Dubai: A proofreader’s paradise

No spelling or grammatical errors this week! I think I’ve also been too busy to read the papers properly… But here are a couple of things to take note of:

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2012

Answers

As a proofreader, one of the things I’m looking for is consistency so what should have been capitalised too.

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No mistakes here, but my trainer is in the papers!

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Dubai: Week 13

I had another busy week. I was swamped with work during the days and had a few social things lined up in the evenings.

My week started, as always, with a session with Rama. After that I was home, working.

On Monday night, I went to see Russell Peters at the World Trade Centre. I went with my dad and my uncle (don’t ask). We had to get there quite early as there was no allocated seating – you had to go to your section and sit wherever you could. The queues to get into each section were long. Handbags were searched and men were patted down. ‘Do you have a camera?’ she asked looking through my bag. Actually, I did have my small digital camera but she didn’t see it. I had no intention of using it, it just lives in my handbag. ‘Will you be drinking alcohol this evening?’ I was asked. ‘I don’t know, do I have to decide right now?’ The woman didn’t seem amused but put a band around my wrist that said I was OK for alcohol (or something like that). We found some seats and sat down. DJ Spinbad was on stage – and he was amazing. I think he was the highlight of my evening. He was playing mostly music from the 1980s, mixing songs together and making them work, such as: Billie Jean and I Wanna Dance With Somebody. If I had a party, I would want him there. Russell Peters’ supporting act was a guy called Ruben Paul – he was hilarious but he was only on for 10-15 minutes. I almost forgot I was there to see Russell Peters and not him. 

Russell Peters was funny. A bit vulgar in places, but funny nonetheless. Nobody was spared – Indians, Arabs, South Indians (‘It’s so dark in here I can’t see you’), Philippinos… I would *not* go with either of my parents the next time he’s here. I believe he toned his act down quite a bit for the show on Tuesday night. 

On Tuesday night a friend of mine said she was going to Mahiki with some friends and did I want to go? Sure, as long as it’s early(ish). We met at 9.30 – she told me her two female friends ditched at the last minute so it was the two of us and seven guys. It was a fun evening and the vodka was flowing. I left just after 12.30 as I had an early session with Rama the next day but was already feeling the effects of the vodka.

My session the next morning was torture. I’m never drinking the night before a training session again. I wanted to crawl back into bed afterwards but had a ton of work to get through. I worked the rest of the day and then went to La Petite Maison for dinner with the girls. There were 11 of us at the table – me and 10 married women with kids. I knew all of them – from either London or Lagos – but I don’t have very much to say to them. ‘Have you met any men here?’ Really? Are we really going to have this conversation? I felt like Bridget Jones having dinner with the smug marrieds. The food, on the other hand, was fantastic. The burrata was out of this world and I’d go back just to have that – several plates of it! I thought the pain perdu was better in London though.

On Thursday I realised I was going to have to work day and night to meet my deadline of the 30th. I was home all day and worked until 2am that night. 

On Friday, Dad and I went to Wafi City Mall for lunch. The mall was deserted as usual.

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We had lunch at Wafi Gourmet – I think there were more people in the restaurant than in the entire mall. I spotted these mini fruit dessert things in the restaurant – but I have no idea what they are!

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After lunch, while Dad went to wash his hands, I went to the MAC store. There was nobody in there, not even a shop assistant. I was in there for close to 10 minutes, trying on various lipsticks and eyeliners, and nobody came. I could have walked out with a few things (but couldn’t decide what I wanted). We came home and I went back to work.

I wasn’t planning on doing anything that evening but ended up having dinner with my cousin at Royal China. I’d booked a table for 9pm and we were on time. We sat at our table and ordered our food. At 9.45 my mobile rang – I didn’t recognise the number but answered it anyway. ‘Mrs Amreeta?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘I’m calling from Royal China restaurant – you have a reservation for 9pm?’ ‘Yes. I’m sitting in your restaurant.’ ‘Oh! Oh, sorry!’ I could see the woman from where I was sitting – and it was the same woman who had shown us to our table. 

I worked all of Saturday until 4.30pm. My cousin was in town from Bombay with her husband, daughter and in-laws so I met them at the Dubai Mall and we went to Shakespeare & Company for coffee (I still prefer Gloria Jean’s Coffee!). I hadn’t seen her in over a year and half so it was nice to catch up. Their dinner plans were up in the air so I told them we’d meet the next day instead. I got home and went back to work – finishing at 2am again. 

A busy week with work and play – hopefully it will calm down after I meet this deadline!

