Tuesday, November 6, 2007

the cop visits a crook

it was a refreshing feeling that someone from the Philippines came to visit me here in Dubai, albeit his trip being principally more of business related than leisure.

Aris, my dear HS friend, arrived in Dubai last 27th October and stayed here for six days. he was pretty thrilled about the fact that he’s in a completely different place and finally seeing right before his very eyes the things that he used to read on papers and hear about from his business partners.

during his first day in Dubai, we managed to tour him around the metro and thereafter brought him to a desert safari tour. it was the de gracias’ first time to go for this tour, too, and blame it on me for being too scared of getting onboard the feisty 4x4s. the experience was definitely not for the faint-hearted – one can literally feel motion sickness while aboard, or worse, suffer from a heart attack from the thrill you're bound to get.

it was already almost sun-down when we pulled over to the Bedouin campsite. parked around the area were dozens of Land Cruisers and a station of dune buggies for the more adventure-seeking souls. bessie Beth and i queued for the camel ride, while the boys took our snaps and stood by till we finished. afterwards, all five of us tried on the traditional costume of the UAE nationals and posed for our souvenir photos. we all looked silly, but what the heck!

while waiting for dinner, we checked out the apple flavored Hubbllee Bubblee or more commonly called “shisha”. it was a good chance for us to technically try smoking minus the bad taste of tobacco & the unpleasant niff of smoke. after getting bored with all the huffing & puffing, Beth & i lined up next for some henna tattoo. funny how some male tourists queued, too…they didn’t know that henna tattoo in the UAE is exclusive for ladies only!

of course, we didn’t let Aris miss the most exciting part of the night – the bellydancer’s show. he didn’t bat an eyelash during Valentina’s dance number… either he was mesmerized by her beauty and gyrating talent or he was jetlagged and slept with his eyes wide open! *rolling with laughter*

the adventure-packed day ended with our droopy guest dragging himself to the lobby of his hotel. we were not sure if he took mental note of the plans we made for the rest of his stay, but we hope he had fun as we absolutely did!


come Monday night, hubby & i met up again with Aris to have dinner at The Noodle House in Burjuman, and soon after went on see the majestic

Burj Al Arab. i had to attend a client’s cocktail reception then, and my invite became our ticket for all of us to enter the elite hotel’s gates without any fee. it’s a shame though that we forgot to bring our cam so we just made do with our mobile phones’ built-in cameras to take a few keepsake photos.

the lavish lobby, with extra huge aquariums to its left and right which were filled with varieties of fish and other underwater creatures, complete with corals and seawater plants, was such a wonderful sight for the two men who escorted me to the hotel. although they only stayed in the lobby to roam around, i sure bet they had a grand time people watching. a lot of rich and good looking people were going in and out of the over rated hotel, and their eyes feasted on them. well, sorry for these two guys because i didn’t stay long in the reception and we left the hotel in an hour’s time.


the icing on the cake of Aris’ trip, so to speak, was his last night in Dubai.

since he finished early with his meetings, he did an early check-in at the airport and then went to my office to meet me. Ryan fetched us and we proceeded to
Mercato to meet our other companions and find some birthday gifts for our friend Sam. meanwhile, Aris picked up a nice pair of earrings from Damas for his wife who is also celebrating her birthday. *sweet!*

next stop was the Madinat Jumeirah complex. his brief visit to the Souk Madinat was an eye opener for him to the kind of lifestyle the people of Dubai have on a Thursday evening, which is equivalent to the “TGIF” gimmick night in all other parts of the world. he’d seen all corners of the Souk brimming with people of various cultures – either having dinner, sipping coffee or simply hanging out to start their weekend. a lot are in their party outfits ready for clubbing after having their meals in one of the fab restos in the famous complex.

it was a busy evening (payday Thursday). we found our way skimming through the crowd towards the hip Japanese resto called Japengo. we were extremely lucky to find a table inside, although it would’ve been lovely to dine al fresco with the cooler winds embracing us as we overlooked the waterways leading to the hotel side of the Madinat Jumeirah.

i guess between all the places Aris has been to the entire week, this was his personal favorite. he couldn’t stop himself from vocally admiring the place. i couldn’t blame him though. among all the properties of Jumeirah International, this is my preference, too.

after having our meal, we walked through the maze-like halls of the souk and helped Aris find some handy souvenirs. we were about to hit one of the bars in town, but i guess Aris was feeling run down already and couldn’t wait to go home, so before 1:00 am, we dropped him to the airport and bid goodbye.


i’d say the few days that Aris was in town were very enjoyable. for a change, weeknights were spent with a long-time ka-barkada. it felt good to see a familiar face in person and hear a recognizable voice while we talked about married life in general and how our friends back home are doing. sure made me miss Manila even more, and somehow, the regret of not coming home this year has started to seep in.

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