Thursday, 3 June 2010
So when my friend requested me to go along I told her an emphatic NO….for many reasons. For one I like to take my trips in comfort and spending ½ a day in the sweltering heat was not my idea of fun. Secondly there is something called dune-bashing wherein before reaching the camp we are taken into the ‘proper’ desert[where for miles you see only sand and sand-dunes like in the movies] and the 4 wheel drive you are traveling in is made to thrash up & down the sand dunes. The driver deliberately jerks the vehicle up & down and the passengers get a kick out of it.
Now this is what scared me the most. I’m a poor traveller with a motion-sickness problem; infact I’m so sensitive that I get funny feelings in my stomach if I rock too hard on the recliner in the living-room. Yes really;-/. When I was a child the problem was so bad that I always had a plastic-cover tucked away in my school-bag for emergencies. Now I’m like sooooo much better but the fear is still there. The only vehicles I can breathe easily are in the auto and the train, the rest are just tolerated for their uses.
So armed with a light lunch, anti-motion sickness tablets and plastic covers we boarded the vehicle. My better-half who has a bad back and my younger daughter opted not to come. My elder daughter and my friend’s son were so excited. On the way the vehicle stopped to pick up a Portuguese couple and soon we were on our way. After an hour or so when it didn’t look like we were reaching anywhere soon I gave into my thirst, opened a can of Mirinda & took 2 tiny sips.
My daughter was laughing delightedly and shouting “Faster, faster” with a half-crazed look on her face. I looked at her wryly wondering how she could be so different from me, then narrowed my eye-brows suspiciously and thought back to the time she was born. After all she did lie in the nursery along with many other kids, was there a possibility my own flesh and blood got switched with this brat. Goodness I really have to discuss this with the better-half….maybe a DNA test…..
Sheikh Zayed[the founder of UAE], gorged on Arabic food, watched belly-dancing & other curious forms of entertainment. The belly-dancer was gorgeous and not at all like the thin fair creatures you see on tv; she was a mature, dusky Moroccan woman whose graceful movements mesmerized us from the start. I could see Nikita watching all her moves closely and had to hide a smile when she whispered sadly that she wont be able to do a particular dance-step; well I had to agree coz the belly-dancer was balancing a long stick horizontally on her generously endowed upper torso;-D
When I think about it now I’m so glad I took Nikita along. I almost didn’t coz I didn’t want Naina to feel bad[Naina[6yrs] I knew for sure wouldn’t have enjoyed the dune-bashing, and so when I explained how it was going to be she willingly stayed back with her father]. Nikita threw herself whole-heartedly into having fun and reveled in the whole experience. She even got up to join the belly-dancer along with the others at the end of the performance. And in the middle of everything she found time to make a sand-castle too; I smiled in indulgence at her boundless energy but it was wiped off almost immediately when I realized she was using up all the water in the unattended Aquafina bottles, to make it;-/.
As for me I’m glad I went for it. So many times I say NO without thought and miss out on different experiences. I doubt I’ll ever put myself thru another round of dune-bashing but I don’t for a moment regret the one I experienced and there is this decision I made that I will open my mind to all ideas and experiences and give them a fair chance. Who knows I may even end up enjoying a few like this one. All but for one thing….it will be a long time before I drink Mirinda again.
And as to how the friend finally convinced me to go on this desert safari…..
He said something like “Just think about it, you can blog about the whole experience when you get back” and believe me when I say, that very minute all my reservations went flying out of the window;-D