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sobo

Sobo's Updates...

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The Grand Adventure continues...

 

Made the hop from Dallas to DC yesterday, then got on the Big Bird for the Persian Gulf. Just flew into Dubai last night (what was your "this morning") and what a place! Haven't felt a bit of jetlag, and I just can't sleep. It's 0200 hrs here right now, still partyin' down, and not showing any signs of lightening up. I think it's about mid-afternoon yesterday for you folks in the PNW. Carry on!

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Heading to missile range of Iran...who will be angry as hornets once the Israelis attack this fall. I'd make sure you know where the best- aka nearest, bomb shelter is at all times. I'm serious.

 

Looks like a great challenge for you Sobo, have fun, don't forget to write!

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My banner ads on cc.com here are Muslima. Islam's version of CougarDate.com... :laf:

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oh geez sobo

 

i thought you learned your lesson the first time you got married.

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oh geez sobo

 

i thought you learned your lesson the first time you got married.

 

He could be married four or five times before he comes back--that's a LOT of bacon waiting in the bomb shelter.

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Played the Ugly American Tourist today at the Dubai Mall. At least it got me out of my first shamal (sandstorm)...

 

The first few pics are taken at the aquarium inside the mall. This puppy holds over 10 million liters!

That's like 2.65 million gallons, or way more than twice the size of your average elevated city water storage tower...

 

SHARK!!!1 This guy is about 12 feet long... and he's got lots and lots of friends in there with him...

DSCN0826.JPG

 

...and they've all got nasty, big, pointy teeth!

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"Now where did that Crocodile Hunter guy swim off to...??"

This guy is as big as a dining room table, not including the tail.

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World's Worst Case of the Crabs

About 5 to 6 feet across, if you stretch out the legs :shock:

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Penguins! And yes, that really is climbable ice behind those guys... ;)

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Dubai Mall Ice Rink. Yep, real ice in the rink, too.

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Despite the fact that the coffee in the hotel room is instant Nescafe', if one searches long enough and hard enough, then one can find a decent demitasse of espresso in the Middle East...

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Dubai Mall Waterfall. Over four stories high and the scene of the silver swan dive suicide...

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The Burj Khalifa, the World's Tallest Building, at 2,723 feet. Even from ~1/4 mile away, still only the top half fits in the field of view. That sucker is mighty damn tall, lemme tell ya...

DSCN08881.JPG

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Not yet, and that's in the Emirates Mall, not the Dubai Mall. The Emirates is a few more Metro (elevated rail) stops down the Jebel Ali line. I just might get my shred on tomorrow... :)

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Well wherever you are, it beats Yakima.

 

Hey, don't you slam Yakavegas!!!!

 

It IS the Palm Springs of Warshington.

 

That's what the sign says, anyway.

 

I'm suprised they don't have an indoor multipitch climbing tower (Dubai, that is, not Yakima).

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Well wherever you are, it beats Yakima.

 

Hey, don't you slam Yakavegas!!!!

 

It IS the Palm Springs armpit of Warshington.

 

That's what the sign says, anyway.

 

I'm suprised they don't have an indoor multipitch climbing tower (Dubai, that is, not Yakima).

Fixed it fer ya.

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Could we all please endeavor to keep my thread crack-free? Er, I mean Yakima-free? Thankyouverymuchinadvance. :)

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More tourista action from Saturday...

 

The Burj Al Arab, billed as "The World's Only 7-Star Hotel" and the 4th tallest hotel in the world. This sail-shaped thing is constructed upon a man-made island about 1,000 feet offshore, with a graceful curving bridge from shore to access the hotel.

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Ski Dubai, the indoor ski hill at Mall of the Emirates. Contains one each of "black-diamond", "blue-square", and "green-circle" runs; a bunny hill; a terrain park; luge and toboggan runs; and a kiddie play area. Runs are served by a Magic Carpet for the kiddies, and a slow-speed quad chair and a poma lift for the blue and black runs. It's cold enough in this place that I had to buy gloves!!!1

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Parveen, more affectionately known to us Afghanistan-bound types as Miss P. Never having set foot upon snow before, Miss P decided Dubai was the place to learn to snowboard. After buttplants too numerous to count, she switched to skis. After faceplants too numerous to count, she switched to beer. Quite the trooper.

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View behind me down to the bottom of the hill and the lifts.

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"The Turn" (the only bend on the whole hill) on the "expert" slope. HA!!!1

Note the poma lift along the left wall.

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View down to the mid-slope lift station and the Avalanche Bar and Cafe' at The Turn, where Miss P spent a fair bit of time after deciding snowboarding and skiing weren't for her. The Turn is on the right. Poma lift on the right side of frame.

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Self-portrait of Mall Shredder...

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Approaching my station on the Green Line of the Dubai Metro. It's that armadillo-looking thing just left of center frame. If you look closely, you can see two more down the line in the distance at center frame. This elevated light rail is the most stupid simple, cleanest, fastest, easiest, and cheapest transit system I have ever had the privilege to ride. For less than $4 USD, you can ride anywhere in the city, all day long, with no limit on the number of ons and offs. Puts the London Underground, the Paris Metro, BART, etc. to shame.

DSCN0918.JPG

 

Just for you, Kurt:

The vertical is probably about 200 ft, and a lift operator told me that the longest run is 400m from top to bottom. I bought 2 hours of slope time for about $50 USD, which included the skis, boots, poles, and shell gear to wear over my street clothes. Socks were included, but you have to purchase hats and gloves separately if you want them (or bring yer own). I went for the gloves, and was glad I did. The chair runs painfully slow so that no one falls off during loading or unloading, and it takes over 7 minutes (I timed it) from start to finish to cover the 400m, or about 3 feet/second. GAAAH! I was back down in the lift line in less than a minute. Got in 15 runs in the 2 hours I paid for, for an average of 8 minutes per round trip. Definitely not world class skiing, but that wasn't the point. The point was to ski indoors, in a mall, in the desert. Mission accomplished!

 

Next up on my bucket list... camel rides!!!

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That's some crazy stuff Sobo. Do they plan on installing a double diamond :laf: Thanks for the pictures :tup:

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Kurt,

Just in case you missed the link above the first ski photo, here it is again for more pics of the interior.

Scroll down to External Links for a rudimentary "time-lapse" of the ski hill under construction. Just click the right arrow.

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Looks like they're starting to probe Kabul - keep your head down from the minute you leave the airport - hopefully just get a flight from the airport to the base in Kandahar.

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Thanks Joe, I saw that on the news here in DXB. And the big prison break in Pakistan, too. I just learned this evening that my flight is being moved up a whole day. I was supposed to fly in to KAF on Tuesday morning, but I was told tonight at muster that I'm leaving on the 0100 private chartered flight from Dubai into the base at KAF in about 4 hours.

 

And just so you know, Joe, all of our flights in and out of Kandahar are on privately chartered flights (Gryphon Air) that go directly in and out of the base at KAF. No landings at Kandahar Int'l Airport, and no flights on any Middle Eastern airlines, either. Too easy to be kidnapped at commercial airports and become TV fodder for the Taliban.

 

The next time you guys get an update from me, I will be on the ground in-country in KDH. I missed the camel ride today, but I'm sure glad I got my shred on yesterday!

 

The Grand Adventure continues... :wave:

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Typical army protocol. Hurry up and wait. Have now been told that we'll leave at 0300.

I drug my ass out of bed and got ready 2 hours too early... :rolleyes:

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