First vacation… Dubai!

Abu Dhabi mosque

I’m mostly enjoying Kyrgyzstan but it’s not always the easiest country to live in for an American used to certain things (burgers, guacamole and decent wine mostly.)  It’s been 9 months since we’ve been on a plane and we needed to get out to somewhere warm with good food.  Since I’ve recently been convinced to make some time for India, the usual warm vacation spot for KG PCVs, we wanted to pick someplace else.  We found out there are direct flights to Dubai and the weather was forecasted to be near 80… perfect.

Burj Khalifa
It’s hard to get a sense of scale of the Burj Khalifa, it’s just insanely huge.

Another volunteer near the airport was kind enough to host us and after chatting for a bit we settled in for a restful 90 minutes of sleeping before getting up at 2am for our super early flight to Dubai.  The upside was landing early enough to have a full day in Dubai once we arrived and so we grabbed some breakfast at the airport before taking a taxi to meet our couch surfing host.  If on a budget, I recommend checking out  I was amazed how many hosts there were in Dubai and staying for free in Dubai saved us at least $1k over four days.  We met up with him at Starbucks near his apartment, David turned out to be a really interesting guy.  A Malaysian-born, ethnically Chinese doctor now working in Dubai.  One awesome advantage of couch surfing are the people you meet.  Over the four days we had great conversations with David and took some notes on future vacation ideas (we’re now adding Malaysia to our trip home, sorry mom, that’s another week!)  David took us to his apartment which was in the perfect spot with a great view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

Sushi. This is not Kyrgyzstan.
First night’s dinner, Lebanese meze

We were a little tired but we had only four days to see this city so we went for a walk.  Craving sushi we headed to a Japanese restaurant that Google says was about 30 minutes away on foot.  Reminiscent of Las Vegas (and this wouldn’t be the first thing that reminded us of Vegas,) 30 minutes turned into over an hour while we tried to navigate the maze of the Dubai Mall, they definitely avoid any straight routes anywhere.  It was worth the walk, fresh, authentic sushi does not exist in Central Asia.  We walked around a bit more, took a nap, enjoyed the sunshine and ate Lebanese food while watching the fountain at dinner.  Day 1, a success.


Burj Khalifa fountain
The fountain outside the Burj Khalifa

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