Wanting to get away from the modernity and hubbub of Dubai and check out some of the more historical sites of the UAE, my father and I headed to Al Ain for a day trip.
Al Ain is about an hour and a half hour drive away and is one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We visited the former home of the late UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (which was lovely because palaces make me feel at home) and the Al Ain Oasis which houses a 3,000 year old irrigation system and beautiful date palms.
This day trip was all fine and dandy until we made our way to a camel market (because camel markets are a wonderful immersion in traditional Arab culture and who am I to argue with that.)
Now, something that very few people know about me is that I am not super fond of animals.
I just don’t feel any warm fuzzy inside feelings around them and prefer to keep a distance. Exception being my dog, Champagne, who is the most precious gremlin in the world and shrimp mantis cause they are really cool.
Anyhoo I have a particular disdain for camels. They are large, scary scraggly toothed beasts – and my theory is that God got tired after devising their magnificent water holding abilities and was just like “it’s fine just add a sloth face to the rest of it and call it a day.”
Not to mention, they have been known to spit on people and that is just rude.
Nevertheless, after the amount of jokes I have heard about how many camels I might sell for in the Middle East, I figured I might as well be a little cheeky and take a photo with one.
So that is how I found myself in arguably one of the most stressful animal situations of my life.
This means a lot coming from a woman who did a night dive with sharks in the Great Barrier Reef cage-less.
All of my efforts to stand close enough to the camels to take a photos ended with me shrieking anytime one of them got to dangerously close to my hair.
I not only gave the local men their daily dose of free entertainment, but I also gave myself a stress headache and have decided that I will from now on be opting out of camel related activities.
Bottom line is, if you’re ever in the market for a camel- please don’t ask me to come with you.