On Sunday I had been in Dubai for exactly three months! The weeks just seem to fly by here…
I worked all of Sunday and then met my cousin from Bombay and her family for dinner in the evening. Her husband’s cousin lives in Dubai so we met at her house in Marina. I don’t know that area at all and of course I had a cab driver who was most unhelpful. It took 40 minutes to get to her flat – including time spent in traffic – but I got there eventually. It was a nice flat, with a huge balcony where we all sat. The view from one side of the balcony was beautiful, you could see the Marina and the yachts. On the other side, however, the neighbouring buildings were so close I could see what people were watching on TV in their living rooms. We sat around for a while and decided to stay in and order Thai food. It was so good – my no carbs at night rule went out the window. Pad thai, red curry and rice. Yum. I got home just after midnight and went back to work. Crazy, I know.
On Monday I had my yoga class and went straight to work.
On Tuesday I had a session with Rama and went straight to work. I was aiming to get this book copyedited by Wednesday (even though the deadline was Friday) and I finished it just after midnight. There was still some formatting to do and changes to be made, but there was light at the end of the tunnel. By this point I was so sick of obstetrics and gynaecology, and I was glad there were no images in the book. At one point in the evening I had to read about manual removal of the placenta and wanted to throw up. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be an obstetrician and/or gynaecologist.
On Wednesday I went to the gym and after lunch Joy and I did the Lulu grocery shopping. It’s a completely pointless task for me – I push the trolley while she goes through her list of things we need. I could do it on my own but as she’s the one who cooks it makes sense for her to choose her ingredients… The only good thing about the trip to Lulu is my ‘treat’ at the till – I buy myself a small bar of Galaxy chocolate!
I worked all of Wednesday afternoon and evening. I was supposed to go to an InterNations event on Wednesday night but I decided to just get on and finish my work. Just before 10pm I was done. I spent over 60 hours on that book, plus more hours spent on the work I was doing for two other publishers. But it was finally done. For a while I was worried I’d have to break my policy of not working on my birthday, but luckily it didn’t come to that.
On Thursday morning I left my flat at 11 and was met with a wall of heat outside. I was outdoors for no more than 2 minutes but the heat was stifling. Summer had arrived! I had a mani and pedi at the Fairmont, followed straight after by lunch with the girls at Royal China. Earlier in the week I was unsure of being able to go but by Wednesday I knew I’d be free. Conversation revolved around kids, schools, teachers and the weather (it hit 39C on Thursday). One of the girls had organised a cake for me – which was lovely but unexpected! And delicious. I couldn’t remember the last time I had cake.
That night I went to see The Hunger Games. I was disappointed. We got home after midnight and Dad pulled out a big pink bag from his room and brought it to me. ‘It’s not your real present, it’s just something small…’ He got me a teddy bear! He said the ear muffs reminded him of the ones I wore during London winters…
My birthday was nice – it was the first birthday I’d celebrated away from London since 1994. I had a relaxing morning after the manic work week I’d had. My dad’s brother had invited us to lunch with his family so we all went to PF Chang at the Dubai Mall. Being a Friday, it was packed and we had to wait an hour for a table. By the time we sat down we were all famished and over-ordered and subseqently ate too much. After lunch Dad and I went to Gloria Jean’s for coffee and then to du to sort out my phone.
I’d been using a pay as you go number since December, and buying top-up cards every time I ran out of credit. I thought it would be best to switch to a regular mobile contract – partly because I kept forgetting to top up the credit for the BlackBerry service. The guy in the store was helpful and said that my phone would be out of service for about 2 hours. I was still getting calls and messages from friends so I asked him if they could do the change over the following day instead. He said it wouldn’t be a problem.
That night Dad and I went to Zuma for dinner. We had the edamame, tuna tatake, rock shrimp tempura, ohitashi, and black cod. And then ordered another portion of the tuna tatake. I had two glasses of wine. I usually order a chocolate dessert but that evening I ordered the green tea and banana cake – I’d never tried it before and I’d go back just to have that. Amazing.
We were home by 11pm and soon after midnight my phone stopped working. No calls, no BB Messenger, no texts, no Twitter, nothing. A couple of hours later it still wasn’t working. I went to sleep and woke up and it still wasn’t working. It was starting to piss me off. I called du and was told that it could take up to 24 hours for the change over to complete. TWENTY-FOUR HOURS without a phone? Were they mad? I went to the gym, came home, had lunch, went down to the pool with my book for a couple of hours, came back up at 5.30pm and it STILL wasn’t up and running yet.
That evening I managed to arrange dinner with a friend who was visiting from India. We met at MoE and decided to go to PF Chang. I’d eaten there the day before but I didn’t mind as I fancied the steamed salmon with ginger which we didn’t have the previous day. I had a healthy dinner of steamed dumplings, steamed salmon and brown rice, and I was home by 10pm.
My phone started working shortly before midnight – but if anyone had tried to reach me on Saturday I wouldn’t even know as none of those messages or missed calls came through. So those of you that didn’t call on Friday (and you know who you are), if you tell me you tried to get through on Saturday and couldn’t, I may actually believe you. Then again, I may not.
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