There is something unconquerable about the desert. Riding a bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, I watched miles and miles of desert pass by. Forward, backward, it stretched out in shades of yellow and sunburnt orange, with a single strip of highway winding through like a crack in a piece of granite. I will be here long after you're gone, it seemed to say. I will survive and swallow you in dust and sand. You're little. I'm endless. And that is life...
I like feeling little. As we moved into- and then two days later back out of -Dubai, I found myself just staring out the window. I'd say the bus ride was one of the highlights of the trip. There is something at once humbling and empowering about realizing how tiny I really am. My mistakes don't matter. My past, my future, everything is all just a blip on this endless twirling wonder that is the world. I am here now but one day I'll be gone.
So why not live for today? Why not love to the fullest, experiencing all I can?
Dubai itself was... well... Dubai. I don't think it's quite the metropolitan, large bustling New York or artsy Chicago I had in my head. It was just a bigger Doha with higher buildings and roads on roads. A large dust storm had just moved into the area, blocking out any traces of blue sky and making everything a pale, tannish grey. Dubai.
Dubai, Dubai. Danae dancing in Dubai. The friend gang of four and I did indeed dance, although the second night I called it an early eve and sunk to bed while everyone else slipped out.
I really am not much of a late owl, even when three red bulls are trying to give me wings.
We visited a large (understatement) mall where I found vegetable juice and an odd horse statue. Megan and Bryce found taco bell and salvation.
Kathleen searched out a hip little boutique called Sauce, where beautiful clothing mocked my innate unwillingness to spend hundreds of dollars. While she was trying on outfit after outfit, I wandered around a bookstore and a cupcake shop. It made me miss baking... and Leia, but really, what doesn't?
I also had a chance to meet with Dr. Ken Wise, a previous Creighton professor. Over cups of coffee, he discussed the vaguest details of his current profession. It was fascinating and amazing. I am constantly surprised at how many jobs exist that I've never even considered.
Like professional melon eater. I win.
Now we're back. Back to work, back to Doha, back to the city that honestly I like quite a lot better than Dubai. This morning I woke up at 5:30 (because my body hates me) and slipped out for a run. As the sun rose, I did my grocery shopping at Food Palace, a small Indian grocery store that has become my favorite. It was unusually quiet; the produce men were lining shelves with bread, unfamiliar fruit, milks, Laban. I was one of two customers.
I think what I'm getting at here is it feels good to be home. Dubai was nice, more because of the company than the city. But Doha? Oh, Doha I think has my loyalty... at least until Cambridge comes calling.
I'm going to miss some people when it does.