This is what I do when I’m supposed to be packing my bag ready for my plane trip tomorrow – I check out my website and decide it’s been ages since I’ve written a blog! Luckily, I have things of interest to talk about. I am in Dubai and this is the view from my hotel window – complete with the sticker that is probably telling me not to jump. I can understand why someone put it there. Jumping would be the easiest way to get to reception. I am not joking. I have been here nearly 2 full days and I still don’t know how to get there. I start off with either a desperate need or a firm belief that if I can almost see it, (and I almost can), it can’t be that difficult; but five minutes later I can only tell you where they make the food and what Renee is up to in her Beauty Lounge. I’m not the only one who’s had this problem. I have passed the “Electric Room” more than once. Apart from the obvious amusement I get imagining a room full of electricity, I’ve reached the conclusion that this room has been labelled in English because idiots like me keep wandering into it by mistake. There are people wandering all over this hotel. This morning on my way back from breakfast I met a group from India. They mimed food, I nodded, and secure in the knowledge that I’d just left the Breakfast Room, pointed to the roof and said, “One floor up.” As I left them, all I could hear was the elderly gentleman repeating, “One floor up, one floor up,” as they searched for the stairs.
In my comments card I’m going to suggest they give us all a room key and a GPS.
The internet keeps disappearing. It may have something to do with troubles in the Electric Room but while I wait for a surge, I sit here writing into an electronic void and listening to the ancient call to prayer broadcast via a speaker system. There is something magical about the way the sounds lap and roll around the square. They remind me of other times in other countries where this faith is the centre of life. I catch myself thinking of WW1 and how these ancient calls would have been heard by our soldiers and nurses when they were in Egypt. And I wonder what they made of them. This letter flows across the world faster than I can think and the call to prayer is not made by a man standing on a tower. But we are still doing the same things our ancestors did. Tomorrow I get on a plane and I fly to England. I’m leaving another copy of my book in the airport with instructions to pass it on after it’s been read. That is my call to prayer. Read my book, read my book, read my book. The ancient call of the story-teller.