The Surface and the Thing Itself

Yesterday at the beach, surrounded by Russian tourists, guest-workers on their mornings off, and English-tourists, I watched two very different approaches to the beach (a liminal space if ever there was one).

There were those who, as they approached the edge of the gently lapping water (I wouldn’t call what splashed over our feet waves), gazed directly out over the glowingly turquoise water. Even as they walked into the cool water, they stared straight to the horizon. The pale sand was fine and soft, with only small broken shells and soda bottle caps to endanger their feet. They started swimming before the sand had dropped away from their feet, swimming with their bodies floating on the shining surface of the sea.

The other group looked at their feet as they meandered into the waves. These travelers may have glanced up at the turquoise horizon blending with the azure sky, but they kept their feet in contact with the earth. This may seem a less splendid approach, but it lent small, unique benefits. Travelers like me, walking into the water and keeping in contact with the earth, were graced with the attentions of a school of bold, zebra-striped fish. These curious fish, between three and six inches long, snuffled so close to my feet  that I bumped one when I moved too swiftly. When I walked slowly, they would follow me in a swirling cloud.

Azure skies I can see anywhere–being followed by a flock of fish is my unique Dubai experience.

Inspirational Quote:

Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure. – Aldous Huxley

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