It is very different being in Dubai than Abu Dhabi. It is much larger, and not so dirty. The buildings are all tall and shiny, and the roads are mostly brand new. It looks modern, more than modern sometimes, futuristic even. The stations for the new Metro look like little spaceships. And the tallest tower in the world, I know that it is ridiculously huge but it's not so impressive when they go and build more and more tall buildings around it. But haven't been to that yet so can't really comment.
So far I have been to Atlantis, the water park side at least. It is an experience but a photo cannot really do it justice so I did not try. Instead here is just the building itself, all pretty and pink. My first water park experience was pretty good but so tiring. There were only 7 slides, perhaps that is normal but I thought there would be more. And only one scared the hell out of me, the Leap of Faith. I only had time to do it twice. Basically you got on, lay straight down and crossed your arms over your chest (so as not to break them I assume) and you go shooting down so fast that you can't breath, then it slows up and you go into a tube beneath the shark tank (only small harmless sharks and rays though) but you go so fast you cannot actually see it, and then you are finished, in about 6 seconds. And the water is shooting you down so fast that it feels like the skin is being burnt off of your back - or at least to me that is how it was. I had big red marks on my shoulder blades afterwards. The other rides all were done on an inflatable tube, and they were half in the dark so you couldn't see what was coming. Some of the tubes seated two people which was cool. There were two rivers, one with simulated rapids and another with big waves. The life-guards are in the water every hundred metres or so to keep you on track, they spend all their time splashing the guests - they need something to relieve their boredom I am sure. By the end of it I was completely wrecked, I just wanted to sleep. It seems as if there is not enough time in the day or energy in my body to make the most of all the money that you pay for a ticket.
Yesterday we went into the older part of Dubai, the city centre I guess you could say, were the souk is. This is my favourite part of Dubai. The souk spreads over two banks of the Creek, and to get across you jump in a dhow, the water taxi, for only a dirham - that's less than fifty cents NZ money. This ride across the water has always been the best part of the city for me.
At the moment I am staying with Mum in Jumeirah near the new Dubai Marina. It is all very fancy looking, very rich (except for all the construction, that sort of detracts). But you can see that they are clearly trying to compete with what you see of American cities on the tele. It is all about image, all the towers have interesting shapes. It can make for a good photo but is surely needless, there is not the population here to fill these buildings but they just keep going. It is not a case of more space is needed so they must build, they just begin building and hope that the people will come.
Today was brunch, and I am still so full that I can barely move. It was good, it is a very European thing to have this big fancy brunch, but it is not really worth the money. You just can't fit so much food in you and then you feel sick. I would rather a small nice meal. The cupcakes were cute but I did not eat any, who wants a cupcake when there is cheesecake and strawberries.
It is really bloody hot here, even now it is dark outside and being inside a cafe, on the internet, with air-conditioning, I look outside and expect a cool evening. But no, as soon as I leave there will be a rush of hot wet air and I will be uncomfortable again. I guess I will have to spend more time in the malls. Still have to go up the tallest tower in the world, go to the mosque, go on safari, and go shopping!