Monday, July 27, 2009

The Continuing Adventures of the International Super Couple, Part One

And so Seth and I decided on a quick trip to Dubai. Cheap tickets - though not so cheap once the 50KD, or $174, in taxes and fees was tagged on - purchased and carry-ons packed, we arrived at the airport ready and excited to get away from Kuwait for a bit. A bit: only two full days, but sometimes that's all you need. Sometimes it's all you can get.
Our flight was through Jazeera Air, based out of Kuwait, so no booze on the flight - no free water, either. I guess that what's you get when your tickets only cost $40 (before fees.) No worries. The plane landed at 1am Dubai time and before we even get to customs there, on our right, was a duty-free liquor store. We instantly headed inside, Seth becoming distracted by the Corona display, while I bee-lined it for the wine. Delicious.
Though so many choices! I first found the French selections, but something about French wine bothers me, makes me feel ignorant about my choice of beverage. Two-buck Chuck might be even lower than table wine but at least the bottle has the decency not to mention that. Plus, none of the French had screw-tops, so I moved away from those haughty bastards. I found two nice, decently-priced bottles of red, figuring that would be enough. Seth came by: "Do you think we should get another? We're here for two days and don't where other stores are. We should get another."
"Really? Ok."
"I want to choose." He began scanning countries, looking over bottles, finding one that looked good - "No - no screw-top" - so back it went. He admitted he didn't know what he was looking for and I was becoming impatient. The time was pushing past 1:30, we still had a 35-minute ride to the resort, still had to go through customs, so I made a decision: "Just grab the fucking Pinot Noir!"
And again we were off, finally leaving the airport to head to our resort. We discovered that the exit from Dubai International is replete with water misters which, considering the smothering humidity and heat in the country, served to create a miserable bog-like experience as we walked through. I would put that down as one of the worst ideas ever. Eh, fuck it - in the taxi we were handed cool towels to wash our faces and hands, as well as bottles of water, so we were satisfied. Driving along the highway to the beach, I noticed first how nice the roads were compared to Kuwait: large overpasses, clover-leaf designs, exit signs appearing before the exit (as opposed to 100 meters into the turn of the exit), no sand clogging the shoulders. Seth pointed out one hotel with pyramid-like structures, saying it look like the Luxor in Vegas. And he had a point - at first glance Dubai did seem like Vegas in the "how many ostentatious buildings can fit inside 30-square miles? (253)" sort of way - but only at first. Dubai had something else, something Vegas only pretends to have -
wealth, massive wealth permeating the air. It was daunting.
Check-in and up to the room. I was pleasantly surprised by the robes and slippers provided for us; I was out of my clothes and into a robe before Seth could even drop his bag. He inspected the mini bar while I got down to important business - opening the wine. Two glasses each of Pinot Noir were in our bellies within 15 minutes.

It was delicious. I love wine and tasting it again was like rediscovering sex after a dry spell: you want as much as you can get in as little time as possible.
The wine hit our bellies hard and by our third and final glass we could feel sleep approaching.

Our drinking slowed and we went to lie in bed. I had one large gulp of wine remaining. "Seth, drink this for me - I don't think I can."
"Man up, you're just going to go to sleep after you drink it."
He was right.
So I did.

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