Friday, March 26, 2010

If this is Friday then it must be Abu Dhabi

I currently have no idea what continent I'm on, what day of the week it is, what time it is, or even what my own name is. This may be because my driver from Al Ain, to Abu Dhabi (about 150 miles), didn't really know where he was going, and spent much of his time spinning round and round Abu Dhabi airport with both hands off the wheel while he phoned all of his Urdu friends to get directions to Yas Island, where my hotel is located, half a mile from the simply enormous 'Ferrari World'.

I had hoped that when he disappeared for twenty minutes, pretending to go to the roadside bathroom when we both really knew that he had gone to the roadside mosque for his sabbath midday prayers (and God bless him for doing so), that he would receive divine inspiration in place of a satellite navigation system. But alas, the moral compass of religion failed to provide him with a geo-positioning compass for his car.

But we had fun finding the hotel, even if the spinning effect left me rather disoriented.

This hotel may or may not be in the United Arab Emirates. I'm simply too spun out to think it through, and because all of the hotel staff appear to be Mandarin and the main lunchtime meal was roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, I'm suffering from an intense bout of culture shock.

The UAE really is the whole world in one place and this may be one of those days when it takes at least TWO rather large ones to bring this mixed-up world hub back into focus again.

Yes folks, I'm turning into a dreadful English Ex-Pat in front of my own eyes, which is quite disturbing.

So if anyone out here hears me singing 'Roll out the Barrel', talking about suns and yard arms, or drinking Watney's Pale Ale, then please feel free to shoot me.

It will be a blessing.

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