I went out and explored Dubai on my long layover. This took some encouragement. I did it because I wanted to see the city, but mainly I did it to force myself to deal with some fear.
My trepidation had nothing to do with being in a foreign country. It was one simple thing: taxis. My least favorite method of transportation in Cairo was taxis. I hated having to argue with drivers who saw an American and claimed the meter was not working, hoping to score a higher fare. And they never seemed to know how to get where we needed to go unless it was something huge and obvious like the Pyramids. I walked a lot of kilometers in my efforts to avoid them (taxis, not the Pyramids). It was a decent way to get some exercise anyway, and necessary given all the gelato and Kit Kats I ate for comfort after a stressful day of learning Arabic and being stared at.
Anyway, the thought of getting into a taxi anywhere in the Middle East is not really high on my list of fun anymore. It’s trailing right behind hemorrhoids and stepping on scorpions.
If FOMO (fear of missing out) is a thing, I say FOMODTFOMET (fear of missing out due to fear of Middle Eastern taxis) is one also. I pretty much forced myself to go do this. I knew if I had 14 hours in Dubai and did not go explore at least a tiny bit I would by mad at myself for a really long time. And not just for missing Dubai, but for letting fear win. And a taxi was the only way I was going to get to the Burg Kalifa.
Turns out, contrary to the info on booking.com, there was NOT a free shuttle from the airport to my hotel, so a taxi was also my only option to get to my bed. I had really hoped to at least go check in first and shed the 800 pound camera bag, so I stood at the hotel shuttle pick up zone for over 30 minutes, hoping against all dwindling hope that one would show up. I guess God decided to force my hand. Or maybe he thought this was funny.
So by 8:15 p.m. I had no other way to get there but to grab a cab. I went with the very matter-of-fact woman in a pink hijab and a pink-topped cab car. Actually, all the women cab drivers have pink topped cars. It’s adorable. They’re adorable, even if they do drive like those two Egyptian guys who took us home from the train station that one night. [HYPERLINK] I asked her to take me to the Burg. She got me there really fast.
UAE cabs are way better than Cairo cabs. They’re clean. The meters work. The drivers actually know where stuff is located (okay, so the Burg is bigger than pyramids). All I ended up doing was shooting a few pics and then relaxing by the fountains, soaking up the cool night air and peaceful energy of the city. After 16 hours on a plane this was heavenly. The light show on the Burg never happened and I was pretty tired so I eventually hailed another cab and got back to the hotel.
Which is where I went to bed happy that I had gone out and spent an enjoyable evening facing fear and seeing stuff.
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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