Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Crack of Dawn

Dignity at all times...
It takes a lot to prise me out of bed in the morning, not least a Friday morning.  Lack of sleep combines with working week exhaustion and renders me senseless when the alarm goes off. Mind you, I don’t lie in like I used to in the UK though, something about knowing there’s blue sky and sunshine on the other side of the curtains entices me out at a reasonable time these days.

But last Friday really went against the grain – my alarm clock (which is never set at the weekend) rang out at a frightening 7 am. (Apologies to my friends with children, I am aware this is a long, long lie-in in your worlds!) 

Why was I up at such an ungodly hour? Well, each year Dubai Cares (oneof our biggest charities) holds a 3k walk to raise funds, and it had seemed a good idea at the time when the entire office signed up to it. What had also seemed a good idea was for us all to dress up as coloured crayons (the team) and an Arabic colouring book (me).

This all seemed a lot less of a great idea when stood on beach road at 8 am with various members of the public laughing at our fancy dress costumes (we were the ONLY ones dressed up out of 3,000 people) AND there was a giant sandstorm in full effect.

We were led out of Jumeirah Beach park by an Emirati marching band, complete with bagpipes. BAGPIPES! The excitement nearly killed us, amazing! Despite the wind, despite the humiliation, despite the early hour, we had an absolute ball. I can’t remember when I laughed so much. And the most heart-warming thing for me was the huge number of people who had turned out…all nationalities, ages, families, children..and the odd dog too. 

There are those who say Dubai has no soul, that no-one cares about each other. To those people I say: get out there, get involved…charity and kindness is everywhere here.

I’ll forgive you if you don’t want to dress up as giant crayon though…

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