"Not all those who wander are lost"

Tour, Wild Wadi, and a Semblance of Normality.

If you want to be happy, be.

-Leo Tolstoy



RIT organized a “Big Bus Tour” for us to see Dubai.  We shuttled out to the first stop and got on the open top double decker bus.  We cruised around the city listening to audio commentary and looking at all the cool buildings, which seem to all be built in pairs.  The first stop was Atlantis, the hotel on the palm island, to explore a bit and see the aquarium.  Next was the Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world by area which has over 1200 stores, and the Burj Khalifa which is the worlds tallest building.

Our final stop was Dubai creek for a boat tour.  We ended up having to take the last one which worked out well because the sun set during our mini-cruise and we go to see the lights on the banks.



Starting the week on Sunday was a bit strange, but after not having a schedule for two weeks it really didn’t faze me.  The other weird part is that my two real classes are both 6-8pm and I have never taken evening classes before and only even a couple that end after 4.  Math I is a grad level math class taught by a professor from RIT-NY, but it’s just all review of things I have been doing since the beginning of high school.  Even better than that is the glass grade is 60% homework.



For the first time since I got to Dubai I had gone to bed before 3AM to try to drag myself out of bed in time for my only morning class: Islam & Culture.  We packed onto our shuttle bus to campus filling every single seat including the fold out seats that block the isle for the usual nauseating ride to the pineapple.  The Islam & Culture class was fairly disappointing.  Our group of Americans were the only ones in the class and the teacher generally hasn’t talked about Islam yet but spent the class talking about the word “culture” and saying that you can’t really define it.

I headed back to EA on the bus and decided to go for a run in the heat of the day.  Unfortunately there’s nowhere good to run around here so I tried to run on some paths through the empty desert lot in front of EA.  I made it less than two miles before I gave up trying to run in powdery sand above my ankles.

Back to the pineapple for Renewable Energy Systems.  Luckily it’s actually a class that’s seems good.  I can understand what the professor says (unlike both of the other two classes) and it’s actually interesting (unlike both of the other two classes) so it should be good.

When I got back to EA kids were heading out to play soccer so I got to play soccer for the first time in ages.   Playing with a bunch of Kazaks made it feel just like Rochester.  Wearing my flats on the field didn’t mix well with wet grass, but I could still run in a straight line.  Pretty happy about scoring 2 goals in the first five minutes but I must have used up all my skill because that was where it ended.



For the first and possibly only time of my college life something happened.  Something so amazing and unheard of that if RIT-NY found out they would surely shut down RIT-Dubai and fail everyone who came here.  We had a holiday.  The Islamic New Year fell on Tuesday and we actually had a day off.  We decided to go to Wild Wadi, the water park next to the Burj Al Arab.  The Burj Al Arab is the world’s tallest all suite hotel.  The heli-pad has hosted Tiger Woods driving a golf ball off it as well as a tennis match between Federer and Agassi.

Wild Wadi didn’t quite have as many rides as most water parks but had one distinctly great feature: uphill water slides.  Why walk to the top and slide down when you can hop on a tube and have water jets launch you up slides and around bends until you get to the top and ride down? For the more thrilling ride there was the Jumeirah Sceirah on which you have to cross ams and legs to rocket down the slide with near vertical sections.  There were even two attractions with fake waves to ride boogie boards on.  They even had a fish pedicure place.

When we got back to EA I got people together to play Volleyball.  I doubted whether anyone was actually going to play but we ended up having as many as 20 people at one point.  There’s hope for group activities/sports!



Today was another unspectacular day of class.  Islam & Culture was the same.  He spent the entire class talking about the definition of culture again then assigned a five page essay on it due Monday.  It’s a wonderful thing to be auditing a class because I’m sure not writing that.  RE Systems was good, but nothing to special.  The highlight of the day came between classes when a friend gave me a ride to the mall and I got new cleats, no more sliding around playing soccer.

Voila, I’m all up to date!  Now I need to go do more fun stuff.

2 Responses

  1. Sue Robinson

    Love reading about your adventures. Yes, college can sometimes be a bore. So much depends on the professor. But what is a fish pedicure? I didn’t know they had toes! Aunt Sue

    December 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    • Great to hear from you. I didn’t even know you read this, did dad tell you about it? A fish pedicure is when you put you feet in a tank and the fish eat all the dead skin off your feet. The kids who did it said it felt really weird but amazing and smooth after.

      December 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

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