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Weeks 71 and 72

Weeks 71 and 72
(United Arab Emirates)

Dubai - Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - Dubai

Dubai was to be a micro-stop: a place in which I'd be stopping only sufficiently long to collect my pre-arranged Iranian visa.

Visa: before we carry on with this diary, join me momentarily in stepping back from the planet, and then repeating the word.

It's a stamp in a passport, authorising entry to another part of the same planet. There's a complete solar system behind us, yet we still need little bureaucratic stamps in little bureaucratic passports allowing access to different zones of our miniscule planet. How small minded. Or does it just appear this way after travelling overland for more than a year, through countries which are all immersed in the same air, pestered by the same flies, stocked with similar wheelie bins, and surrounded by drinks in identical Tetrapak boxes.

I digress. Join me in coming back down to earth again.

Iran sensibly authorises its visas centrally from Tehran. And then looses them between there and the place of collection in their embassies. Or so it was in my case.

Coupled with it being the holiday-season in Dubai, an unscheduled fortnight in the Emirates let me see more of this country than originally intended. Mind you, I can think of far worse places in which to be holed up.

It was also to be the last time I'd be able to surround myself with solar-generated warmth around the clock, without reaching for the truck's cab heater switch in the evenings. Why rush for the exit?

Go on ... Give us a kiss.

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