“If you are a Sikh, why aren’t you wearing a turbine?”
was one of the many eloquently worded questions I was asked by my clueless travelling companions. In my (unturbined) head I was saying, “We come in different varieties. Only the flying Sikhs like Milkha Singh have turbines. Navjot Sidhu has a motor-mouth”, but from my lips issued a mundane response about the family being cut-surd for a couple of generations.
(Another observation: “But arre, you don’t look like a Sikh. You look shmart and intayleegent.”)
Did all the usual touristy things in Dubai: there was a dhow cruise/dinner (and later, a much more downmarket abra ride across the creek); a hair-raising desert safari followed by a belly-dancing show at a nighttime desert camp; tobogganed and posed in igloos at the ski dome in the Mall of the Emirates; toured the golf and yacht club and a few other malls; visited the mountain range near Hatta.
Despite all this, the trip might still have been painful given the company I had, but what made everything worthwhile was being able to catch up at length with one of my dearest friends, Raghu, whom I hadn’t met in years. He was staying a short distance from the hotel I was in, we were both free by around 7.30-8 PM each day and spent much good time walking about the city (very good weather in the evenings), chatting copiously and drinking at the hotel pub where two excellent Filipino singers performed each night.
So nice trip on the whole, with a couple of boring patches and much antagonism felt towards people who think life is one giant freebie, complain shrilly all day if they don’t get Indian food at every meal, and make statements like “Karol Bagh jaisa khaana duniya mein aur kahin nahin milta”. More on that later, and maybe some pics too.