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10 kilos by Easter? Week 11

I woke up on Sunday with another nosebleed – making that three in the last month. I told Rama about them in my session that morning – he suggesed I get it checked out. I knew I probably should and decided that if I had another one in the next week or so I will.

My back was still a little sore from the previous week so my session was a bit gentler that morning. After my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer, the rest of the session was resistance work using the machines and weights. Two sets of bench presses, two sets of seated rows, two sets of clean and presses, three sets of bicep curls, two sets of tricep extensions and tricep dips, and many abs and lower body exercises. 

On Monday I had my usual yoga class – my back was feeling a bit better and I was able to do most of it.

On Tuesday I went to the gym on my own – I did 15 minutes on the cross-trainer and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I have this terrible habit of singing with my headphones on. Not entire songs, because I’m usually out of breath, but just the odd line every now and then – and I more often than not have the gym to myself. While I was on the treadmill I started humming along to ‘Moves Like Jagger’ and then heard the door close behind me. The gym door doesn’t make any noise when it opens but it does when it closes – and all the machines face the pool so I didn’t notice the French guy from a few weeks ago walk in. Oops!

After a somewhat heavy Tuesday night I had a 9am session with Rama. ‘How are you?’ he asked. ‘Actually I’m a little hungover,’ I replied, thinking he might go easy on me. He was most unsympathetic. ‘Well, you’re going to find today tough then!’ Crap.

He told me I was going to do the circuit I did a few weeks ago. It consisted of:

  • Squat jumps with 3-kg weights x 15
  • 1 minute rest
  • Squat jumps without weights x 15
  • 1 minute rest
  • Bear crawl x 6 lengths of the gym (but it was 4 lengths last time!)
  • Star jumps x 100
  • 1 minute rest
  • Push-ups with 3-kg weights x 20
  • Ski jumps with 3-kg weights x 100
  • 3 minutes rest

Also, the gym floor had been polished recently which made the bear crawl even more difficult. ‘Either the floor is really slippery or you’re still intoxicated,’ Rama laughed. I think it was a bit of both, to be honest – but the floor really was slippery!

I did that circuit twice. Oh. My. God. Tortura. After that there was some lower body and abs work and then I went home feeling rather sick and wanting to get back into bed. 

On Thursday morning I got to the gym after 11am. I was wasting time, trying to avoid not going but decided I had to. There were two French men at the gym – and I’d never seen either of them before. One of them lives in the building and the other was his trainer. I did 10 minutes on the cross-trainer and moved on to the treadmill. As I was coming up to 17 minutes, I thought I really couldn’t be bothered with the treadmill any more. My back was aching and I was bored. I decided I’d stop at 20 minutes and go home. Just before I got to 19 minutes, the next song started playing: ‘Don’t Give Up’ – and I laughed (the French guys had gone by then). So I thought ‘OK, OK – I’ll keep going until the song is over.’ I’d forgotten it was over 8 minutes long and by the time it was finished, I was at 27 minutes. I thought I might as well keep at it for another 3 minutes and make it 30 minutes. Synchronicity at work again… 

I took Friday off as usual. I was planning to work out on Saturday but I was feeling lazy and didn’t go. I’d still worked out 5 days in a row so I didn’t feel too bad about it.

I didn’t lose any weight this week. In fact I put on half a kilo – which didn’t surprise me. I’d been out most nights and had more drinks this week than I’d had in previous weeks. One thing I did notice this week was that I could wrap myself in a normal-sized towel and have the two ends overlap. It might sound ridiculous to some people but I don’t remember the last time the two ends even met, let alone overlapped. 

So I have good days and bad days – on some days I feel I’m doing really well and on others I feel like a moose. I wonder if that will ever change. 

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Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (25-31 March)

Have a great week!

Aries

Pentacles_6

6 of Pentacles – be generous – you are either about to be the beneficiary or giver of something with value; share what you have – there is always someone who needs it; generosity does not have to have monetary value – it could be a listening ear, spiritual support, etc.; don’t be too proud to accept what is offered, if you are the intended recipient

Taurus

Cups_2

2 of Cups – making a connection – joining with another, celebrating a marriage or union, working together; calling a truce – bringing together opposites, letting bygones be bygones, forgiving and forgetting; acknowledging an attraction – recognising a bond that is developing, accepting your preferences, feeling a positive response

Gemini

14_temperance

Temperance – being temperate – finding the middle ground, reaching a compromise; maintaining balance – recognising all sides, feeling centred and secure; experiencing health – renewing energy and vigour, flourishing; combining forces – joining with others, finding the right mix

