The majority of Westerners tend to head out of the UAE for at least a month each summer, in fact many expat wives and children head to cooler climes for 8-10 weeks, dependent on school holidays of course. I was lucky to get home to Scotland for a couple of weeks in June, but I made my stay deliberately short so I could come back here and get things moving along for my new company.
This is my eighth summer in the UAE and believe me, you never get used to the heat so if you are not working in an air conditioned office all day, the extreme heat does require some lifestyle adjustments. Typical early morning temperatures are around 32-35C, rising to 42-50C in the afternoon, then gradually cooling down to around 40C in the evening. Regular readers might know that I currently am looking after three dogs – two of my own and one for a friend and having canine company and a reason to go out (for walks) has been the only thing that has preserved my sanity since I came back 6 weeks ago. If I didn’t have the dogs then I suspect I might have spent much of the last month couchsurfing at friends’ in Al Ain and Dubai!
Getting out in the morning is more than just walking; for the dogs it is a chance to check out the many sights and smells and for me it is a chance to observe all the creatures, domestic and wild, and the many plants which thrive in the oasis. One thinks that the UAE does not really have clear seasons but nobody has told the parakeets and the “electric” moths that as they are nowhere to be seen in the winter and arrived here early in June. I have walked here regularly for 8 months now and have gained a deeper appreciation for the natural world in the UAE.
The dogs and I get up at 6am, walk for 3.5kms round the plantations near to our home, then back for breakfast, another sleep til 11am; we then stay undoors until the sun sets before venturing out again for another, shorter walk unless we are going to Starbucks which adds another 2.6km to the daily total. During the day I attend to a million admin/organisation tasks to keep me amused and as for the dogs – I have discovered “Relax My Dog” music on youtube so I turn it on all day for them! And it does keep them reasonably calm, although I find the music a bit downbeat for my rock n roll tastes!
I snap some photos every morning on our trip round the oasis and I hope you enjoy these. The quality is not great as the sun is barely over the horizon and I have three dogs pulling on the lead while I take them, so please forgive me for the less than sharp images!
If you happen to pass through MZ please give me a shout and maybe we can have coffee? You will find me in Starbucks a couple of evenings a week or the plantation every morning!