From hoards of cars and people; to a lonely two lane highway in the middle of endless miles of sand.
Plenty of room; sitting in the back of a beautiful white Range Rover in mid-afternoon. There was a couple, a dude; the driver; and myself.
We stop at a strip mall beside a white-and-blue billboard in the middle of the fucking desert. There was a restaurant; clothes shop; and a shoe shop.
After ordering coffee, I try on some local clothes (which, in hindsight, should have been purchased); take pictures of the shoes, and take a picture of the white-and-blue sign. I then wait for these slackers to eat.
We’re met with a whole convoy of similar Ranger Rovers.
After a moment I realized that this is not dangerous at all; I’m over-reacting. This is a tourist destination.
Neat; it’s relaxing not to be doing stupid, dangerous shit.
The drivers of each of the white Range Rovers take out tire-gauges; flip them over; and start letting a bunch of the air out of the tires. I learned something very valuable that moment; if you’re ever stuck in sand… let some air out of your tires.
Not all of it. Just a bit. More traction.
For the purpose of trying to drive hits to the site. I’m going to post some of the pictures that I took that day under this line of text.
I’ve been to Dubai six times.
The city of Dubai is beautiful. It’s industrial and it’s a ‘boom-town’; but it’s beautiful. I’ll contrast it to another oil ‘boom-town’ that I’m familiar with as a Canadian – Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Both cities built on the back of the oil industry; one of them a beautiful tourist destination – the other is an industrial wasteland. Maybe we just don’t hear about the cancer rates in that part of the world.
It struck me as the Vegas of the Middle East. It was the place to go; it was the place to be. Flights land there from every country within the distance of an air-plane-gas-tank.
We scale sand dune after sand dune. Our convoy of white SUVs; other convoys of SUV’s.
Idiot locals on quad bikes. I hate loud noises; can’t handle them at this moment in history.
The problem with loud noises is that for the past three months I’d lived with air conditioners; generators; planes; helicopters and vehicles running around the clock. My auditory system had adjusted itself to the beautiful and constant, military-flavoured white-noise that was our existence while in-theatre. Anything aside from the constant hum of the ebb-and-flow of life on a military base was not something my mind was prepared for.
A sudden, loud, and unexpected noise was usually bad.
Most of the time it meant a rocket.
Many times I could feel the impact; we all could. Then we took cover. Then we heard the alarm. Then we heard the voice over the loudspeaker, “Rocket Attack! Rocket Attack!“.
The rhythmic wailing of the alarm became the most exciting time to be alive; knowing that there was a slight chance that all could go wrong; right then; right there.