We have two danger points here . . . Jani and my Arabic is a “NOT” and a schedule in Dubai is like everything else in Dubai – ‘not exactly.’
Two years ago, when we moved to Dubai, one of the first things we saw on Dubai television was camel races. You can't possibly imagine the chaos - camels flying down race track with robots on their backs, massive SUVs racing alongside them honking their horns with passengers hanging out the window franticly working their remote controls to make the robots’ “crop” urge the camel to go faster.
Jani's husband John and I go over to see what we can find out about the races. Not too much English spoken here but the men do give us a nod when asked, “Are there camel races here today?”
|Ali & Katie|
" Wa ‘alaykum salaam" one gentleman replies.
"Come, come across the track," he beckons me.
It is a tangled scene of camels, handlers and owners awaiting their turn to show their racing stuff. There are large camels with smaller ones tethered to them all dressed in bright colored blankets or racing silks with some of the smaller camels wearing ‘socks’ over their mouths and robots on their backs.
And we are off!
Wow what a ride.
There is no pari-mutuel betting system as wagering is prohibited by the Islam faith, so the camels race for the prestige and the prize money put up by the government or important sheiks.
Front l. to r. Roger, Katie, Linda Hoagland, Inger Evans,
Jack Whitehead, rear: Sue Taytallyay, Morris Hoagland,
John Diedam, August and Jeff Evans
Not in the picture are Jani Diedam and Karen Whiteside . . .where are you two? Only one of you could be taking the photo!