I came home from Memphis to be with my baby for Valentines days. Valentines day in the past has just been another day for me, nothing real special about it but just another day to make a little extra money for Hallmark. The only thing is Valentines day to my baby is pretty important. Last year I made her go to a wedding on Valentines day with me, which didn't settlle well with her. She went along with it and I appreciate her for that.
So this Valentines day was gonna be special, so getting out of Memphis didnt' go as well planned as I thought, I had arrived at the airport and my flight showed delayed to CLT, so I decided to take a bathroom break. I was caught up in a book in the latrine and when I came out the flight was all boarded and door was shut! I went up to the ticket agent and he said they were all boarded up and couldn't open the door. This was my 2:18 flight that was gonna get me into IAD by 8pm, man that would have been nice! I sure did miss the flight because I was sitting in the bathroom dropping the duece and reading a book! Embarassing story to tell but it's true, so the next flight wasn't until 6:55 pm to CLT which would have gotten me in to DCA at 12:30 am.
Now I had to call my baby and tell her the story behind why I missed the flight, not the story to tell and young lady who is eager to spend the weekend with you and hadn't seen you in weeks, but she did get a good laugh over it, and so did I, after I had some dinner.
Friday came and we just didn't have any motivation to actually want to go anywhere, we ran some errands and I collected some money from my vending machines and deposited the cash in the bank, just in case we did decide to go somewhere I'd have some money to blow. Came around to about 6pm and we decided to just pack some clothes. Where we were going we didn't know!
Well we didn't know what to pack, so we looked at some flights to see where we could go, we thought about Paris, France, but it was too expensive, then maybe Aruba our all time favorite spot, but the flights were booked, maybe Montego Bay, but those flights were booked, then St. Thomas, Virgin Islands , same story flights were booked, guess everyone was trying to get away from the VA Winter storms, just likie us. We then checked Frankfurt Germany, flight looked good and hotels didn't seem to costly. So we packed for a night or two in Frankfurt Germany. On the way to the airport we were wondering what the hell is in Germany? We had NO CLUE, so we started calling friends who might have gone, and pulling it up on our PDA's things to do in Germany, and also looked at the weather there. It all started to sound really depressing and boring at the moment in time. Just didn't seem as it would be a romantic weekend getaway for Valentines day. The Holocaust and tons for muesums.....and COLD weather!!! YAY!! Nooooot really!
So we parked and went into the terminal and man it was damn cold that night, I remember running.... well i guess I don't run .. but I remember walking so fast that I started shaffing between my legs trying to get to the terminal. Once we got to the terminal we did the coolest thing ever, and had a spontaneous moment, we checked the departure board and was checking to see what was the next flight out! How Amazing is that!!! Love being able to do that, well after searching for cool cities and countries and countries that we knew something about we settled on Dubai, United Emerates Arabs.
Well I had checked on this flight before and it was really booked up, so we threw it out of site and out of mind, we walked up to the ticket agent and checked the seat status of the flight and it looked pretty open. Well, listed ourselves and said ...."what the heck" let's make it happen. So here we go! After a little bit I found out the flight was about 13 hrs long, and I was SOOOO (sarcastically) excited about that.. and I was hoping that I did'nt get stuck in a middle seat of this 757 because 13 hrs in the middle would be very sad! I just might not go... I'm about 300 plus and it's not cool being next to me, or cool being me, it's my own damn fault but... it's just plain wrong sitting someone next to me. We got on the plane and I was seated in an aisle, I was pretty pumped up but it wasn't with my sunshine! Oh well at least we got a seat, but then I made some moves swapped out with someone and ended up sitting next to my sunshine and IN a aisle seat. Big man above was looking out for me, so yes Tiffany was the lucky one to be beside me for about 13 hrs, feel bad for her! Wasn't no lazy boy but it'll work, I roll with the punches, saw some people a little bigger than me and said "ehhh someone has it worst than me" why am I complaining. I'm going to Dubai Baby!" A DREAM GETAWAY!
