First day in Dubai

Just a quick post after my first full day in Dubai -

Last night I stayed the night at my friend Eeshaan's house. He was a huge help yesterday and today so a big thanks to Eeshaan and the Roy family! I tried my best to fall asleep but after sleeping 10 out of the 12 hours on the flight, I wasn't exactly ready to sleep again right away. So the goal of eliminating any and all jet-lag wasn't accomplished but I'm hoping today's full day of running around and not sleeping a wink will help put me on track starting tomorrow.

I moved in to my dorm room today. It is much bigger than even the triple I lived in my freshman year at UIUC (although not nearly as awesome due to a lack of great roommates like Ty and G). I have a bed, desk, big closet and a bathroom. My roommate seems like a great guy. He's from Tehran and we've already talked a few times about Iran/US relations (more on that later...). He's into cinema and movies so we definitely have that in common.

I got a phone today and will shortly be activating a Skype number so I'll be pretty readily available to those in the U.S. and elsewhere. My number here is +971503982969.

I have been driving around Dubai quite a bit and am absolutely amazed at the grandeur of the city. It is elaborate in every sense. I can't quite do justice to all my first impressions just yet (mostly because its late and I'm tired) but I definitely plan on posting some of reactions to seeing the huge buildings, extensive infrastructure, sprawling shopping centers and malls, et al. Suffice it to say for now, every time I drive by the Burj Khalifa I can't believe my eyes and still think it looks computer generated even in reality.

Time to get some rest for now and hopefully spend more time exploring the city tomorrow. I'll try and write a succinct and annotated update about my first few days later on this weekend.

Thanks to all who have been posting, commenting and asking about my time here. Its always great to be reminded of how many people care about me.