Cancer

19_sun

The Sun – becoming enlightened – finding the sense behind the chaos, getting to the heart of the matter; experiencing greatness – being singled out for notice, becoming the centre of attention; feeling vitality – experiencing joy, feeling invigorated; having assurance – knowing you can succeed, trusting your abilities

Leo

Cups_queen

Queen of Cups – being loving – dispelling anger and hate, having infinite patience; being tenderhearted – being kind and gentle with all creatures, feeling what others are feeling; being intuitive – being guided by the heart; being psychic – having a well-developed sixth sense; being spiritual – having reverance for all life, appreciating the deeper meanings of life

Virgo

Pentacles_queen

Queen of Pentacles – being nurturing – giving love and support, making people feel better; being big-hearted – giving freely and abundantly; being down-to-earth – handling problems matter-of-factly, taking a simple and sensible approach; being resourceful – making a little go a long way, being handy and versatile; being trustworthy – being loyal and steadfast, keeping confidences and secrets

Libra

3_the_empress

The Empress – mothering – giving birth, nourishing life, expressing tenderness; welcoming abundance – luxuriating in plenty, having more than enough, feeling rich; experiencing the senses – giving and receiving pleasure, focusing on the body, doing physical activity; responding to Nature – embracing the natural, feeling connected to the Earth, going outdoors

Scorpio

Pentacles_2

2 of Pentacles – juggling – coping with demands, having a lot of irons in the fire, keeping everything in balance; being flexible – going with the flow, seeing the possibilities, handling challenges; having fun – taking time to play, feeling in high spirits, seeing the humour in the situation

Sagittarius

Wands_7

7 of Wands – being aggressive – going after what you want, taking the offensive, making your point forcefully; being defiant – holding out against pressure, combating criticism, resisting authority; showing conviction – demonstrating strong character, knowing you are right, being firm

Capricorn

Swords_3

3 of Swords – feeling heartbreak – having your feelings hurt, getting some unsettling news, being disappointed; feeling lonely – feeling lost, being separated, wandering far from home; experiencing betrayal – being let down, breaking your word, finding your trust misplaced

Aquarius

Cups_10

10 of Cups – feeling joy – radiating love, delighting in good fortune, counting your blessings; enjoying peace – doing away with hostilities, reducing stress and tension, calling a truce; looking to the family – working for peace in the home, supporting a relative in need, reaffirming a family commitment

Pisces

Pentacles_5

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – running into material troubles, feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – feeling run down and tired, getting medical attention, neglecting your body and its needs; being rejected – having the door slammed in your face, feeling excluded, lacking support

For previous readings, see Notes by Nectar.

Dubai: Week 12

What a busy week!

I had a killer session with Rama on Sunday morning, followed by a trip to Lulu for our weekly shop. I decided mornings would be the best time to go – the last time I went was on a Saturday afternoon and there was no way I was doing that again. After bringing everything home, Dad and I decided to go to Burjuman for a late lunch. He’d been to Zone Lounge before and wanted to go back. It’s an Italian/Lebanese restaurant and I ordered the houmous and shish taouk. I was famished by the time the food arrived – it was 3.30 and I hadn’t eaten all day – so I ate the houmous with bread (gasp!). Dad ordered the seafood soup because the photo looked good in the menu. Unfortunately it didn’t look anything like it did in the photo and he was disappointed. The shish taouk was OK – the chips that came with it were good though. So I basically had a carb-loaded lunch. I don’t think I’d go back there again though. I’d seen a Gloria Jean’s Coffee place on our way to the restaurant and we went there when we were done.

We had a couple of errands to run in Deira after our late lunch so off we went. I always thought it was so far (because that’s what I’d been told) but it really wasn’t. It looked like an interesting area of Dubai – you could see the dhows and shipping boats being loaded in Dubai Creek – and I’d have liked to walk around but Dad didn’t want to and I’d been out of the house most of the day so I didn’t mind too much. It was also quite chilly by the waterfront and I didn’t have a shawl.

On Monday evening I went to an InterNations event at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC. I’d kept in touch with a couple of people from the British Expat drinks I went to in January and they were going to the InterNations get-together. I got there at about 8.45 and there must have been at least 300 people there – and all from different countries. I registered/paid at the door, was given a token for a free drink and a sticker with your name on it, and then I was let loose with the others. While waiting at the bar I started chatting to a couple of people (mostly about how slow the bar staff were). After being served I went outside to look for the people I knew – it took me ages to find them in that crowd – and just by walking around I ended up chatting to people I didn’t know who have since been in touch. It wasn’t a late night, or a heavy one, but I will definitely go to more events like that. 

