Woke up early today completely disjointed. My bed seemed like it was a boat still on the creek and swaying with the gentle waves. Sleep was thereafter difficult.I appeared to have a slight fever too.
It is three in the morning. In these part of the city, every house is either an hotel or a shop. Those houses that were shops at ground level were either hotels on the top floors or contained heavily populated apartments or mini-factories.Across the road away from my hotel I could see some men still at work in the other block. They never seemed to ever stop working in this block - sewing something , knitting something, cooking something. I would learn later that most of the clothes labelled made in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh could indeed have been crafted in these busy blocks by Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshi jobbers. I finally prayed myself to sleep near dawn. Got up around 9 am to grab myself a reluctant breakfast and again returned to sleep for another 3 hours.
Waking up I strengthened myself with a heavy dose of multivitamins and resolved this day to give my newly acquire Metro card a test drive.. Navigating by map . I got on a bus at the Gold Souq Bus terminus looking to find my way to the Dubai Museum. The bus driver dropped me off at the wrong station and I consequently had to walk about 200 yards more than was necessary. Finally I found myself at the museum . I am always fascinated by historical relics and this one I fell in love with immediately. I found the exhibits nearly ordinary though, but then what was I expecting to see , I reprimanded myself. I later headed for the Dubai also by bus. At arrival I totaled the amount spent so far at about 9 Dirhams. My last taxi trip had cost me 35 Dirhams. Having survived London for many years using the Metro here would be no problem . Compared with the cobweb-like network of the London underground and rails, this place had only two lines intersecting at two stations ; that is all. I got to the mall in good time to get myself a light meal at the Waitrose supermarket and also watch the musical fountain.
Completely knackered and aching all over on account of the fever , I caught a takeaway meal at the Afghan restaurant and returned to my hotel. While eating my dinner , I found a bed bug crawling on the bed-sheet and was extremely upset. I hadn't seen anything like this in more than three decades. I was sleepless most of the night; resolving to change my hotel next morning on account of the bedbug. Cheer up , this is an adventure I finally told myself; sit it through.
(Excerpt from the book 'Salam!' )