Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dawn in Dubai

I write this on the plane. In a moment I will arrive in the Philippines. The Philippines! I am in awe that love and art are taking me so beautifully here. What a grand adventure all this is!

I really never could ever have guessed I would be heading there now. The Phillipines-- what?!

Of course, neither can I anticipate or plan what ever wonders that will befall me there!

The other night, I had a nine hour layover in Dubai. I was determined to get out and see the city. Traveling light, open to languages and interactions I was back in my grove.

I figured that with 9hrs in Dubai I might as well get out to see this legendary place. Of course it is also legendarily expensive! So, I had an idea-- why not do a loop with a public bus?

I met half a dozen strangers who guided me on my midnight bus ride through the City of Dubai. It was wonderful again to be fluidly using Arabic, French and English to chit chat and meet with strangers. An Afrikan security guard lent me his bus card to make the journey (you can't pay with change on the buses!). He trusted me-- a complete stranger, that I would bring it back to his post at the airport.

And I did! After a 4am til dawn bus ride that took me on the most unexpected tour ever. The bus driver and a Marekesh migrant worker were my guides. By the time I made it back the sun was dawning on the incredible buildings that make up the Dubai cityscape.

Not often you get a tour like that! And not often do you get such a perspective from one of the hired labourers who is actually building the shinny buildings. The truth: they are not so shiny afterall.

And now this airplane hurtles me to the arms of my awaiting lover in Manilla.

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