After my early session with Rama on Wednesday, I did some work and then went to the Dubai Mall. I was meeting a friend of a friend who I’d never met before. She just moved to Dubai herself a few weeks before me as she recently got married. We met at Social House in the mall – the sushi was really good and I would go back to try some other things on the menu. As we were chatting, it turns out that she knows a good friend of mine in London, and my cousins in China! What a small world…
On Thursday afternoon I decided I really needed a manicure and pedicure. I went to the salon at the Fairmont where I’ve been going for the last few weeks. Oh, that’s one thing that really annoys me: in Dubai, they say ‘saloon’ rather than ‘salon’. It is SO irritating. Am I going to find the fastest hairdresser in the Middle East? I don’t think so.
But I digress. Being a Thursday I thought I’d go earlier rather than later. When I got there, I was surprised to find I was the only person there. I sat down, one person did my hands, another did my feet. The rest of the girls were chatting in a corner, giggling and laughing. I tweeted: ‘I want to learn Arabic but after sitting in this salon for the last hour I think Tagalog might be the way to go.’ Maybe I should learn both?
On Thursday evening, I had dinner with my parents, sister and a couple of my parents’ friends. We met them at The Address where they were staying, with the intention of going to PF Chang’s at the Dubai Mall for dinner. We walked through the hotel to get to the mall and had to walk past Ember Bar and Lounge to get there. We decided to stop for a glass of wine before dinner.
After our bottle of Pinot Grigio we carried on through the mall, but when we got to the restaurant there was a long queue outside. We were told it would be at least 45 minutes until a table for 6 people became available. We put our names down and a couple of us headed to Waitrose and the chemist while the others waited near the restaurant. We didn’t sit down until 10.45. I was pleasantly surprised by the food – the dynamite shrimp were excellent, and I ordered steamed salmon with vegetables as a main course but couldn’t finish it. It was just before midnight when we left the mall – and the shops were only just closing at that time!
I had my photography class on Friday afternoon. When I was finished, I was on my way to meet my mum, sister and nephew, when I saw a little boy – he was probably about 4 or 5 years old and he was bawling. I looked around but couldn’t see anyone who he could have been with. ‘Are you lost?’ I asked him. He just carried on crying. ‘Where’s your mummy?’ I asked him. He shrugged, still crying. ‘Should we go find her?’ He nodded. I looked around for an information desk and saw a security man – so I took the little boy over to him and told him he was lost. The little boy seemed a little calmer by this point but I didn’t really want to leave him alone with the guy so I walked with them as he spoke into his walkie-talkie. Two minutes later, the boy’s mother found us – and she was walking towards us from the complete opposite direction to where the boy had been. I don’t know how long he’d been lost, but she seemed more annoyed at him for getting lost than relieved to see him safe and sound! Anyway, at least they found each other.
On Friday evening, my sister and I went to Caramel for dinner. We got there just after 9pm, didn’t have a reservation, but got a table straight away. We were told they’d need it back at 10.15. We sat down, and as soon as I looked at the menu I knew it was going to be a ‘cheat night’. We ordered a few small dishes, and one main dish – all to share.
We had the seared Kobe beef carpaccio and spicy tuna roll:
TNT shrimp and petite Kobe sliders (I didn’t eat the bread):
And the macaroni cheese (those croquette-like things):
Talk about carb-fest. I felt quite gross after that! And we had two glasses of rosé each.
We sat at our table till after 10.30 – and nobody asked us to move as there were several empty tables around.
On Saturday I was home all day after going to the gym in the morning. It was cold and windy all day and I could hear the wind howling outside. My mum and sister were out shopping all day while Dad and I entertained Vinay at home. He was hard work, wanting to watch ‘Wheels on the Bus’ on the iPad or laptop over and over and over again.
In the early evening, we took Vinay to Mazaya, a small mall not far from our flat. My mum had seen a photography studio there where they take portraits of kids dressed up as sheikhs and in other costumes. I did wonder whether they were in ‘costume’ or whether they actually owned their traditional dress, but my mum wanted Vinay to dress up in one of these sheikh costumes. I thought it was a bad idea from the start – the boy can barely sit still for 5 seconds and hates wearing anything on his head. He was tired, cranky and refused to sit by himself. He wasn’t even wearing the costume at this point. The photographer decided the best thing to do would be to take some photos of Vinay just as he was and then use Photoshop to add the costume to the picture. We eventually got Vinay smiling and laughing – by my sister pretending to hurt herself by banging her head on my arm – and the photos were done. This is the final result:
As it was my sister’s last weekend in Dubai, she wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. We ended up at Sakura at the Crowne Plaza on Sheikh Zayed Road – close to home. The service was a bit slow, but the food was good when it eventually arrived! I ordered a salad to start with – it was one of the biggest salads I’d ever seen. At least three people could have shared it as a starter. I ordered the salmon teppanyaki for my main course – without rice. The food is good and the portions are generous, but there’s not much choice if you’re vegetarian.
Wow – my first four weeks in Dubai went by
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