kitty joe, learning about foreign culture in the dubai airport.
couldn't decipher much as we landed in dubai. all apparant was an in-organic development. the gridded uniformity to the shape of the city and enrivons. like a cartoon world. the airport was posh. i felt like a ragamuffin even in my 'nice' 7 jeans that i swear i never wore to the rink, my vintage blouse and a pilled up sweater vest. i suppose i'll just need to get used to the feeling of being a ragamuffin, because, essentially, that's what i am.
you can feel disdain for a set of values, a superficial way of being or judging. you can stand by the person that you are. but it doens't stop you from squirming when enveloped in opulence and all slickness.
we laughed at the lavish luxury car giveaway displays in the city making daily world news headlines of financial collapse. we laughed at the christmas tree displays in a muslim country. christmas trees so perfect and artificial. like those on a set of a soap opera. just know that if there were gifts beaneath, with big bows atop, they'd be the kind whose individually paper-wrapped box tops would lift right off for the ease of the scene.
wait! stop. the plane from dubai to doha is lifting off and i think i'm looking at the tallest building in the world. whoa.
we wander through gift shops and my heart breaks. i have enough money to pay for my cab to and from the airport, and my visa. these are all re--imbursible business expenses and every meal and lodging and transportation from hotel to palace will be covered. but there is not a dime for shopping or exploring. now, being uber-poor --since i now carry the combined weight of student loans cutting off, credit cards maxed out and said run out student loans suddenly due for payment STARTING ON CHRISTMAS DAY--maybe doesn't bother me so much in regard to myself. what's killing me, especially now that its xmas, is that i see little tschotchkys and i want to buy them for all of the kids in my life. i see the camels wearing santa hat cheesy ornaments and i want to pick them up for my sisters. and i can't. it's not even that i shouldn't. it's that i can't. should just avoid the hsops altogether. aw, and with that positive spin, we start our descent into doha.
i am thrilled. i need not be a greedy consumer. because even to desperately want to give came sometimes be selfish. this guilt is selfish.
balls of fire glow in the sea below me. they are bright in the pitch blackness like i've never seen. some kind of oil extraction? what is the fire? my own ignorance astounds me.
usually i do quite a bit of research before traveling, but to this country, even to its pronunciation, i am a stranger. i simply haven't had the time. welcome to doha! welcome to adventure! i land a day early. a luxury of time to acclimate, to luxuriate at the ritz carlton.
holy glitter! i've never seen such a sparkly city! the buildings are literally glittering like disco balls! such strange contrast to the surrounding sand.
welcome to adventure. i've already in twenty four hours eaten more that i had all week, it seems!
the flight attendants begin the flight with a hat attached to a white gauzy veil. when the flight begins, they take them off. it seems odd.
dubai airport: prayer rooms beside starbucks.