Day 283 – 286 | Christmas in Dubai?

Day 283 | Thursday December 22

The last days I have made it in the media quite a lot! Yesterday I was featured in Time Out Dubai and StepFeed and today I was on the front new of Xpress News, a weekly tabloid. I thought tabloids only write about superstars so would that make me…? Ah never mind.

Whooo! I'm on the frontpage of Xpress News today! In the Emirates they really love my story and I was also featured in Time Out Dubai: http://bit.ly/2i42XxV and StepFeed: http://bit.ly/2hYetNR

Posted by Plug Me In on Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 2016

Today I had a meeting with Ben from the Global EVRT, we did a special announcement on Facebook Live to tell about why I’m joining to Emirates EVRT and how my journey has been so far. You can replay it here.

After the meeting Jan Willem invited me to Boca, a bar in the DIFC, the financial district of Dubai were a lot of business is going on. From there I went to another bar, at the top of the Hilton in JRT. There is this Dutch in Dubai Facebook group and I posted a few times about my stay here and that got me a lot of reactions. At the Hilton they organized a monthly meet-up for all the Dutchies. Besides I met a lot of nice people I also had Bitterballen! Which made my night complete!

Day 285 | Saturday December 24

After more than a week it was time to leave my host. It was really great to be able to stay at the same place for a while. Normally I switch places every day which makes it a rush but now I had the opportunity to sort all kinds of things out and relax. So Jan Willem thanks a lot for the last days because you did a lot for me!

So my new hosts are again Dutch people. I gained many request to some posts on the “Dutchies in Dubai” Facebook group. I was welcomed by Adnane, Nabila, her father and 2 children. I was in touch with Adnane since a few days, I contacted him if I could come by yesterday for a night but he was not at home. He than invited me to come from Saturday and stay for christmas. I was a bit afraid to say yes as this is like the most religious day in the year which you normally would spend with friends & family. I had already been thinking about this days for weeks and I didn’t even think about asking someone to host me during these days. I actually was planning to sleep in the car for 2 nights somewhere in the desert (Serious, I had one christmas which was worse than that) but it was really no problem for them. The family has Moroccan roots and is Muslim so they don’t celebrate it, perfect match.

Adnane wanted to take me into the desert with his 4×4. Only after a 30-minute drive from the center you are surrounded by sand. After 30 minutus Adnane stopped next to the highway and turned on the desert-driving-mode. With high speed he drove over the dunes, for myself a first-timer and I can’t deny that I was almost shitting in my pants.

We wanted to take some pictures of the sky, which was stunning from here, you could see the whole milky way. For both of us the first time to experiment with this type of photography. Adnane’s camera was just to small to capture the stars, I have to practice more to take some nice ons. We ended up making light scribing pictures. See the stunning results below.

Day 286 | Sunday December 25

First day of christmas! Well in mosts parts of the world. In Dubai it’s around 30 degrees, shops are open and only in shopping malls you will find christmas trees.

My host Adnane took me for a sightseeing trip. In stead of going to the fancy touristic places we went to the old part of the city called Bur Dubai and the industrial area ‘Al Quasis’, where the workers of the city live. From this area it was a huge contrast with the Dubai Mall we visited later. The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total area and the most visited building in 2011 with 54 million visitors. It contains 1.200 shops. Of course here in Dubai it can’t be a regular mall so they build some ‘attractions’ inside of it. There is an olympic sized ice rink and a huge aquarium. The 10-million litre Dubai Aquarium tank is one of the world’s largest suspended aquariums. The size of the tank is 51 meters in length, 20 meters in width and 11 meters in height.

It houses thousands of animals, compromising over 140 species. Over 300 Sharks and Rays live in this tank, including the largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world. You can watch the animals from outside or through a tunnel 11 meters below the surface. If that’s not enough you can also dive inside it.

For dinner Jan Willem invited me so there was still a bit of a “christmas feeling.” Nice to share share this evening with some people who I (just) know!

PICTURES

Day 278 – 282 | Dubai

Day 278 | Saturday December 17

It was late last night and still weekend so we relaxed today and did some practical things. All my stuff from the car was in my host’s house now and I cleaned everything, throw some stuff away and reorganized it. I got a nice clean car now.

Day 279 | Sunday December 18

We went to see Rogue One – A Star Wars movie today. Not in a normal seat of course, because this is Dubai and here they make it next level. So we had a huge chair, with buttons! One to move it  into horizontal position so you could almost lay down and one button to ring the waiter. You can order ordinary popcorn or chips but also a beefsteak, sate or anything what you normal could get at a restaurant. Unbelievable. We both thought the movie itself was not so good but the experience made up for it.

