Our friends Ravi and Marcia David along with their girls received us as we came out of the Dubai airport. It is not unusual to want to spend transit hours driving around the city. But it was 2:00 a.m., not really a time when friends would want to be receiving people at the airport, leave alone entertaining them. So we are very thankful.
We spent the night driving around the city seeing the buildings at night with all their lights. Perhaps some of them were extra lit up because of Diwali.
Our first stop was at a “drive-in” tea shop. You parked across the road from the tea shop and someone would come over to the car and take your order. We had a honey-sweetened black tea called Biriyani Tea! It was refreshing and very yum. I usually do not relish sweet tea, but this one was different.
We drove around for a some more hours.
We had so much to catch up on, as both Ravi and Marcia were childhood friends of mine. To see them and also meet their lovely children was amazing.
We stopped at a McDonald’s just before day break.
Our final stop was at a location near some water.
From this location, with the water behind us, you were supposed to be able to see the sun rise over the skyline.
But the haze was too pronounced for us to see the sun, or so we thought.
So we started for the airport. On the way, we saw the beautiful rising sun, and only Sylvia’s phone was able to capture the moment to some extent.
We probably should have been a little more patient and waited. Oh well.
Good bye David family, thank you.
Goodbye Middle East.
Although the three places we visited — Dubai, Muscat, and Kuwait — were more relaxed in their dress codes for women and so on than some other countries in the region, I still felt that I needed to be cautious. In fact I felt this way even on the plane from Auckland. By the same token, as soon as we were in the air and flying back home, I felt free. But this could just be a psychological thing.
Here is another observation and some spiritual thoughts. In each of these places, the ruler’s face was ubiquitous — pleasant and confident — whether it was His Highness Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid, ruler of the Emirate of Dubai or His Majesty Qaboos bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman or His Highness, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait. Wherever you went in their respective kingdoms, you saw their faces. I also noticed that in all the cities we visited, our loved ones spoke well of these rulers. This reminded me of the King of kings and God Almighty. He placed us as image bearers, His miniatures, if you will, of His glory and majesty on this earth. We, whether male or female, were created in the image of God. In our fallen state, we are lousy muddied images. But through Jesus and His new creation, the earth again starts to have clean images of the King reflecting His glory to the world, albeit in a limited way for now.