Out of pure curiosity I stop in Dubai, a city that few people know and even fewer visit.

I first learned of the United Arab Emirates when an acquaintance I met in Athens decided to move here; we lost touch and won’t be meeting today, which is unfortunate because it would have been nice to connect real people and places to stories she told by email.

Two things I discover about myself: I’m a spice souk whore; I hate frankincense.

A lot of construction going on. Years from now the Emirati baby I see today will be unrecognizable with glimmering hotels, tourist attractions, malls and business parks.* From dust to desert oasis.

*I wasn’t wrong.