cold feet

31 08 2009

It’s been a long time since I’ve had cold feet.  I woke up this morning and they were cold.  In fact, when I came home, they were still cold.  I decided I would ride my bike to the bank and then I realized that I had to wear something other than sandals because my feet were….cold.

It’s rather odd to admit that I haven’t worn anything besides sandals (or, I admit, Crocs) as casual footwear in almost two years.  Whether I was going to a restaurant, the mall, a movie, out for coffee, grocery shopping, Bible study, or anything else, I wouldn’t wear shoes.

It’s small things like this that remind me that I live in America again and it’s things like this that shock me to the reality that things were different in the past.

So months later, I still experience reverse culture shock.  It’s odd to think that it happens in your own culture, but in the past, I’ve found it to be more profound than the culture shock was.


The End of Dubai

12 02 2009

Years ago, I was fascinated with Dubai. I still am.

My time here has come to an end and it seems like Dubai’s time is ending as well.

It’s interesting to have seen the rise and fall of something this big and to see it happen this fast.

So what’s next? I don’t know. Maybe I will go back to blogging, sharing the experiences that I have had.

I wonder if anyone still reads this blog, perhaps on the RSS. Maybe it’s going to have a revival.

i’m still not an intellectual

15 02 2008

Remember back in 2006 when I wrote on how I didn’t want to be an intellectual?  I still feel that way.

Legalism stems from intellectualism.

But where is the balance between a thirst for knowledge and intellectualism?

for noel

20 07 2007

The door squeaks a little and my shoes make that noise that they always do on ceramic as I stride towards the elevator.  The lobby is always a little warmer than my apartment.  I exhale as I hit the down arrow on the wall and wait as the lift travels to the fourteenth floor from the lobby.  The elevator dings as the doors open.  I hit ‘G’ and watch myself in the mirror as I travel down.  I stare at the ceiling at the narrow mirror there and wonder again if there are cameras in the elevators.  I can’t see them.

The red button on the wall unlocks the door and the wall of humidity hits me as I walk outside.  Sand covers the walk in places, drifting from the near desert to the developed streets.  My car has a film of dust, sand whipped by the wind, drifting across the open expanse of wilderness, tamed only by groups of migrant workers.  The sand floats over the small desert bushes, the labor camps where the bodies are together like green beans in a can, and then over the edge of civilization.  It flies slowly, in a cloud like locusts.  It comes to rest on my car, parked along the side street.

The lights flash as I hit unlock.  The dash tells me it’s 44 C and I quickly start the car and the A/C washes over me like a flood.  I cut into the street, heading for the round about.

The three radio stations in English bore me.  I listen instead for flowery descriptions of Dubai.


14 07 2007

So Dubai?  It’s a pretty great place.

The round-abouts are kind of tricky.  I think I’m starting to figure them out.  The trucks stay in the right lane and you just drive fast and try to dodge all the crazy people.

Bollywood is big here like Hollywood.  And everything has Arabic subtitles.

The beef comes from Australia and New Zealand.  The fruit comes from everywhere.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are cool.  Israel is not.

You can’t buy pornography and it’s proxied off the internet.  Pork can only be bought in the little “Non-Muslim” only section of the international grocery stores.  Alcohol is only sold at licensed bars attached to hotels.

Taxi drivers drive like maniacs.

Everyone speaks English.  They just don’t do it well.  And everyone speaks some other language: Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, you name it.

I have power and air conditioning 24/7.  I hope that never changes.

The heat isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  You’re not going to be hanging outside though.

The Persian Gulf is beautiful.

We’re 859 miles from Baghdad.

the ceiling fan

21 06 2007

I have this irrational fear that when I take my shirt off in my room, my arms are going to hit the ceiling fan.  If I stand on my flat feet and extend my hands up as far as I can reach, I’m still a couple inches short.  Yet every single time I take off my shirt, I have a little worry that I’ll hit the fan.

I’m less than a week away from Dubai.  My suitcases are mostly packed.  They’re old suitcases, not new lightweight ones.  One is leather, at least it looks like leather.  The other is a Samsonite case, probably from some time in the seventies.  I thought about buying new luggage.  I just couldn’t justify the cost for the one trip.  I assume I can always buy it later if I need it.

I’ve found that I enjoy sending postcards more than I like receiving them.  I’ve also found that I like giving gifts more than I like receiving them.  It’s odd, because I still like getting postcards and gifts.  But I find that I have a little bit of joy when I give them.

Sometimes I forget that “i’m a fan of postcards” is here.  I see the link to my Dashboard every day and I think about how I’d like to write something.  But the moment quickly passes.  I wish I could write like C.S. Lewis or Andy Rooney.  Perhaps a blend of the two.

the collect for purity

22 04 2007

Sometimes someone else can write it much better than I can:

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy hold Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.