Friday, March 17, 2006

Dubai is the Brain of the UAE - Youssef Ibrahim.

I love Dubai.

Last night was a case in point. The countertenor man and I headed off to Dubai about 5pm. We gave the senior economist from Bolivia a ride. On the limited access highway along which we traveled we were entertained by the mix of driving styles with Sunni-men traveling in the middle lane at 80 kph, Tata truck drivers streaming lugubriously along at 90 kph in the slow lane. And the rest us were in the fast lane doing at least 120 kph.

Oh, and for bonus points, mixed in were Wastafarians traveling at the maximum velocity their vehicles would allow subject to: the other cars on the road, the option of using either the left or right hard shoulder as necessary to achieve their objective, and the challenge of slaloming between other vehicles without encroaching on the other cars' personal space (defined here as about 5 centimeters).

We arrived safely at our first destination of the evening and parked on the curb. Literally. We were at the Dubai American Academy International Food Fest, in the shadow of the neighboring indoor ski slope. We partook of the food of most of the 30 countries represented, one for each countries represented by the student body. I managed to get a taste from countries from all continents (Antarctica excepted) including Denmark, France, Turkey, Palestine, Japan, Canada, Iran, Korea, South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Columbia. I'm sure I missed a few. The food was excellent, I must say. So was the company.

Could Dubai also be the stomach of the UAE? This is how I felt last night. If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, it was proved last night. I love Dubai.

With our gastronomic desires sated, and thereby prepared to climb Maslo's hierarchy, the countertenor and I proceeded to the Meadows to a house party. It was a lovely backyard evening where a choir gathered from many nationalities (American, Korean, British, Romanian, Australian & c.) and delivered a varied program of Purcell, Gorecki, and Norah Jones.

If my heart was already full from the first half of the evening, then what was I experiencing? Was my spirit being fed as well? Embraceable you, you are Dubai. Sharjah, you're lovable as well. Ajman, RAK, and Abu Dhabi, too. And the rest. I love the UAE.

And I really love that it lets me spend my summers in my home, Orkney Springs, VA.


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