Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mostly "home" again

In the future, I think I'll try to avoid flying to Dubai unless my final destination is east of it. Emirates is very nice, but I left Louisville at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and got to Togo at 6 p.m. Thursday. And I still have to traverse most of Togo before I'm really home.

I did spend the night in Dubai, which I can only describe as surreal. I slept on the plane, so I wasn't completely exhausted, but I went to a mall at 10 o'clock at night. A mall with lots of jewelry, clothes and carpet shops, but no bookstores. A Cinnabon and a Starbucks, but again, no bookstores. So I just wandered around and spent some time taking pictures of the Burj Al-Arab hotel:

Then I explored more than necessary and ended up walking around the parking garage and loading bays of the mall. They looked much like parking garages and loading bays in the States. I got back into the mall through the prep area of one of its restaurants, then got a cab home. The ride took me across the city. I got to see all the tall buildings, including the Burj Dubai, which will be the tallest structure in the world when completed. I also saw every chain restaurant an American needs: Fuddruckers, Applebee's, Chili's and TGIFriday's. And the Mall of the Emirates, where I probably should have gone. It's the one with the indoor skiing.

I'm sure Dubai has much to offer besides American restaurants and malls, but when it's night and you're alone, the mall will have to do. And there are zero malls in Togo, so now I've had my fill.