Dubai: Week 9

A terrible week for me!

I mentioned that at the end of week 8, my throat was hurting. I went to sleep early, hoping I could sleep it off, and I also had a 9am session with Rama the next morning. I woke up at 3.30am in such pain. Every time I swallowed it was like there were daggers being stuck into my throat. I wanted to cry. I was awake for over an hour, unable to get back to sleep because of the pain. I took some Panadol, texted Rama at 4.30 cancelling my session, and tried to get back to sleep. I woke up at about 10am, still in pain, and barely able to speak. Everything hurt. I usually self-medicate but that morning I wanted to see a doctor.

I asked my cousin for her doctor’s details and made an appointment for that afternoon. I felt feverish, light-headed and my throat hurt like hell, but I made it there in one piece – I also forgot to take my passport, my insurance card, or any ID. Luckily, the receptionist didn’t send me home (which she really should have, thinking about it) and the doctor saw me. She was English, and moved to Dubai in September. She checked my throat, ears, breathing – all the usual stuff. She said if I didn’t feel any better by the following day to start a course of antibiotics – and she gave me a prescription. She said many infections seem to be immune to antibiotics in Dubai – antibiotics are so freely available at any pharmacy without a prescription (I noticed this at the chemist the other day) and people take them when they don’t need to and build their immunity to them. Earlier that day Joy suggested I take some of her amoxicillin to feel better (er – no!). I asked her where she got it? From the pharmacy. Crazy. 

I went home, got into bed and watched an episode of ‘Downton Abbey’. I thought about reading, thinking of my Mount TBR Reading Challenge but the words were swimming in front of me. I went to sleep instead. Luckily I had the place to myself that evening so I had dinner and went back to bed. I texted my yoga teacher and cancelled my class for the following morning – I hate cancelling at the last minute.

I spent Monday and Tuesday at home – on Monday Dad said he was starting to feel unwell (oh God, no – I can’t cope with that!) but he looked fine. I think he just wanted an excuse to stay in his pajamas all day. I started the antibiotics on Monday and by Tuesday I was feeling much better. My throat hurt less, but I was coughing more. And sneezing. And just felt tired in general. Rama texted to see how I was feeling – was I up for a session the next day? I thought about it, but I barely had any energy. I told him that hopefully by Sunday I’d be OK…

By Wednesday night I’d developed cabin fever and I was feeling well enough to walk to the Shangri-La Hotel for dinner. It was my cousin’s last night with us so we thought we’d have an early dinner there – and Joy was at church that evening. We went to the Vietnamese restaurant at the hotel, Hoi An. It was my first time there. For starters we shared the fresh spring rolls and we ordered a soup each. I order the crab and sweetcorn soup with truffles which was excellent. I would normally order a hot and sour soup, but I didn’t think it would be good for my throat/cough. For our main course we shared the lemongrass beef, grilled chicken and vegetable fried rice. For dessert we shared the ginger crème brûlée. When we got to the restaurant at 8.30 there were quite a few empty tables around but by the time we left at 10.30 the restaurant was full. 

I spent all of Thursday at home again, and had my first real ‘outing’ on Friday. When we went to Thai Chi a couple of weeks ago, Dad and I applied for the Wafi Card, which gives you discounts at the shops and restaurants at the Wafi City Mall. They called on Sunday evening to say our cards were ready for collection. I was feeling much better by Friday morning (still coughing though) so we thought we’d go to Wafi City, collect our cards, have lunch and walk around a bit. I didn’t take any photos the last time I was there, but it looked much nicer in daylight. The outside of Wafi Pyramids:

2012

A couple of ‘statues’ inside:

2012
2012

Just to give you an indication of size, the Cleopatra ‘statue’ is probably double my height, but the Pharoah is a regular-sized person (in fact I had to look twice as I thought it was a real person in costume)…

We ended up at an Italian restaurant called Biella. They have a nice outdoor seating area, but Dad wanted to sit inside. I originally wasn’t going to have a starter but when I saw the salad of goat’s cheese and artichokes (two of my favourite things), I had to have it (but left the bread).

