Well I made it to Hamburg and I am getting over my jetlag as the days pass. It was a great idea to stop in Dubai and have a sleep but I got jetlag anyway.
Dubai is not nearly as flashy as I expected (I think I expected another Singapore.) Instead I found a city of square spare boxes built for cars, no people to be seen, very hot. The sparse modern city has a beauty of its own though. Where there were no buildings there was sand. Grey sand.
The people are relaxed and friendly but most people there are foreigners. Indians and Pakistanis working on vast building projects and Europeans working as teachers and lawyers etc. In the paper I read that 500 foreign teachers are about to be replaced by locals. You have the impression everywhere that peole are busy learning how to run things and enter the 21st centry in a hurry. It was wonderful having Philippa there with me (Hi Philippa!). We farewelled each other in the airport next morning then she flew to London and I to Hamburg. The only thing I bought in Dubai was some Earl Gray tea with arabic writing on the tin. I opened it in Hamburg and the tea is fragrant and delicious.
Hamburg is green and verdant and I have been walking in the feilds with friends and admiring the green green green. It is cold and overcast. Really cold, cold enough for the heating to have been turned on again in the house. Tomorrow is a holiday here (Pfingston) so we are celebrating with a Pfingston lunch which my friend Angelika is cooking as I write.