The MIL and SIL are home now. I conveyed them to the airport last night to catch their flight. Over their last few days we have really lived it up. We had a super afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton, then spent Thursday on the Big Bus going round Bur Dubai, under the creek through the Shindaga tunnel and a jaunt Deira before returning over the Maktoum Bridge. It was strange when the tour guides told us about the buildings all around us, giving us dates of construction from the last 20 years.
We alighted at the Dubai Museum, which is based in a proper old building (a rare sight round here) stop to have a look round the Museum, and it was excellent. I had thought it was just a few minor exhibits above ground in the grounds of the old fort it is located in, but there is a huge underground gallery with some fascinating exhibits on Dubai and Bedouin culture. After the museum visit we had lunch in a café in the "historic" Bastakiya area. I had a taste of camel meat, and it was much like beef for me.
That night, the WIFE and me took the opportunity to go out on our own, and went to the BiCE restuarant at the Jumeirah Hilton. It was terrific. Great food, superb service and a lovely atmosphere made for a really pleasant evening. We also had a nightcap cocktail in the BiCE skybar on the 10th floor to finish off the night on a sophisticated note. Well, we tried to be sophisticated. Our broad Yorkshire accents kind of jarred with the whole atmosphere. "Aye, lad. Git us one of them there fancy drinks, chuck. Manhattan? Ee bye gum, ecky thump. That's some backwater over t'pond, isn't it?"
So Friday - yesterday - was the visitor's last day. We had an easy, lazy day, cumilating in a drive along the Jumeirah Beach Road to catch the sunset and a final meal out at the Dhow and Anchor in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. They have a lovely wooden terrace area to sit out and watch the world go by, with views of the nearby Burj Al Arab through the trees. Like with most places round here, the best time to go to them is just before sunset, in my opinion. The light fades quickly, the sky goes a lovely mix of colours, then the lights all come on around you. It felt like the last night of a holiday for all of us. Following the meal of average pub food (all the food I've had at JBH is average) we wandered down to the waterfront and took in the magnificent views of the Burj Al Arab, as the lights around it changed colour and searchlights swayed to and fro from the helicopter pad.
On the way out, we saw a papparazzo waiting with his camera for some celeb or other, but after a quick call on his mobile, he disappeared in a large car. Our car was delivered to us by the valet, and we bundled in as quickly as we could before driving off amongst all the Hummers, beamers and other expensive-looking vehicles, filled with expensive-looking women.
An hour or two later, I was on the way to the airport with the in-laws. The BOY came with me while the WIFE and the GIRL stayed at home. The GIRL was in bed by the time we set off. The MIL and SIL were quiet and pensive as we sailed along the Sheik Zayed Road, taking in the bright lights of the Marina, the various building called Burj and Trade Centre for one last time. The traffic built up over Garhoud bridge, but we got there in plenty of time. The airport was a manic muddle of faces preparing to fly all over the globe, dressed in a million different ways, all clutching a bewildering variety of luggage, but all getting ready to fly somewhere. The MIL and SIL said their goodbyes and melted into the crowds and through to the departure areas. The BOY and I set off for home, thinking that we will soon be greeting my own parents and the BRO very soon. Less than 6 weeks now, and we'll be doing all this again.
On the way home, I had a bit of a brush with what I will call LAND CRUISER MAN. I came back round the Garhoud way onto Garhoud bridge. Even at 11pm last night it was ridiculously busy. The road feeds in from the right onto the bridge, and as you get towards the bridge, there is a small chevron-painted hard-shoulder to the left. As I moved along, a red car pushed in front of me from this area, just in the nick of time. I let it go. Normal standards round here. Then a white LC (blacked-out windows) with an Abu Dhabi plate pulled alongside. No chance, thought I. There's not enough room. He would have to drop in behind me. But not this one. He (I assume it was a he) was DETERMINED to get ahead of me. I wasn't about to be bullied, so kept moving, thinking that he had to give in. But NO...he dived across the front of me, clipping my wing mirror as he passed, and flipping his to the flattened position against the side of his door. I was utterly astounded. Flabbergasted. Astonished. And fucking angry. As we crossed the bridge, he was the car in front of me all the way, and had saved all of 2 seconds, if that, by his actions. I think he was hovering in front of me hoping that I'd give him the bird. I kept my hands down, even if I swore quite a lot. The BOY slept through all of this, though he admitted he had heard my astonished swearing at LAND CRUISER MAN and had hugged his teddy bear a little tighter.
Today, the house feels empty. We went food shopping and just kind of floated around. Tomorrow I am back at work and the BOY is back at school. Good old routine. My diet needs it, I can tell you.