Thursday, July 23, 2009
Summer in Dubai is disgusting
Every day on my way to work I pass the tallest building in the world and one of the largest shopping malls on earth. Today the sun is glistening off the shiny surface of the tower. I must admit, it's kind of beautiful.
I'm trying to concentrate on the good things that Dubai has to offer, since the summer sand storms, fog and 50 degree temperatures have me vomiting from physical discomfort. The malls are oases of air conditioning and I keep trying on designer wear to keep my spirits up, it's like therapy!
This is my first full Dubai summer. Last year this time I was gallavanting in Kyoto and Mauritius and wisely so. This kind of weather is enough to convince me once and for all that humans are not meant to live in the desert. My body is rebelling in every way - hayfever, heat rashes, exhaustion...
The sand is somehow sifting into my apartment and covering all my well chosen decorations with a thin layer of dust as though trying to make my life disappear. Suddenly I am questioning my decision to live here as I have never been this uncomfortable in my life. Is it worth it? Is life trying to test how much I would sacrifice for the opportunity to travel?
I vow to treasure every moment of my future that I get to spend in a leafy, mild environment. At least I am lucky enough to have options. Yet there are many people in Dubai for whom this is as good as it gets. Desperate people from unfortunate circumstances in the surrounding areas find salvation in Dubai - the ability to give their families a decent and stable life.
How people see and experience a place always depends on their own point of view and background. Clearly I have been so lucky, lucky, lucky in life but I also think that it is perhaps worth knowing what this kind of suffering feels like.
Making it through a summer in the desert woman alone will be one of my life's greatest achievements - but once is certainly enough. Where to next?