Have you seen the second Sex and the City movie? Just after Carrie kisses Aiden she walks along the beach to reflect… her long, flowing dress blows out angelically and the whole scene looks so glamourous…
When I decided to go for a paddle along the coast of Dubai, I figured I would look exactly like this… only even more fabulous.
The reality couldn’t have been more different. What you forget is, although you see the girls looking stunning and sipping cocktails, in reality in the middle of the 40 degree heat of the Arabian Desert, regular people get really, really hot.
If you want a taste of what it’s like, try blowing your hairdrying in your face and breathe in the hot air.
Do this sat in a sauna and you’re half way there.
After having inexplicably spent the morning throwing up (I suspect the extra glass of wine the night before) I suddenly had (what I intend to refer to as) my ‘funny turn’.
One minute I’m strutting along the coast like Naomi Campbell, the next I’ve semi-fainted in the water and have genuinely convinced myself I’m having a stroke.
The once 2 foot hill I had walked down to get to the ocean had, in my mind, turned into a 50 foot sheer cliff that I attempted to scrabble up like Gollum. Just before I reached the top I seemed to faint and roll backwards down it.
Luckily two lifeguards, (who should have been saving people who were actually in danger at sea – massive cringe on my behalf) rushed over, grabbed me under each of my arms and dragged me back to my lounger like a sack of potatoes.
Through my heat induced ‘stroke coma’, as I was carried up the hill with my arms out, I was thinking “I’M JUST LIKE JESUS!!” At that moment I swear down I saw a bright white light ahead of me saying saying “Jennnn…. come onnnnnn”.
The light, of course, was the sun and the God-like call was the patronising voice of my Dad who was rolling his eyes at me and apologising to the lifeguards.
As an Atheiest, it was the closest thing I’m ever going to get to a religious ephiany, but what it did prove in my mind is why so many relgious visions have happened in the Middle East.
The difference however, when Jesus got a bit hot and started telling people he was the son of God he got eternal immortality and fanbase of millions across the globe… when I say the light was chatting to me I get told to shut up and drink my diet coke.
Life’s just not fair is it.