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From tomorrow I’ll be running some pieces that were written a few years ago. At the time they were only posted on Facebook, and then again on the first blog I ever wrote – when I had no idea about blogging whatsoever. Several of my friends have asked to see this material again, and I’ve had a few requests from new readers too to talk about my life before China.

It's not just Dubai that features in my work, there's some stuff from all the emirates and there's cool stuff in all of them - like this building for example.

The pieces I run won’t be identical to the ones published before, for a start they contained rather an enormous amount of profanity and while I have no objection to foul mouthed humor – it doesn’t belong here. So at a minimum I’ll have cleaned them up, and apologies in advance if anything slips through the filter – I can be blind as a bat when it comes to reading my own writing at times.

The articles, like everything I write, are based on my own experiences and recollections of a time and a place, so if you recognize yourself in any of them and don’t like it – sorry, there’s really no malice intended. I have tried to keep names to a minimum for both people and companies, so it would take a certain amount of work for those who don’t know you to identify you. If you really hate what I’ve written let me know – and I’ll be happy to publish your side of the story, or if I agree with you – to change mine.

It’s also worth noting that my writing voice and attitude have changed over time, and these snippets may come across as rather more aggressive and cocky than later material. I thought about altering them completely to avoid that, but then realized they are an accurate reflection of who I was when I wrote them. So please don’t hold that against me.

View from a bus, some poor chap braving the blazing emirati sun.

If you’re only here for China material then just ignore the “Away from China” series, it is purely intended as bonus material for those who want it and I promise that you’ll get one article focused on China every day – come rain (which it is at the moment here in Shenzhen), snow or shine. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as some other folk I know have, and as much as I did when I wrote them back then.

Today I’m going to start the series with a brand new introduction to Dubai before I talk about my experiences there, and I promise there will be other fresh pieces in amongst the revamp.