To travel between Kabul and Dubai is to do more than fly between two cities. It is to cross into a new world. But, somehow, worlds connected. In Kabul, 4 hours ago, we sat in a crowded waiting room, with men from villages, veiled women, the dust of Kabul fresh on our faces. We arrive in Dubai to water fountains, Scotch that sells for $$2500 a bottle, marble, flesh, obsequious service. Could one become the other? Is Dubai the epitome of civilisation? Or might Dubai fall back, fail, falter?

There is an Arabic proverb: ‘My grandfather rode a donkey; my father drove a car, I fly a plane. My son will ride a donkey’.It cannot be a very ancient proverb, but it points to a truth about the impermanence of wealth.


6 thoughts on “Strangeness

  1. This fate is epitomized in an old Chinese proverb: “Wealth does not sustain beyond three generations” (which is also known as “from rags to riches and back …
    Welcome home xx

  2. Wish you could have been home in time to join us for Breakfast Club last night mate. We missed you. And talked a lot about you. In a good way. Safe travels.
    Never been to Dubai but has a sense of Vanity Fair about it in my imagination.

  3. Hope you have had a good trip back and are being to settle back in. By the way is the donkey bit about dissatisfation with the material world you are starting to encounter now you are back in Aus. Blessing to you all

  4. Hi Phil (and family),

    I’ve been thinking of you often, although I don’t know you personally, and hoping that your return to Australia has been a smooth as possible under the circumstances. I can only imagine, from what you have said on your blog here, that it must be a move fraught with ambivalemdr. I wish I could assist you in some way more tangible than just good wishes.I’m in Brisbane, but you have my email.


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