I used to be critical about the Palm project in Dubai. I thought this man made addition to Dubai was a symbol of everything artificial, superfluous and uncharming in Dubai. A representation of the "easy-gratification" life-style: you want a beach front home, you get one instantly! I used to even make a joke about cutting the Palm off the mainland at the level of its trunk so that it could drift away, like an unfinished dream.
Palm Island came to mind when my son had an art project that required him to draw and paint a "pirate's map" and antiquate it. I suggested the Palm as a witty anachronism. If the Palm had not existed for real in Dubai, wouldn't a child-pirate have imagined it in Never-never land, Atlantis at its crown?
Drawing the map of the Palm was fun. We made sure the fronds were well represented in scale, even though the picture was quite approximated. By reproducing it, we realized that the Palm looked more like a araneidae specie than one of my preferred trees.
Then we handed the map to my father so he could authenticate it with a perfect Arabic script. We browned the paper with cotton soaked in tea and burnt the contours with a candle.
It was with this fantastic representation of the Palm accomplished that I looked upon the development with a less critical eye. I have been invited to fabulous parties there, have danced on the sand, in the middle of the Persian Gulf. I have listened to Faithless and to Example at Nasimi beach! My children have celebrated countless birthday parties there. These celebrations have given the Palm good vibes.
But what I enjoy about the Palm the most is its destination. I love to drive there: exhilirated by the connection between mainland Dubai and its fronds, the moment my car cruises over the Persian Gulf, that always appears turquoise, when music is blaring...and the thought that it could be cut at its base and drift away!