On Wednesday I met a new friend for lunch at More Cafe at MoE. I’d never met her before but we’d been chatting on Twitter for the last few weeks. We do have one friend in common but keeping track of her was proving difficult so we decided to meet without her. It was a lovely lunch and I’m looking forward to more of them! After lunch I met up with another friend for coffee at Columbus Cafe – she’d just been to London so it was nice to hear about her trip and catch up. Yes, I was rather jealous but time is flying and May will be here before I know it. 

I’ve decided I need to re-think my ‘no work in the morning’ policy for the next few weeks if I’m going to get all my projects done by their various deadlines. The main deadline at the moment is 30th March so until then my mornings aren’t going to be as relaxed as they are now. 

On Thursday morning, I was up early. I was at the gym by 9am only to find that it was closed as it was being repainted. Damn! I got ready and was at my desk by 10am – and I was there pretty much all day (apart from meals). 

That night I had dinner with some friends at Zuma. Our table was booked for 10pm but by the time we sat down it was after 10.30. I have never seen such scantily-clad women in my life. There was a woman who came up in the lift with us and I wondered why she bothered wearing a top at all! I guess the mall dress code doesn’t apply to Dubai after dark.

On Friday Dad and I went to Sumo Sushi & Bento at Jumeirah Town Centre for lunch. It’s a small mall right next to Mercato.

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We decided to have the set meal for two – it included miso soup, a sushi platter (there was a choice of three), prawn tempura (again, a choice of three starters), chicken katsu and barbecued beef (there was a choice of four main courses). It was a lot of food – and an hour after that I went to Taste of Dubai.

Taste of Dubai was held at the amphitheatre in Media City. It’s similar to Taste of London – all the restaurants have stalls, you can buy any of their signature dishes, there’s live music, cooking demonstrations, chefs doing signings. Some of the restarants with stalls were Nobu, Ronda Locatelli, Gaucho, ToroToro, Rhodes Twenty10, Rivington Grill and PF Chang’s. The dishes served at Nobu were black cod, nasu miso, sashimi tacos, tuna sashimi salad and mochi ice cream. I had the black cod and tuna sashimi salad – each portion is about two bites’ worth of food which was perfect after the lunch I had! A few of my friends had signed up for a session at the Miele Cookery School.

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There were 12 cooking stations and the chef from Rivington Grill showed them how to make seared salmon salad. It smelled and looked pretty good…

We wandered around for a while after that, looking at all the foods on display.

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At about 7pm we went back to the main area and tried to find somewhere to sit. It wasn’t easy.

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We eventually found somewhere, sent the kids to get us some food and got ourselves some beers. When I see certain things on a menu, I have to have them – such as truffles, artichokes, wine… The Ronda Locatelli stall had a truffle ravioli on their menu (I’d spotted it earlier and had been thinking about little else) and when the kids brought it back I could smell the truffles from across the table. I had to have it. Just one bite. It was divine. We relaxed for an hour or so and then a few of us had to leave as we had tickets to see a play at the Madinat Theatre.

‘August: Osage County’ was the winner of the 2007 Pullitzer Prize and seven Tony Awards. The play wa
s written by Tracy Letts and the original version is set in Oklahoma. The production we saw was adapted and directed by Lilette Dubey, and set in Goa. Before the play started, an English woman came up on stage to announce members of the cast and who the sponsors were. The woman could barely read. The main sponsor was Petrochem – and she pronounced the ‘chem’ exactly as it’s spelled. It didn’t bode well for the rest of the play. 

Fortunately, she was soon forgotten once the play started. It was brilliant. It was about a dysfunctional family who come together for their father’s funeral. It reminded me a bit of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom – or a long episode of ‘Brothers and Sisters’ (but well written). I stopped watching ‘Brothers and Sisters’ somewhere in season 2. I figured if I wanted to listen to a family arguing I could just go to my living room and sit with mine. Anyway, the play was funny, dark, sad – thoroughly enjoyable.

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The only criticisms I will make (and that have nothing to do with the production) was that the sound system wasn’t very good, and that for the first half of the play the theatre was freezing, even with my shawl wrapped tightly around me. The play ended after midnight so it was almost 1am by the time I got home.

On Saturday I went to the gym and then decided I was going to do nothing all day. I didn’t even switch on my computer. Armed with factor 20 sunscreen, I took The Hunger Games down to the pool and sat there for a couple of hours.

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It was the first time I’d been to the pool since I moved to Dubai. It had been too cold and/or windy before that to sit down there. When I got home I got into bed and continued reading until I’d finished the book. A perfect Saturday… 

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