It’s been a while, but we are once again on the road. The road on this occasion is supposedly one of the most dangerous in the world and goes through the desert from the airport in Dubai to Abu Dhabi where we are performing this week. There aren’t many places we go that create a sense of being somewhere different; I don’t mean different like the beer and food tasting different, or the language is different, but where absolutely everything is unfamiliar. For instance, I remember going to Japan for the first time over a decade ago and there were so many new things to see, it was actually a shock to see a Starbucks in Tokyo. It’s a shock in London if you don’t see one every 300 metres.
The journey from the airport takes us past the world’s tallest building. Funnily enough, when we went to Taiwan a few years ago, we went up the world’s tallest building. However, the one in Dubai is even taller, although we won’t have chance to go up it. As we speed past the ultra modern landscape, familiar names spring up in endless shopping malls – and yet, they don’t seem familiar here. Soon though the road descends into darkness and we continue our straight path into the night.
Shortly afterwards I am woken up as we stop moving and I assume we have reached our hotel. However, for some bizarre reason, all three coaches have stopped to fill up with fuel. It all seems a little surreal, stopping in the night in the middle of the desert to refuel, and I’m afraid my tiredness at the end of a long day seems to be making me a little confused. A few people get off the bus to buy some water and chocolate from the shop, some have a quick cigarette. Maybe thats why it’s a dangerous road. As soon as the bus driver finishes, (refuelling, not smoking) he pulls away minus a few players who are frantically running across the forecourt. We stop. They get on. We move off.