Just been back to the UK to do the practical part of my Trinity Diploma. I must say, it was generally a pretty good experience. All the tutors were really supportive with lots of ideas and focused advice. Certainly better support than I got on the DELTA. Anyway, I reckon I did OK, though, of course I still have to wait for the results.
On the way back, I did a stop over in Dubai. It's never been high on my travel list, but I thought I'd take a look anyway. Just spent one day there. It's completely state of the art, which is maybe no surprise considering that it only took off twenty years ago. So it's also incredibly visual with some really knock-out skyscrapers. There's one where each floor rotates independently of the others!
But for all its spectacularness, it's a city without a soul. I've never been in a city where I felt so glassed off. In fact, only 20% of the population are indigenous. The rest are foreign workers, ranging from Europeans, Americans,and Japanese in top positions to Filipinas, Chinese, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians in lower paid menial jobs.
And the heat! I thought Bangkok was pretty hot, but this was something else. It was about 40C while I was there. I don't think I've ever experienced heat like it. You had to keep diving inside into the air-conditioning just to cool off for a bit. There was also a sand storm at the time, which is why all my pictures look so hazy.
The only interesting place was the old quarter and its old windy soukhs. Unfortunately, it was Sunday, so any activity was a minimum. The creek, just nearby, was also very pleasant, reminiscent of what Dubai might have been like before the construction boom.
Anyway, it's one more country on my list. I think I'm up to about 43 now.