Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DUBAI | Just Heard about the Dubai Literary Festival

Hi Everybody. I've managed to log in today in spite of the slow connection at the service apartment. Internet access is still unreliable, so I had to prioritize and use whatever online time I can manage for work related emails. This blog unfortunately, has to stay dormant for a while, until I move into my long term apartment and apply for a personal internet account.

But I'm still alive. A few days ago I came down with a bad case of diarrhea -- had some leftover Pakistani curry that didn't agree with me. I suspect I will be writing the word "diarrhea" very often during my stay in Dubai. I wonder if I'm spelling it correctly?:)

I am definitely turning into a vampire. Can I emphasize how much I hate the sun?

I was at the House of Prose today at Jumeira Plaza (thanks for the tip, Ella). It's a nice second-hand bookstore that look wonderfully stocked with titles - and I love the full, dark wood shelves. It's the kind of place I can stay for hours. But I was in the area for a business meeting today, so there wasn't much time to browse. Maybe this Friday I will pop by again. Or I might drop by Mall of the Emirates for the Carrefour and Borders instead. Somehow grocery shopping and browsing bookstores comforts me. Now I just need some reliable internet access, I will be right at home.

Something a little book related: I was at Festival City today, to visit the Magrudy's bookstore. I picked up two books at 15.00 Dirhams (approximately USD 4.00) each: Tim Robinson's Connemara: Listening to the Wind and Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky. I have been meaning to read The Sheltering Sky for a while now, so this is a good buy. As for Tim Robinson - I was curious about his writing since NYRB Classics reprinted his first book, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, which is about a nature walk around Aran, but it's more than a book about walking in nature. Since Stones of Aran is at home, in a box, I will have to settle for Connemara for the moment.

I like the layout of the Magrudy's at Festival City - or maybe I just like Festival City itself, with the view of the sea and the waterfall strctures around the place. Dubai is a HOT HOT place and I like the illusion of being surrounded by water.

I digress. But it's really HOT over here.

This morning I heard about the first Dubai Literary Festival coming next year, which starts February 26th. Among the writers that will appear in Dubai is Margaret Atwood and Frank McCourt. I am going to be there. No question about it. Imagine being able to meet Margaret Atwood -- in Dubai of all places. This posting may not be as difficult as it seems. :)

Until later.


wil said...

Sounds like you're adjusting -- good luck battling the evil sun, and the diarrhea.

Ana S. said...

You're going to meet Margaret Atwood in Dubai! That's so cool :) It's good to hear from you. Sorry to hear about the heat and the diarrhea. That bookstore sounds lovely, though.

Doc Martian said...

inside a year you'll be in the swim. in the meantime. an evening heat remedy (wouldn't recommend it in the daytime unless you're going to be inside as its mildly dehydrating even though it'll give you a very pleasant brain freeze)

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
5-6 dates
8 oz. milk
one blender.

wallah! date shake!

Anonymous said...

hi, look out for the good stuff and more will come along. it is interesting to have new experience (minus the heat and diarrhea). something to remember by when we look back one day. enjoy the diversity of things that come along and at all times, please take good care of yourself and have fun. quietletters

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to drink the tapwater? Even if you boil it, you can still get pretty sick until you get used to it. Foreign bacteria and all that.

(Not to worry you, but I lost 35 pounds from my six-month-long upset stomach after I moved here. It's the Dubai Diet!)

Anonymous said...

All things considered it sounds as though things are going well. The literary festival next year will be great fun and things will be settled enough that you will really be able to enjoy it!

Unknown said...

wow--I wanna come to Dubai to meet Margaret Atwood too!!!

bravo on surviving the diarrhea (sp?) & heat. bookshop sounds greatq

theduckthief said...

I wondered how long it would be before you bought some books.

The literary festival sounds awesome.

Melwyk said...

The illness and lack of internet sound pretty annoying... the lovely bookstores and possibilities of meeting Margaret Atwood etc. sound great! Hope the good stuff prevails.

purplefugue said...

Ooh..a literary festival in Dubai?? A good time for a first visit to the country, eh? I'm torn about going to the Ubud Writer's Festival in Bali, in mid-October. John Berendt will be there. I'm still tossing...

Don't forget your sunblock!

Doc Martian said...

2 more days and you can eat like a big ole sloppy pig anywhere you please. ;)