Saturday, April 4, 2009

4 star luxury vacation turned 5 star epic adventure

My husband's and my long awaited 4-star trip to Dubai--full of Belgian Beer, gourmet Thai, sushi, and shisha--turned in a 5+ star misadventure--full of mysterious white smoke, strange Syrians, torrential downpours and 17 hours on the road.

On our way back from Dubai to Oman (usually a 4.5 hour trip including border posts) our trusty 4x4 started pouring out white smoke. We stopped. It was Friday, the Muslim day of prayer and no work, and that meant that no mechanics would be open until 4 at the earliest, despite the fact that we were in a decently sized UAE town, Al-Ain. We tried driving a little farther, but it was clear that our car, not to mention of Emirati residents of Al-Ain, was not pleased with that.

Eventually we got to a mechanic, well...more like 7 mechanics. Everyone had a different idea of what was wrong. But not for sure. Despite the different, often indifferent, opinions we got, everyone agreed that we could drive it home. It wasn’t the engine. It was some piston related gas leak into the exhaust pipe. Or some problem with the turbo. Or something. I don’t quite understand, and if I did at one point, the ensuing 17 hours of hellish and bizarre experiences that would have made Kafka proud made me forget it.

Part 2 to come after I recuperate a little more.