Bush traded his suit for a casual jacket and took a helicopter as close as he could get to this remote encampment where Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, raises horses and prize falcons. His motorcade bumped over sand dunes for the last few miles, ending up at a tent pitched high on a wind-swept crest.
A tent with thick carpets, pillows for lounging, blazing lanterns, and food. Lots and lots of it, from bread with honey to grilled meats and sweets, all served by uniformed staff.
Before the feast with a small group of White House aides and Emirati elite, the crown prince showed the president around. Next to carpets laid on the sand stood small pedestals, each stuck in the sand like a beach umbrella and each holding a magnificent falcon.Yes, that's what life is like in the desert. Just ask our troops in Iraq. Cake anyone?