A good ole 13 hrs later and terrible airline food and movies in 5 different languages, we were finally in Dubai, during the flight the sun came up about 3 times and the plane smelled like a boy locker room with sweaty smelling people with bad breath. I was ready to get off and go exploring... Good thing we go some sleep because we weren't ready to go to bed because when we landed it was already 9pm. We rented a car for $25 a day but they held about $300 on my card for two weeks. I didn't care about what kind of car I got because I was just ready to go. We didn't have a hotel so we started searching. But EVERYTHING was SOLD OUT!!!! YIKES!
I'm a little worried but didn't care, we can sleep in the car and maybe we can get lucky with a hotel, I was willing to sleep on a park bench if I had to. Tiffany cashed out about 200 us dollars to get about 740 durams which was the curency in Dubai. We walked outside and the car was waiting for us. Mitshibushi Lancer, small economy car. I looked like Bowser from Mario Kart in this car but, again I'm rolling with it, because how many people went to Dubai for Valentines day. We started to drive out and wanted to follow this Holiday Inn Express van, maybe they would have a room, so I started to try to follow them, but kinda hard following them when they were behind you, but all the sudden some reason Tiffany point in one direction at a sign that said 40 km and I thought she told me to go that way, so we took the exit, as I look in my rearview mirror the Holiday Inn express was going another way. So I guess that plan was out the question. GOod job navigator!!!! So before we left we grabbed a map from the airport and got my baby to try to direct me in the right direction where all the cool places were. Which was were the hotels and malls were. She started navigating and it was not a good idea, arguments started quickly! Me being a man that I am and now wanting to ask for directions in a strange city is not a GOOOD IDEA, but later I found out that it's the safest place to be. Tiffany got a grasp of navigating through out the trip but you'll here about us almost entering into Saudi Arabia because of her navigating skills. We would have been DONE!!!!
By the time we got through customs and everything it was about midnight, so we decided to drive around until we could find a hotel. We finally got to the strip were all the hotels were and we started going from one hotel to another asking for rooms with good rates. We were on a budget in Dubai and couldn't spend much on hotel, so the Burj Ah Arab was out of the question, I did as the front gate for reservations though to sound like I was a big timer, one night that the Burj was minimum 2800 us dollars. I'm thinking one day I'll be able to, I'm just not ready right now. I'll be back though! So we continue to drive from hotel to hotel, and came up with a good idea of waiting for the sun to come up. We drove around had an awesome American Hardees Burger, bought a 20oz Strawberry Fanta and some Shrimp Chips for $1. Or money was big there which was awesome. Decide to go back to the Burj Ah Arab to watch the sunrise, we sat on Jermiah beach and waited.... a few people were there, and it was late in the morning, people were jogging and the street cleaners were out cleaning the beach and streets. Then all the sudden ... I think a bell rings and then someone is preaching something over some loud speakers and it was comming from all directions... It was scaring us a little bit... just wasn't normal to us. It was a like a movie we were watching and we were waiting for zombies to come out and attack us. Then it did dawn on us that this was a Muslim nation and they were just praying. They would pray like five times a day, once before the sun rise, after the sun begins to decline from zenith, mid afternoon, just after sunset and night. It didn't matter where they were they would just face themsleve towards Mecca I guess and pray. You got used to it and it actually became really relaxing. Not everyone was doing because there were people from all over the world there in Dubai. Two Thirds of the people in Dubai were from other countries, mostly all there for work visa's and actually hating living in Dubai. After a while we just noticed that we were on the wrong side to watch the sun rise...lol and also it was a bit foggy. Sometimes fog is picturesque, but in this case it wasn't. I was getting some impression that it was going to foggy like this the whole time we were here.
