I took the bus to D*bai. A commissioned car would have been about $100. The bus cost $3. That settled it. Also, I wanted to see what the people who rode the bus were like. They seemed to be more of the elusive middle class that does live here.
I had studied the map and when the bus made a first stop, I thought, this can’t be far from my hotel, so I got off, got a cab, told him my hotel, and the cabbie said, “It’s right there.” Across the intersection. So I apologized and got out and walked it. Still it takes ten minutes when you are dealing with a major traffic clover that wasn’t designed to be negotiated by pedestrians. But after making it across most of the traffic, I saw this:
Not every day do you get off the bus and see the tallest building in the world.
I checked in and took a cab to the D*bai mall. In its crudest form, this is the logic that underlies everything I saw. We provide oil, for which you pay lots of money; we do magic tricks in the desert with it, and you pay more money to come watch them.
I saw pampered children skating in an ice rink the size of the ones used for professional hockey games.
I saw sharks and six foot skates (I think that’s what they were) swimming around in an aquarium two storeys high and one block long.