I tend to feel like a stranger in a strange land until I familiarize myself with a country’s cuisine. And I don’t mean ordering Pad Thai in Bangkok because I could simply walk down most streets in Manhattan and find this noodle dish, (albeit for ten times the price). I like to eat whatever it is that Americans don’t usually classify as food. So in Thailand, I ate Thai-spiced grasshoppers and beetles and whirligigs. Down Under, I went over the top on kangaroo. In Fiji, I sipped Kava with the locals, who honored me (or mocked me) with the title of Kava King. (Only in Peru was I less daring and avoided devouring the relatives of my second grade classroom pet: Sam the Guinea Pig.)
On my recent trip to Dubai, my stomach would not settle until I ate something unique to the region. Read more
This past August, the tourist board of Dubai invited me to explore their city. In a whirlwind visit, I was able to take in the arts, culture, sports, and history of the fastest growing metropolis on the planet. Over the next month, here on Somewhere Or Bust, I plan on introducting you to the characters of the spice souks, the city’s most luxurious features, and feed you, in a sense, tasty camel meat. But in order to truly appreciate Dubai, we need to understand the city’s genesis.
Before Dubai discovered oil in its ground, the population lived in huts built from palm leafs. The people didn’t have air conditioners, and instead cooled their primitive dwellings using chimney-shaped structures designed from wood and cloth. Four triangular vents ushered some of the heat out from the homes. But when black gold bubbled up in the 1960s, the UAE became a land of records and today, visitors can find some of the most impressive and tallest buildings in Dubai. Read more