Well, summer is over, and things have slowed down enough to actually process what happened during the summer. I certainly crammed a lot into it. I went from Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China to Beijing, to the UAE, to Oman, to Qatar, and back. What a run it was. I have tried to write this entry before, but I get around 10 pages into it, and feel it is too much for a single entry. I will probably do a more detailed post about a few things afterwards, but I will feel better after I get the first one done.
July 5: Left Xuzhou for Beijing on the Fast Train. 300+kph. In Beijing I spent 3 weeks at a summer camp. I got to see the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Real Blue Sky, and met some cool people there.
After Beijing I hopped a flight to Dubai, UAE for a month. There I visited with my mother, who is there for work. My brother, sister, and nephew popped in for a 2 week visit. It was a good time having this trip with them. I’ll be honest, I didn’t ever expect to meet up with my sister outside of North America, maybe western Europe. I would say the same for my brother. It doesn’t surprise me with my mother.
Before my brother and sister arrived, mom and I took an overnight road trip to Oman: Dubai-Muscat-Nizwa (running around the mountains there)-Dubai. If you had told me 15 years ago, “Shawn, one day you’re gonna be driving around on your own in the Middle East,” I wouldn’t have even understood how it would ever happen. Now it feels normal. Funny how life changes along the way. Funny, but cool.
The Robert and Becky came with James. The highlights of their time there were:
Al Ain: Zoo, Wadi Adventure (White Water Rafting, Zipline, Climbing Area)
Dubai: The Palm Fairmont Hotel, Atlantis Aquarium, Desert Safari
Abu Dhabi: The Fairmont, and The Grand Mosque, and Ferrari World
After my brother, sister, and nephew went back to Canada mom and I took a day trip to Qatar. We flew out at 8:45 in the morning, and back at 9:30 or so in the evening. We rented a car, and took a drive out to the Al Zubarah Fort, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site. Went to the old bazaar, and got a cop mad at me because the roundabout was no longer a roundabout (should have put up a sign))). I won’t make that mistake there again.
4,450kms later in the UAE/Oman, and 350kms in Qatar my time for travel came to an end. After all was said and done, it was time to come home to China. Classes have begun, and I miss summer. Oh well, a 5 week winter break is quickly approaching, then I will be Hong Kong/Macau bound.