A curious caravanserai of notoriety and nonsense, poetry and prophecy.


Friday, February 7, 2014

G: I woke up at about 10am feeling capital-P Peachy.  Ashley at this point informed me that she had spent the entire night awake, vomiting, and was not doing much better. She was surprised her convulsions had failed to wake me. I guiltily considered with relish my long and uninterrupted slumber.  Ashley proceeded to nap some more while I showered and did a bit of work. Finally we headed to the Dubai Mall, where we tried on everything from racy lingerie to ludicrously priced espadrilles (what we ultimately bought will remain fodder for the imagination) and ate the world’s largest croissant and two bowls of French Onion soup.  Despite Ashley’s relatively weak physical health, we intrepidly took off for Dubai Gold Souk, where we tried on lots of gaudy, blingy jewelry that obviously can only be described as Just Fabulous.  Finally, we met up quickly for hot water (in APG’s case) with Potter’s erstwhile Shenzhen friend Jen Lincoln and boyfriend, and then wound our way around the Burj Khalifa sidewalk (miles long, no joke) to the entrance of the Armani (!FANCY!) hotel.

Here we entered and, after a number of security (exclusivity) checkpoints, mounted to the 123ième étage for drinks in the Burj’s famed AT.MOSPHERE Bar.  It was awesome. I got a drink with primarily lemon sorbet in it. (This reminded me fondly of the Summer Punch Mummie made at church back in the day, which as I recall was approx. one part lemonade to one part ginger ale to one part rainbow sherbert.) APG and I took a winning SnapChat video, and I enjoyed the bar’s superb stuffed green olives. Within an hour or two we descended, returned reluctantly to our oddly situated hotel, and I dozed off as Ashley packed her bags to her early am return to “the Jing.”

A: I sadly have not so much to reflect on here as most of my time in Dubai was spent being ill, feeling ill, and trying not to think about feeling ill. Georgia was such a good sport to put up with me and my “on a scale of 1-10, I’m barely at a 3” self. The shopping at Dubai Mall was the perfect activity in my weakened state.  Favorite moment—while waiting in a dressing room at Victoria’s Secret, watching women in full abayas come out holding handful of lacy skivvies (there’s that word again, G!) in their hands. It was a moment that so perfectly captured how much I don’t yet understand about the Middle East (or at least the more conservative cultures of the Gulf), how much there is left to learn.  And it was a good reminder that for all our cultural differences, there are still certain things that we all share, such as wanting to wear a really comfortable, pretty, well-fitting bra.

AT.MOSPHERE was also delightful. In a nod to my upcoming return to China, I ordered the Beijing Bellini, a frothy yummy concoction made with lychees. Then, back to the hotel, a desperate attempt to pack, hard decisions of what to leave behind when I ran out of room…

The 4:15 alarm came too soon. I almost left my passport behind in the hotel lockbox, but had a great cab driver who casually asked if I had my passport before we drove away (I did not), saving me a huge amount of panic. I ran into a fellow Beijing-bound friend at DXB check-in, making the trip back much more enjoyable. Nicer to spend the layover in Doha with another person. Though, less nice for him when I mysteriously got upgraded for the Doha to Beijing leg. This may have been a top life moment though (a free upgrade! On a luxury Arab airline!!! STOP IT!). The remaining 6.5 hour flight was easy easy eeeeasy and I finally made it back to Beijing and my apartment around 1:30am local time.  I spent the night happily sleeping in my business class pajamas from Qatar Airways (such ridiculousness!!!), one of my many amazing, lovely, and awesome souvenirs from my trip to Arabia.  Best part, of course, was getting to spend 8 of the best days with my lovely, fabulous, hysterical, beautiful and brave cousin. Can’t wait for Ashley and Georgia Travel the World, v.2.0. I’m thinking… South America???? 

G: mumkin or mumkin la…

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