Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”Lin Yutang

At exactly the 24-hour mark of the start of my homeward journey I arrived home. And, exactly like the outbound journey, I arrived without my luggage. Now, with my mug of hot coffee next to me, and one ear listening for the taxi that will be bringing my suitcase, I’ll start my morning post.

Dubai is an amazing place. Commonly we talk about America being the “melting pot” of the world; Dubai is a graspable microcosm of this phenomenon. It is an amazing blend of East and West. Finish dinner in a hotel restaurant and then just follow the throbbing sounds to a disco bar on an adjacent floor—while passing a woman in a full Burqua. See a Ferrari worth hundreds of thousands of dollars while waiting in a taxi line and be surrounded by people wearing what they did when the deserts were crossed on camel.

The Burj Dubai, currently a little more than half its final height, is being built at an amazing pace of three floors per week, and will be completed next year—as the tallest structure in the world. Currently little more than pedestals at the side of the roadway these pedestals will become the foundation for the world’s first, 138 mile long, high-speed light-rail system—and be ready for use late next year. My first day while driving past the airport towards the Expo center I noticed one of the older airport buildings being prepared for demolition, Tuesday it was only rubble, Wednesday the land was clear, Thursday the cranes were in place as re-construction had started—by 2009 Dubai will have the world’s largest airport.

Projects in Dubai move forward at a phenomenally breakneck pace—twenty four seven. It appears driven, as if they ‘must’ get it all complete before the petrol dollars start running out.

At the same time, unchanged for over a thousand years you see hundreds of ancient wooden Dhows plying the waterways distributing everything from cloth and spices to air-conditioning units and tires.

Other change was visible as well. The Expo I attended was in part a graphics exposition. Immediately next to the area our company occupied was a judged display of posters created by local college students. As with students from around the world much of their work addressed common global issues and themes, while others addressed the concerns specific to the region. The juxtaposition came when I noted a cluster of young women students viewing these pieces—the mix of East and West was everywhere; and for me it actually felt good that for a short week I too was tossing and turning in this mixing bowl.

Make it a great week everyone: I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who made note of the fact that reasonable man adapts himself to the world while the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, if you want to maintain progress – personally and globally – be and stay unreasonable.

Cheers,
Dirk

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