I decided that on my way home to Melbourne I would stop in Dubai for a few days and visit my mate Coby. Coby had moved to Sharjah (the emirate next to Dubai) to teach at VISS, which is basically a Victorian School that operates out of the United Arab Emirates. Coby had only arrived in Sharjah a few days before me and so he was still getting his head around everything.
I landed in Dubai at 6.30am and the pilot politely informed us that the temperature outside was already 33 degrees. I caught a cab to Sharjah and after getting to Coby’s apartment I spent the morning asleep on his couch. That afternoon we went to a shopping centre and Coby bought a bunch of things for his new pad.
By some incredible stroke of luck, Australia happened to be playing a ODI against Pakistan that night in Sharjah, so of course Coby and I went along. The game didn’t start til 7pm because it’s just way too hot to do anything outside during the day. After buying our tickets (the ticket booth looked like a dodgy school canteen) we went in and found ourselves amongst a crowd full of Pakistanis. The ground looked in good condition and was surrounded by a single level grandstand (one section had a second level). What an atmosphere! Coby and I were both wearing Australia gear and so we were constantly asked to pose for photos with what felt like almost half of the crowd.
Between innings’, we moved seats and found some other Aussies who turned out to be teachers from another Australian School in Sharjah. Together we tried to ‘out cheer’ the Paki’s, but it was a lost cause as we were probably outnumbered 1000 to 1. In terms of one day cricket, the match was pretty boring, and once you add the heat (it was probably still mid 30s), and the fact it went til 2am, I was getting pretty tired. At one stage a cat walked out onto the field and that provided excitement for a few overs. Australia won in the end. Stark took 5 wickets and both Bailey and Clarke got half centuries.
The next day we went into Dubai to check out the ridiculously large Dubai Mall (it has a waterfall, aquarium, ice-rink and theme park inside it), and the equally ridiculously large Burj Khalif (the tallest building in the world). Both were amazing and pretty much beyond belief.
Last night I got a couple of hours sleep before getting up early to catch a cab to the airport for my 11th and final flight of my adventure. The last 2 months have been amazing, but I’m looking forward to getting back home to the best city in the world.