Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dubai Days once more

The more often I come here, the more I like this place, scraped out of the desert over the past twenty years, now one of the most modern-appearing and buzzing cities in the world, I do believe!
Today, the whole of Dubai is flag-waving and horn-hooting and an official public holiday was announced: becasue they have been awared the right to hold the World Expo in 2020... the local Dubai paper described what this would mean for the city and its economy.

Meanwhile, I spend the days with my daughter and grandsons and their friends, read from time to time (when I can find  quiet moment) and talk to many people.
There will now be a succession of "holidays" since it is UAE day very soon and the boys are happily looking forward to days without school and picnics and other outdoor delights.

I am still trying to catch up with my Mesopotamia writings, so keep this brief until I'm ready with the near past.
But it's lovely here, huge light skies, the sound of hundreds of different langauges (over 200 nationalities apparently) and of course, the distant mountains above which hover the Dubai falcons.
And each culture practises in peace its traditional customs ... like Sint Nikolaas for the Dutch... shoes placed each evening with a carrot for Sint's horse.

to be continued...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

European interval...

Back from Mesopotamia ... mind still spinning. We walked in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, climbed the hills where Abraham/Ibrahim once dwelt (so they say) and sat in the most ancient churches in the world...
I kept a daily journal, and some day when I have time will write the stories. Meanwhile, time speeds me on... we returned from Diyarbakir to Antalya and spent a wonderful day in the museum there. Superb pieces from the excavations carried out during the past decades. Every archaeologist's dream... See pictures in my Facebook albums.
After a few days in Finike (fighting a cold) I flew to Amsterdam, where I now am. And tomorrow down to Maastricht.
I thought I would be in for more of a climate and culture shock than in fact I experienced.
True, it is colder here than Finike (from 25 Celsius to 7 ...) but so far the wind is not biting and the rain is intermittent.
Walking towards the Leidseplein this afternoon I had a pleasant feeling of being in a most familiar setting; past the school where my children enjoyed their secondary education, the Barlaeus Gymnasium, past what was once a prison, the Balie, now a centre for cultural debate, films and meetings, and into the Apple Heaven, formerly the chic department store of Hirsch et Cie. Now full of techno-whizzes, all most helpful (I have an Apple MacBook...) for the not-so-technically-gifted, like myself.
There is always lots to do when I get home after a period away. But that isn't interesting for a story!
I have the feeling I should rush round a little less... but this travelling does keep me so alive and alert, and the stories are all bouncing and cheeping round, ready to start flapping their wings.
I am now loading my pix onto iPhoto on my Mac, and can't find out how to attach them to my blog. So no illustrations, I'm afraid. Just words...