There is a saying, “I may be dumb but I am not stupid.”
I may be dumb but I am NOT stupid. I have been in this part of the world and things can be, and quite often are, indeed very different.
With this in mind, when we landed in Dubai I packed my camera away.
I thought to myself, “I don’t think I will get into shooting photos here. I am tried from the flight, I need to get a mobile phone plan set up and I do NOT want to be retained by security for snapping photos of places and things that security does NOT want photographed.”
Do that and you may not ever get to the other side of passport control and customs. You may be on the next flight home if you are lucky. If you are unlucky you may be in jail.
Therefore I do not have one single photo of Dubai International Airport.
Trust me on this: The International Airport here in Dubai is state-of-the-art.
The first and the most important thing I did after clearing passport control and customs was to find a mobile device center and get myself a local mobile phone plan. As I wrote yesterday, I accomplished this and am now on-the-air calling Patti who can and who has called me here in Dubai. I am also texting with my new Etisalat mobile plan.
The instant I realized back about 4AM in the early morning last June in Toledo Ohio that I was coming to Dubai, I began to think about where I would be staying. I had heard from many people and I had also read many places that Dubai is very expensive. In doing my research I found a lower-budget hotel in an out-of-the-way (with respect to the normal tourist accommodations) part of Dubai. Now this is like saying there are out-of-the-way places in New York City.
Using Tripadvisor and other internet resources such as booking.com I set out to see what I could find. After some considerable exploration I found my hotel. I decided to just go-with the hotel I settled upon and NOT come here for a night-or-two and spend my time and resources going crazy attempting to find a better deal. So I booked my room for a full 21-days with the thought I can then move or I can just stay-put.
AL FAREJ HOTEL, DUBAI
Well hello trouble. Where in the world you been?
When I set up my reservation with the AL FAREJ HOTEL they sent me a three page confirmation e-mail with a lot of information on it including a map.
You believe. You don’t believe. Pick one. You have absolutely no other choice.
Ali you’re my man. This I believe. I am going to trust you Ali.
“Too funny Sahib! What else you gonna do Sahib? I own you.”
Trust me! I can read minds! Ali my taxi cab driver was thinking the above thoughts to himself.
When I got to the taxi queue in front of the airport I was assigned my taxi. I did not have a chance to interview my taxi driver for person-to-person chemistry. After we got my bags loaded I got into the front seat of the taxi to Ali’s right. I like to do this. Sit up front and call my taxi driver by name.
“Ali will you please take me to the AL FAREJ HOTEL?”
“Sahib I have never ever heard of the AL FAREJ HOTEL.”
I thought to myself, “Ah-Ha, I lucked out and picked the right hotel. It is NOT a tourist trap hotel for sure.”
We were now rolling and I said to Ali, “I have a map.” Ali immediately pulled over to the side of the passenger loading area and took my three pages of e-mailed data. After a moment-or-two he said the name of the general area of Dubai the AL FAREJ HOTEL was located in and said we would get into the area and telephone the hotel for precise directions.
Well ‘kind-of ‘ precise directions. NO street name or number but .. Yeah But Captain! You wanted a cheap hotel Captain, look what you are getting Captain.
|Fareej Al Murarr Opposite Delhi Restaurant Near Al Futtaim Mosque Deira
Dubai, , United Arab Emirates
This Ali did. We got into the general area of Dubai the hotel is in and Ali telephoned the hotel. The DRAMA began. The hotel would not / perhaps could not answer their phone. Finally on the fourth try Ali brightened up when he heard a voice over his mobile phone. After a short animated (these folks on this side of the world can be very animated!) conversation he thought he understood their directions and hung up and proceeded further.
“There is the Delhi Restaurant Sahib the hotel is right across the street from it.”
It wasn’t. Up the one-way street we ‘crept ‘. No hotel of any ilk.
Another phone call. More chit-chat. Around the block we drove. Around a very long block filled to capacity with cars. In this part of the world the vehicle traffic can be very bad. One way streets with idiots coming the wrong way. More chit-chat.
Finally Ali said, “Sahib. YOU call them with your phone.”