Day 281 | Tuesday December 20

Today started with a meeting at the Consul-General of the Netherlands in Dubai. I was invited by Jeroen & Lotte who were very interested in my story. They invited Peter and Dena from the municipality of Dubai. They are very active her sustainability wise. Many events are taking place and a lot of interesting institutions can be found in the city. Dubai is the only of the 7 emirates that don’t have oil and because of that they are changing to renewable sources.

Peter & Dena are going to link me to these events and projects and on the 5th of February I might join them in the car-free day which they are organizing.

Day 282 | Wednesday December 21

I went for a lunch with Ben and Druv from the EVRT. I decided that I definitely will join them and we talked about how we can support each other. We both have the same goals so it seems and feels like a match made in heaven.

After lunch I dropped by a fuel station, to check the tire-pressure because what else can I do at a fuel station 😉 A guy approached me and said “hey I am a Dutchie as well!” he already saw on Facebook that I was here and was surprised that he bumped into me. Spontaneously he invited me for dinner with a friend of him and I would meet them later today.

Around 6pm I wanted to go there but I had only 17% battery left. I could make it to their location but not back. I don’t have a keycard for public chargers yet so there was no possibility to charge. Oh well, I’m sure there is but it was not very certain. So we postponed it to another day.

About my last blogs

My last blogs haven’t been very rich of content or crazy stories. Am I not doing a lot? Actually I am working my ass off. I have a lot of work to catch up with, making videos from earlier interviews and writing about that. Also preparations for the coming weeks etc. Besides that I am doing some work, like real work for money. My personal bank account has reached to the minus level. Mainly because of health insurances I need to pay for. So now I am making video’s for clients to earn a little bit of money.

PICTURES

Day 276 & 277 | The normal life.

Day 276 | Thursday December 15

Today was another practical day. Jan Willem insisted that we would need to clean the car. It was dirty, covered with dust but I would have left it like that if it was not that JW kept pushing. So we literally took everything out of the car, this was the first time this trip. At a fuel station they cleaned the car from inside and outside.

Not only needed the car be clean but myself too. Jan Willem is celebrating his birthday tomorrow and arranged a VIP-table at a club. With my sneakers I wouldn’t be allowed so he got me some new ‘decent’ shoes. I’m Dubai proof now.

Day 277 | Friday December 16

Today was all about the birthday off my Dutch host Jan Willem. His official birthday is tomorrow but as one of his favorite DJ’s was playing tonight so he threw a party today. In UAE the weekend is on Friday and Saturday, were it’s Thursday and Friday in Iran. Saturday and Sunday in Europe so it’s getting a bit confusing.  

Landmark of Dubai
In the morning I drove to the Burj Al-Arab. It’s that huge hotel on this island in the shape of a sail ship. Probably the most famous hotel in the world. I wanted to get a picture with me and the car to have proof that I’m in the city. When I stopped at the boulevard a lot of interested tourists from different countries approached me to hear my story. An Indian couple even supported me with an ice-cream!

Bidi Bondi
So we started celebrating around noon at Bidi Bondi, a pub below the apartment of Jan Willem. Bidi Bondi is an Ozzie bar, you can watch Rugby or other sports here and they serve Tooheys which is my favorite beer. 

First I had a meeting with a journalist from BNN (a Dutch tv & radio channel) he heard about me and wanted to do a short interview for a radio program on Saturday night. You can listen to it here: it’s on hour 2 and from the 6:30 mark on december 18. 

Party Time!

At night we went to the Provocateur, one of the many nightclubs in the city. Sven Vath was playing which is a German techno DJ and legend. I really missed a good party, I didn’t have much this trip and the last time I had a good night out was… I seriously can’t remember anymore so it was definitely party time for me! Of course I needed to dress properly which felt a bit weird when going to a techno party.

So the club was nice decorated and very fancy. We had our own private table which I never had before. Private bartenders were constantly making drinks for us and even at the toilets there were people who opened the tap for you when you wanted to wash hands. A bit too much service and luxury than I’m used to for me but definitely special to experience.

Jan Willem brought some Dutch friends and most of them already heard about me on Facebook or from other people. Good news travels fast 😉

The night was perfect. Sven played a good set and it was great to have a decent party after all those months. This trip is so diverse. Only a few weeks ago I was eating traditional food on the floors of clay-made houses in the Iranian desert and now I am living this luxurious life: eating steaks on rooftop bars and having VIP tables in fancy night clubs, very interesting!

PICTURES