I have too many photos from my three-week internship in Dubai to only share one from each day. Now that I’m back in Bishkek and my life is back to being slightly less exciting, I figured I would post some particularly interesting occurrences.
Like that time I drank a camel milk cappuccino at (probably) the most expensive hotel I’ll ever step foot into.
What brought me to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi was an assignment to contrast its modern, Arab-style architecture with the traditional-style Islamic architecture of the Abu Dhabi mosque.
I think the interns were also supposed to marvel at the exquisite beauty of a hotel swathed in so many expensive decorations. Gold framed paintings of sand dunes. Gold pineapple-shaped lamps. Gold inlaid in marble floors. But it’s not my thing, so I failed that part of the assignment. (In fact, I was repeatedly told it’s the only “seven-star” hotel in the world, even though that’s not a real thing.)
To help encourage that feeling of wonder, the host of the internship had his assistant (read: my babysitter) treat the interns to lunch at the Palace. Lounging in overstuffed, elaborately patterned couches in the hotel cafe, I opened the menu and knew immediately what I had to order.
I dropped the “been there, done that” attitude I had been carrying around for the other interns and basically had a schoolgirl freak-out as the uniqueness of the situation hit me. I’m sitting in a fabulous hotel, in Abu Dhabi, and I’m going to drink a camel milk cappuccino.
The others didn’t quite understand. “No, guys, seriously. Camel milk. Not regular milk. Have you had it? Neither have I. But get this; I know people who are making a documentary on camel milk and cheese. Yeah, camel cheese. It’s a real thing. No, they’re serious about it. That’s not the point. The point is that I’m going to drink a camel milk cappuccino, and it’s going to be awesome.”
And it was. In my opinion, the camel milk gave the cappuccino a distinctly different flavor than cow’s milk. More savory. Sandier. Does that even make sense? Has it completely turned you off from camel milk? Don’t let it; I just can’t verbalize it that well. Trust me, it was different in a positive way. It tasted like desert in the best way possible.
And, there was a swirl of chocolate on top, which helped the experience. I was convinced the design was supposed take on the likeness of the camel whose milk I was drinking, (though the artist could use some help) but my chaperon tried to tell me it was Arabic writing. (To which I scoffed in response, because my three years of Arabic study have clearly failed me if he was right.)
After finishing, in my opinion, the best camel milk cappuccino ever, and a luxurious plate of mezze, what better way to top off this trip than by gawking like a starstruck tourist over a gold vending machine?
Only accepts cash. Dang, I seriously took a moment to consider buying the smallest offering, but I didn’t have 515 dirhams (140 USD) on me to buy the featherweight piece of gold.
Maybe next time.