Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Goodbye, Dubai

Our boat sets out from the Dibba port in Oman into the Arabian Sea. On a clear day it is possible to see Iran across the water, says our captain.

When we stop for our first snorkeling session I feel sorry for the local ladies in their all-covering religious robes. I join the French women and the men in marveling at the sea gardens.

The corals are surprisingly unspoilt and there are many varieties of large colourful fish all around us. My local chauffeur has become our snorkeling guide and stays too close for comfort.

Back on the boat I deliberately remove myself to the top deck in order to get away from the unwanted attention and to catch some sun away from the uncomfortable stares of the local women. I could never imagine not being able to wear a swimsuit, feel the sun on my skin and enjoy the snorkeling experience. This small freedom is also the main reason for eventually deciding not to marry my Arabian love.

After a lunch of local Arabic and Indian delicacies washed down with sweet tea, we visit a few more snorkeling sites where we see giant crabs and even find Nemo. While the kids learn to do a bit of fishing at our last stop, I retreat to the upper deck again and watch the sun set over the Hajar mountains. The scenery is desolate and I feel grateful that I had the chance to see how the vibrant underwater world contrasts with the land.

My grandmother always said ‘all’s well that ends well.’

I had many unspeakable experiences in Dubai but what’s the use of dwelling on them? Concentrating on the bad only invites more negativity. There was a time when I felt that I might be able to find an affinity with Dubai but then the moment passed and I finally didn’t like what I discovered.

Now I am happy to say that this last memory of a snorkelling trip to Oman during my life as a Dubai resident is a happy and peaceful one.

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