai is a city you must visit without your parents, and without that leash. For a decidedly un-metropolitan kid like myself, it’s promised land :-D. A lot more about this (I hope) when mom’s not looking over my shoulder.
It’s too early to form conclusions, but I remember the one I made last time. It’s a city pretty enough to visit, but not one strong enough to stay in. Aside from its shopping malls and really crazy hangouts, I don’t think it has anything to offer anybody (most probably am wrong). Afaik, the educational institutions – although there’s a branch of almost every famous Uni out here, and almost every syllabus – are nothing to swear by, there’s almost zero indigenous development (everything seems imported from the Europe/USA, even the architecture), and all the jobs available can be had anywhere else; Dubai isn’t the dream it’s made out to be. It’s a hub – a melting pot – of a tolerant (but still strict) Arab culture and the West. In many ways, it’s a LOT more developed than India, but there’s an element of freedom and personal achievement missing in a lot of what people do out here. Everything seems to be survival-oriented. Call me idealistic, but I want something more 🙂
I’ll write more later. Have a lot of free time coz my dad’s-a-gone in the morning, and I was too lazy to venture out by myself today. There’s also a pretty good chance I’ll be lost, but when the boredom hits record highs, I’ll probably risk it :-). Leave comments, please.