Friday, January 19, 2007

Why it pays to have 2 TV sets in the house
Last night while my sister was watching freaks tone deaf contestants auditioning for the latest American Idol in her room, I was downstairs tuned in to the Amazing Race Asia. I'm sorry but I cannot stand people make a fool of themselves, it is heart breaking enough to make me cringe with horror. Besides I knew that the 4 remaining teams would be in Dubai for this leg of the race so I didn't want to miss it.

"Do-buy" (due to the numerous sales) as I fondly call this Arabian Gulf city was my home for 6 long years. So watching them race in the sweltering summer heat brought back fond memories.
W (my ex ex bf) and I had our first dinner date at the Dubai Creek Golf Club, one balmy Arabian summer night. The restaurant serves Continental cuisine, our table was located outside with a gorgeous view of the flood lit sprawling golf course. Never mind that I was practically melting from the humidity. DIMC or the Dubai International Marine Club at the corner of the Jumeirah Road has this elegant Thai restaurant (I forgot its name and I'm not sure it still exists) that serves authentic Thai food with prices worthy of a 5 star hotel. Unfortunately, the Emirates Mall wasn't built yet when I was living there or else I would probably satisfy my 'snow' craving by lounging at the Ski Dubai, every day.
Anyone who makes their way to Dubai must absolutely visit the Gold Souk. Even if you don't buy anything, it is one of the many attractions of this oil rich city. Rows and rows of jewelry shops which sell nothing but gold accessories. There is now an air conditioned mall but the Old Souk located in the open area is the main draw. You can sneak in and out of the shops with relative ease because there are alot of police officers manning the area.
My favorite activity though is the desert safaris in those SUVs. The same SUV the racers rode to take them to the pit stop. Usually the tour last for one hour. You are driven (some of the drivers were Filipinos) in a 4 four wheel drive vehicle and go rolling up and down the sand dunes. It is quite a scary bumpy ride and your knuckles will turn white as you grip the handles and scream like crazy! You might have a heart attack whenever the vehicle attempts a steep climb up the sands or come cascading down a hilly sand dune but it is quite a thrilling experience. The best part of the tour is the grilled buffet dinner at the camp site. A giant tented area set in the middle of nowhere. You enjoy your meal in the large majlis, a belly dancer gyrating to Arabian music entertains you while you eat. You can also take a stroll on a camel along the camp site. Believe me those humps can be quite uncomfortable as they poke against your lower back. Then you either choose to spend the night under the stars with sleeping bags (pay extra of course) or you can return back to the city. I am looking forward to next week's episode of the Amazing Race Asia as they further explore Dubai while competing against each other.

Speaking of Amazing Race - the All Stars edition is due to kick off next month. I checked the official website and noticed that Rob and Amber are among the teams to take part. Geez don't they have other things to do than join reality TV shows? I guess not!

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