Journal of the far side – Day 1: Dubai


My eldest son and our daughter-in-law left for a life in Australia in July of this year, taking with them our only grandchild, Alice.

As recently-qualified doctors, both were dismayed by the politics being played by the UK Tory government with respect to the NHS. 

They are now enjoying a life style in which they are respected professionals, and their four bedroom rented house costs the same per month as they can charge for their tiny apartment in south London. 

We thought it would be good to show some support for their new life by visiting, and will be spending most of January in Adelaide, a considerable part of it child-minding a sixteen month old bundle of delight called Alice…

My usual posts will be suspended while I try to document this adventure. It is our first trip to Australia and everything will be very new. 

We’re looking forward to the sunshine, though thirty degrees plus of their midsummer heat may be oppressive – apparently it was forty degrees on Christmas Day! 

It’s 08:20 in the morning and I’m sitting up in bed writing this on my phone, which is where most of these posts will originate – the phone, not the bed. 

‘Conspicuous consumption’ was the word Bernie used to describe our first impressions of Dubai. The hotel is big and glitzy and opens to a huge shopping mall called the Mall of the Emirates. Everything is about three times the price of the UK, but Brexit has probably been responsible for a chunk of that; thank you, Sunderland. 


Everything is very ‘faceted’: the shapes of jewels are evident in the styling of many things. The Arabic natives seem to have uniform of long white gowns and, sometimes, headdresses. The rest of the society is polite but rigidly hierarchical. At a mall cafe dinner last night we asked for some bread crumbs to be wiped from our table. The man who had shown us to it went away to get someone of the right ‘level’ (an Indian lady) to carry out the task…

But, it’s clean and polite, and, at the end of this one day stopover, we’ll have a better picture. 

More later…

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Walsh says:

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Good morning, Nice weather your having ,It’s minus 1 here with a sprinkling of snow 🌨😂xxx

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      I’ll put you some sunshine in me pocket for when I get back! xx

      Like

  2. TanGental says:

    I hope y9u enjoy your selves. Not sure about Dubai – not me in the slightest- but Adelaide fElton like Trowbridge circa 1956. Very quaint. Still I expect you might enjoy the wine. If you want the wildlife go spend a day or two on Kangaroo Island. And those gown things? Thobes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thanks, Geoff – thobes it shall be! And for the Adelaide advice. Dubai def not my thing either!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth says:

    Enjoy your family visit to Australia, Steve! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Victo Dolore says:

    Happy travels!!! I look forward to hearing all about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Smith says:

    I love travel posts so looking forward to reading more. My friend’s daughter has also moved to Adelaide after marrying an Australian she met in London. They’ve just had their first baby.
    I once had a stopover in Dubai – even the taxis seemed to be the size of stretch limousines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Mary. The Australian people seem very friendly, so far. We’ve had grey skies since we arrived, so we’re hoping for some of that famed summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Denis1950 says:

    Hi Stephen.
    Enjoy Adelaide, I hope the electric grid does not crash on one of the 45oC January days you will probably experience. You may be surprised at the pace of life and general cultural “feel” of Adelaide. We sophisticates in Melbourne usually connect with our dress sense, eating desires and other cultural mores of about 25-30 years ago. I took a friend there for the day some years ago on his first visit. We hired a car and had driven over most of the city, up into the hills , visited some vineyards and were able to still sit down for lunch in Glenelg by midday. All that aside Stephen you will find some of the best wines and gourmet foods in the world within 1 hours drive of wherever your son lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Denis. That is all proving to be true. The people here are very friendly and relaxed. It’s a good feeling to be among them!

      Like

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