January 19 (Thursday) itinerary was jam-packed for me.
I did not complain when I saw it. The fuller it is, the better. It’s my goal to maximize my sojourn in this land as I began “stripping” its mystery.
But first, I need the husband and wife team as my pro bono personal tourist guide and documenter. 🙂
Just like my older sister Nano, Shane filed for a five-day LOA while Jofel willingly sacrificed his rest time before his graveyard shift in his job. Touching gesture indeed from my kins. And they did this out of love. Thus, when we waited for the bus, I was still beaming despite not being able to sleep because of the new surroundings. In Filipino lingo we call this “namamahay.”
My first bus ride was another re-affirmation of the high-tech and invaluable services one could avail of in Dubai. Sans bus conductor who would get the payment and issue ticket just like in the Philippines, my ride was totally relaxing. The bus was clean and sweet-smelling as if it were brand new. My motion problem did not even attempt to tickle me. Ha-ha! Then, we alighted to have my first metro train experience which exposed me to more Dubai’s irresistible appeals.
It was a continuation of my joyride! I devoured the sceneries that we passed by. My eyes particularly relished on each skyscrapers’ unique architectural design and totally forgot that I had not rested them well.
Truly, the sight of these buildings alone was sheer unadulterated pleasure! Yet, more was waiting for me as we hiked and looked for a diner where we could already have our breakfast. It was here where we accidentally coined the word “toureigner” (tourist + foreigner).
After hushing our grumbling tummies, Shane got a call from his Tito Edwin. He would be completing our team as I picked up my race kit at Meydan. We hailed a cab and proceeded to Edwin’s pick-up point. My niece spotted him at once and we all smiled as we noticed that the colors of our shirts complemented each other. Call it fusion of the minds.
Shane’s calculated time to Meydan was right. I was thankful that we had not wasted any minute that morning.
Entering Meydan made me anticipate a similar physical arrangement during the race kit collection at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2014 (See related post at https://wanderingjouster.com/2014/12/31/the-initiation-rites/). I was expecting a lot of people lining up in each chute and several stalls selling promotional sports items. Well, it was far way different. Or, perhaps it was already the last day sked for claiming one’s race pack that the hall was not crowded at all which made me finish my business there in a jiffy with the Brits.
And while I was almost done claiming my race pack, Edwin rejoiced upon seeing that late registrants were still welcome. He actually did not register on-line due to lack of training. But, I was glad his setting foot on Meydan changed his decision at once. I became as ecstatic as he was when he officially registered in the 10-k distance. SCDM 2017 would mark his maiden international run.
A second timer in this country, Edwin’s presence added to my weaving a string of beautiful memories for he has shown me how he values our friendship for the past years.
When we exited Meydan with our respective race bibs, I knew we would be doing a lot of mind conditioning for the battle that awaited us in Dubai’s road.
And as for the Wandering Jouster, SCDM would be a most welcome first combat this year as she would be deploying an intense emotion to triumph again as a solo runner.