At this point it was about 6 in the morning and we decide to drive some more, end the end do you want to guess where we ended up? Well if you guessed the Holiday Inn Express! DING! DING! DING! you correct! you win nothing but your correct. I went in to get a price, flirted with the front desk person, got a good price on the hotel. Flirting works remember that!! Even if the person is of the same sex, I saved like 20 bucks on the room that night. We paid about $130 for the hotel and it was in the Duabi University district, which was called Knowledge Village. Right down the street from Dubai Marina ! Which we did look at and I wanted to just hideaway on a boat that I knew noone was staying in but Tiffany wasn't daring enough to do it, so Holiday Inn Express it was.
Did we go to bed?
No sleep and about 12hrs later from when when landed, and it was only 9am, but in the United States it was about 12am, so we are feeling really tired, but our day just started. From the airport we had gotten a map, and on the map were some real cool attractions of of things to do in Dubai. One of the things to do was take a bout tour of the Creek, "The Dubai Creek Tour". To me it was a a chance to sit on some comfortable cushions on a roof top of a boat and relax up and down this river market. Driving there was mess, I thought it was in one area in Dubai but it was a good 25 miles away. So the tour was at 1130 and I wanted to be earlier so luckly we left pretty early because we were lost. Driving to the creek is pretty neat because you get to drive through all the markets. The place of local business, where the had their Gold Souks " souk" is a term for market in arabic, I guess. Driving through the city is hectic, tight streets and constant honking! Not to be a stereo typical person but I see how all New York drivers are the same, because here in Dubai same arabic drives same attitude and same honking. I played along with the game and honked my horn as needed, and suprisingly it makes you feel better about the traffic and situation your in. It does nothing to traffic but really calms your nerves a little. We finally made it to the Dubai Creek and saw soooo many ancient wooden boats docked along side the Creek. I just didn't know which one was ours, so we had to ask around and finally got pointed in the right direction.
We got to our boat it and it was and broken down, certainly had a little vintage look to it so I was wondering if it was even going to stay afloat. I couldn't swim but I figure the cusion could be used as floating devices, but maybe not, well atleast that's what they always said on the planes. We got there and were the first one's to board the ship, so we got to pick our seats. The weather was so perfect in Dubai, and the strangest thing was that every kept on apoligizing for how cold it was and it was maybe 75 degrees. Just right for me, the thing was it was there winter and their busy season. Everything is slow in the summer there, which you can only imagine it's in the desert. We got our seats and got comfy and everyone elses started to show up. An older couple sat directly accross from us with the old gentlemen directly accross from me. I think they were from Denmark or Germany because they just had the accent. Tiff for some reason had some attraction to this olds mans "camel balls" and couldn't stop looking at them, made some comments in English and I think they understood because they certainly said something in English to us.
Other than the camel balls the boat ride was interesting. They had a commentator and some drinks for the cruise. The creek was pretty important to Dubai before they found their Billions, they original dynasty built there home on the Creek and most everyone used the creek for trade. The Dubai creek was a creek because it was only 4 feet deep and you were able to walk across it from one side to the other, it actually split up two cities, Deira and Bur Dubai. The creek was dredge to get it much deeper for bigger ships aventually and became a huge place for the residences of Dubai everyday. And existing fish market and pearling market, which used to be Dubai's main source of income until they struck oil. Up and down the creek we went we finally made it back to the dock.
When everyone decide to get off the boat everyone all went to one side. I heard a story once of a these exact ships in Dubai fliping over because they just weren't meant for great balance, and like I said I can't swim so I was not ready for this boat to capsize. I stayed on the opposit side of the boat until everyone got off and finally the decided to deboard the boat. Whew!!!! I'm telling you it was a close call.
Walking the creek was pretty neat because you saw people bringing in products from all over the world, along side there were tons of water taxi's. These water taxi's were really conveniant for people who were trying to get to Bur Dubai which was on the other side. There was a bridge but by the time you got in your car and drove through traffic and on the bridge to the other side you could have been back and forth in the water taxi's. The water taxi's looked like a gondola boat from venice, which was strangly odd because it was these small gondola boats going next to these huge yahts. Just didn't seem safe so I'm glade we didn't decide to take one of those accross to the other side.