2012

My main course was bresaola ravioli in a cream and caper sauce – it tasted better than it looked.

2012

We walked around the mall for a while. Considering it was Friday, the mall was empty. They have all the usual designer stores there, but I’d say not even 10% of the crowd at the Dubai Mall. The stained-glass pyramid was pretty, but it’s no competition for the aquarium, fountain and waterfalls of the Dubai Mall!

2012

On Saturday morning I woke up with a nosebleed. I get them when I’m tired, stressed, unwell, or all of the above.
The irony is that just two days previously I thought to myself that I hadn’t had one since I’d been in Dubai and couldn’t remember the last one I had in London. Sometimes they’re light and stop in a few minutes, at other times they seem to go on and on and I wonder if I need to go to hospital. Thankfully the nosebleed on Saturday morning was the former.

As I was awake, I decided I’d go to the bank downstairs and open a bank account. It had been on my to-do list that week but I didn’t have the energy earlier in the week. I had spoken to them on the phone and told them I wanted to open a current account. However, for various reasons I was unable to do that so I settled for a savings account. I’ll still get a debit card and phone/online banking – the only thing I won’t get is a cheque book (does anyone use cheque books anymore?). It was a painless process – all I had to take was my passport and valid residence visa and I was done in 20 minutes. My debit card will be delivered in three days and then I can register for online banking. And… the customer service guy said my account number was very lucky. No, obviously I will not tell you what it is.

So how had I been managing for the last two months without a bank account? ‘Dad, can I have some money?’ and ‘Mum, can I have some money?’ My income had been going straight into the company account and I’d been unable to get to it. It will still go into the company account but at least I have somewhere to transfer it now. Considering Dubai is supposed to be some kind of financial capital (isn’t it?) the banking system here seems quite primitive. The company account mail is still going to the previous address my parents stayed at in Dubai even though the bank has been told every week that we’ve moved. And every week my dad gives them the new address. And nothing changes. I asked a couple of friends about who they bank with – and the general consensus is that every bank is the same: rubbish. Oh good. Just what I wanted to hear. Expect a rant in the future about banking. 

That afternoon, Joy and I went to Lulu – a supermarket in Karama. She’d been sulking all morning because I got annoyed with her the night before. After dinner on Friday, she left the flat without telling anyone. I don’t know how long she’d been gone – it was only when we were going out to a movie that I realised she wasn’t there. She hadn’t taken her keys and she hadn’t taken her phone. I know she’s not a slave and I’m happy for her to go out, but at least let me know? We couldn’t leave and lock the door because when she did come back she wouldn’t be able to get in, and I couldn’t get in touch with her telling her to come back and collect the keys. So when she did show up, I told her off. ‘I didn’t know you were going out,’ she said. ‘Excuse me, but did you tell me you were going anywhere?’ She had nothing to say to that.

Lulu was crowded. I used to hate grocery shopping in London but seems to take longer here. It could be because I’ve never been to the same supermarket twice – so I have no idea where things are and it takes twice as long. Saturday afternoon is the worst time to go grocery shopping – so I decided that in future we’ll go in the morning during the week. Another lesson learned the hard way! 

And that was my week. On Saturday I’d been in Dubai for exactly two months…

For more updates, click here.

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2 thoughts on “Dubai: Week 9

  1. Amreeta says:

    Dad went downstairs to see if she was sitting there – I waited upstairs. He saw her walking towards the building and sent her upstairs. I was waiting at the door – we were ready to leave! She said she went to the store to get some juice and bumped into a friend… Can’t imagine her doing that if Mum had been here!

  2. […] we had dinner at Hoi An at the Shangri-La with more family members. I’d only eaten there once before but the food is great. There are just too many restaurants to choose from in […]

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