I did. Somehow (I think it was a language accent thing with Ali) I had them agree that if and when we two got back to the Delhi Restaurant we would sit in front and wait for an AL FAREJ HOTEL staffer to come and get us. We got back to the Delhi Restaurant and we waited. And we waited. Finally Ali said to me, “There is the hotel person Sahib.”
Lord God the AL FAHEJ HOTEL is NOT in front of / nor across the street from the Delhi Restaurant. It is a few short blocks away. “What’s that ‘Zilla .. When am I going to get to some photos?”
Let’s go into the AL FAREJ HOTEL.
Wow! For a simple, basic hotel in the non-tourist area this is looking pretty swanky.
“Hello Sir we welcome you to our hotel.”
“Sir? Sir? Won’t you take a photo of us Sir?” .. The hotel staffers called out to me shyly. Good news here Captain! They let you shoot up a batch of photos of their lobby then ask you to take their photo. Man alive these kind folks sure look great. The gentleman on the left in the black suit was the man who came and found Ali and me in our cab in front of the Delhi Restaurant.
A nice, a very nice beginning to my stay at the AL FAREJ HOTEL.
“Let me show you to your room Sir.” .. said My Man in the black suit.
Nice. Very Nice wall decorations down the hallway to my room. Below is a close up photo of the one on the right above.
“There is your room Sir. Just ahead of you to the left.”
“Step inside Sir.”
Immediately to my right upon entering is the necessary room. Spotless. Spic-and-Span.
“There has been a mistake here! I am in the low-rent, no-rent, cheap, unknown-to-tourists, part of Dubai.” ..
“Do you like your room Sir?” .. “I am speechless. I am dumb founded. I was not expecting this!”
You believe. You don’t believe. Pick one.
I believe somebody / I believe something up-there is in my corner! Sight unseen a few months ago I committed myself to this room for a full 21-days no turning back.
Nice, large, flat-screen T.V. Notice below the flat screen T.V. a nice complementary coffee / tea service.
Do all of you see the cabinet on the bottom of the right in the above photo?
Oh My! I mean OH MY! I did NOT sign up for all of this. I signed up for down-and-dirty, cheap, no frills in the no rent, low rent part of Dubai. Heat? I can sweat-it-out with the local people
Let’s go back to one of the above photos. Do you all see three small handles in the below photo?
Let’s pull on them and see what happens.
Look closely at the closet on the left and you can see an ironing board. There is an iron on the floor to use with the ironing board!
Do all of you see my chair and computer Mister LENOVO on his table where I will be spending a lot of my time?
My room comes with blindingly fast 4G perhaps higher WiFi! Stunned? I sure am and I am living this!
I will give you a closer look at a nice feature, a small ‘secure safe’.
This ‘hot-pot’ in the below photo allows me to boil water to accumulate a supply of ‘safe-to-use’ water. It also allows me to cook instant noodles and other hot-water items I may want. I love good hot water to wash my face upon awakening.
“Captain! This is a program of honesty. Upon awakening you give thanks for what you have been blessed with!”
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. Meister Eckhart.
All of the electrical outlets are Hong Kong design. Wow. I am all set here in Dubai because I lived a year in Hong Kong and have their electrical adapters. My Hong Kong AA battery charger just plugs into the wall outlet.
One last look at just what I have fallen-into here in the low rent, no rent, no tourists here area of Dubai.
With Great, With Sublime Joy .. I am almost on the verge of weeping tears of joy!
“What’s that you ask ‘Zilla?” .. “The cost for my room?”
O.K. ‘Zilla here is the math.
21-days cost me AED 4,518 Dirhams
1 US Dollar = 3.65 AED Dirhams
4,518 Dirhams / 3.65 Dirhams/US $ = $1,237.81 for 21-days or $58.94 per day.
For what I am getting here in Dubai this is a real deal ‘Zilla. I now plan to hold the room for the duration of my visit unless I move to Oman and take up residence there for awhile.
Oh Patti please! Pick yourself up off the floor. It is not ladylike for you to be on the floor M’ Dear One. YOU are always invited to be riding with me.
Smiles and Love for proof reading this Post.
- OCT 1, 16 .. SAFELY INTO DUBAI U.A.E.
- OCT 3, 16 .. BREAKFAST AT THE AL FAREJ HOTEL and A VIEW OF MY DUBAI