I thought I was being smart planning a full ten days away (frugalness was the only barrier to staying longer. Two weeks is probably best to understand a place more and get comfortable) because I know I don't travel well, that is to say, I become easily tired and jetlagged and then am slow to motivate just as I am in NYC. I figured I'd waste three days and in effect really have a one-week vacation. Er, but I'm on day six and so exhausted I have that sand in the eyes feeling permanently and keep falling asleep around 5pm to wake up around 9pm too groggy to go out and explore. This means wasted meals and just bread and cheese for dinner from the Carrefour in the mall, which is technically across the street but like a mile deep into the complex, or some food court snacks because luckily, I'm on the side of the mall where all the restaurants are clustered. I'm fairly certain that I've been to the mall, meaning Mall of the Emirates (there are countless others) every day I've been in Dubai.
I actually do have a mission here, but we'll see how it pans out before I go into it. Right now, I'm doing some waiting around. Obviously.
I may have started off on the wrong, well-intentioned foot by consuming great amounts of alcohol my first two days and nights and completely screwed up my inner clock (and innards). An Ibiza club in Abu Dhabi and a Filipino bar where we (me and the sister of a Brooklyn friend who lives an hour from Dubai) were the only female non-prostitutes were involved. It all started innocently with Malibu and Barcardi poured into freshly cracked coconuts.
Over the weekend my face started itching and my skin turned reptilian. It looked, and still looks, like I had a sunburn but had barely been in direct sunlight (I've heard residents get vitamin D deficiencies from avoiding the sun even though it's the desert). I bought a heavier face cream than I'd brought with me, but it didn't help. In fact, I've put on so much Himalaya Herbals Revitalizing Night Cream that I'm now on the verge of breaking out on top of the pink lizard flesh. It finally occurred to me this morning that I must be having an allergic reaction to my mineral makeup, and not getting skin cancer which is what you'll think if searching online for red rough skin. I haven' t worn mineral makeup in close to a year but used to daily with no problems. I bring it to sweaty locales because it's powdery and less greasy. So, today I had to cough up $22 for the cheapest Sephora brand foundation (I got accosted at Boots by a clerk who kept trying to sell me brands that were clearly too dark and orange as she swiped them on my hand–I hate being helped at drug stores and that's why I like America). The brands that are normally in the $40s were easily in the $60s. Dubai is not where you get deals on Western products.
I haven't tried it yet because my face is still burning and I didn't leave the apartment tonight because like I said I fell asleep and then contemplated trying out an online food delivery service and watching TV just like I'm at home. Unfortunately, there are only two English language channels: Fox and Fox Movies. Fox only shows its own very short lived The Finder, the much-hated Low Winter Sun and the same episode of Masterchef Australia over and over. On the other hand, there are countless Iraqi, Yemeni, Libyan and Lebanese channels (even a Kurdish one).
Talking about my tired brain, stomach and skin did not seem appropriate on my food blog (newly remodeled–do check it out) Twitter or Facebook, and I just couldn't let the important situation simmer in my mind alone any longer. Thanks.