"Not all those who wander are lost"

Bouldering Wall!

Why not go out on a limb?  Isn’t that where the fruit is?

-Frank Scully

 

1/18

Math I was moved to Wednesday so I had no class!  Honestly don’t even remember what I did during the day, probably spent most of the time trying to do Senior Design.  The real interest of the day was going to the Rech Cave.  A local climber, Gordon, had invited me to come over on Tuesdays because he has friends come over to hang out and climb, but up until now class had been in the way and I could never get a ride.  Sam’s schedule had changed (somehow she’s the one person who I can convince to come get me to do stuff) and Tuesdays worked for her now.  She picked me up and we headed to Ace and Mirdif to since we never made it before.  After getting quicklinks and webbing we headed to Gordon’s.  It was interesting getting there because, despite living in a fairly large villa community, the turn into the community from the highway just looks like you’re driving off into the desert.  After a few hundred feet the pavement returns, but for some reason neither end is marked or paved at all.

We went in and introduced ourselves.  There were a handful of other people there; it was the most climbers I had seen since being in UAE.  And best of all:  Gordon’s climbing wall which spanned three panels wide, a box feature, and a ceiling panel.  Even better the wall was composed of all problems that were just right difficulty for me to work on for a while and eventually get.  Every time I say I want to travel more this is the counter argument.  When I get homesick, it’s homesick for a climbing wall like this, well, that and moms cooking.  I helped Gordon scheme up new panels to add since apparently lots of what’s there was only recently put in.  We contemplated moving light fixtures, covering the ceiling, cool feathers, and just about anything that would increase awesomeness and size of the wall.  Everyone turned out to be really friendly and fun.  We even made plans to go climbing the following weekend (or more made plans for me to join them since they were already planning on going).  We headed out with plans for the weekend still floating through my head.

 

1/19

Islamic Culture class has been a letdown in terms actually learning about the reality of Islam and Arabic culture.  As a result we have rallied some of the local students and arranged for them to teach us what we really wanted from the class to begin with.  The first class was a little crazy because we had three kids teaching us stuff sometimes at once.  Overall it was great though and I was quite impressed with their preparation and eagerness to teach us.  The first thing I learned is how to write my name in Arabic:

ديلان

 

1/20

The start of Dubai Shopping Festival! Oh joy, just what I’ve been waiting for.  We headed to Dubai Festival City (don’t get excited, it’s just another mall) because our free bus was going there and it’s pretty close to where they were shooting off fireworks.  We grabbed some dinner and headed to Dubai Creek Park in a taxi.  Four of the six people ended up wanting to stay a bit longer at the mall so it only ended up being just Nina and me.  We got dropped off and began exploring the park.  I don’t know whether to call it torture or amazing: there were free bounce houses, inflatable slide, and obstacle courses all for free, and all for little kids so I couldn’t play on them.  A parade banged, clashed, drummed, and sang as people dressed up in all kinds of costumes from across the world and some just from someone’s imagination walked by (some of the costumes were a little reminiscent of West Hollywood Halloween).  As soon as the parade passed everyone began to flood toward the creek so we figured fireworks would start soon.  I found a random tower platform that had some kids in it.  We climbed up and sat in the front and waited for the fireworks to start.  We had the best seats in the house.  The fireworks were spectacular.  Every kind of firework I knew as well as many I hadn’t seen before light up the sky.  The show lasted for 25 minutes just for a shopping festival.  The fireworks ended and we headed back to Festival City to try to catch the free bus going to EA.  Traffic was terrible so we began to walk.  As we headed across a parking lot just outside the park I heard a screech and snapped my head up in time to see a car hit a little boy and send him flying through the air.  I was horrified; it was the first time I’ve ever seen someone get hit by a car in real life.  The mom shrieked and a crowd gathered around the boy.  As we walked past the boy looked to be at least mostly alright and I felt a little better that he looked to be about 10 (initially I thought he was about 4 or 5) and there was no blood gushing.  We continued on, crossing over the creek and headed toward the mall.  Of course, as soon as we were away from traffic we couldn’t find a taxi to bring get us there faster.  We made it back at about 9:45.  Unfortunately the bus which used to leave at 10:30 had left at 9:30.  We gave up and flagged down a taxi to get back to EA.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *