Around the World in 80 Days
Day 15: 9 October
Our next piece of luck is that our patient Indian hire car driver, Vijay, is still waiting for us at the Emirates border, despite being treated shamefully rudely by a young, officious, Arab policeman.
We stop for a coffee at a transport café in the middle of nowhere. It's run by Indians, who sit outside, in the hot, dry night air, watching a Charles Bronson movie on video, at full volume. Sex and violence I can take, but sex, violence and noise is the worst of all. At one point the tape, obviously bootleg, mixes without an apparent break from the middle of a Bronson love scene to a wrestling match between two very fat Americans, before a crowd of many more very fat Americans. The Indians watching - slim, gentle people - appear not to notice the difference.
We drive off and I sleep again and in my dreams huge neon signs appear like mirages - 'Desert Springs Village', 'The Emirates Golf Club', 'The Dubai Metropolitan', 'Safeway Emirates', 'Beverage Filling Industries', 'The Princess Crown Beauty Centre, Specialists In Skin And Body Care'. But it's all real, and it's Dubai.
Un-crumple myself from the back seat. 2.20 a.m. We've been on the road over seventeen hours, and travelled 1070 kilometres. We're outside the Intercontinental Hotel, and I shall soon fall into the ninth bed since leaving London. And the most welcome.
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- Series: Around the World in 80 Days
- Day: 15
- Date: 9 October
- Country/sea: United Arab Emirates
- Place: Dubai
- Book page no: 61
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- United Arab Emirates
- Dubai 8 October 2008
- Around the World in 80 Days Revisited