Another unexpectedly busy week in Dubai…
I had my usual session with Randy on Sunday morning and then did some work the rest of the day. That night I went to Sho Cho for dinner with my cousin and some of our Lagos friends. Being a Sunday night I thought it would be quiet, but I was completely wrong! Every table was full and by the time we left even the bar area was packed. I had no idea Sunday was ‘retro night’. I’ll definitely be doing that again! I had two ginger martinis (or was it three?) and the food was really good too.
On Monday evening I went to the Shangri-La to sort out my birthday party. I’ve been so unexcited about it, if I’m honest. If I didn’t have friends flying in from other places I would actually cancel the whole thing. After that I went to Art Night at DIFC – I wasn’t with anyone, but I just wanted to get out of the house. It was crowded, more crowded than the one in February (I thought) and I didn’t stay too long. I walked around a couple of galleries, bumped into a couple of friends, and was home for dinner. I did see this lovely tree made of books:
I had coffee with my cousin in DIFC on Tuesday and while we were walking around I saw this beautiful photograph.
I had a piano lesson that afternoon which was great. I’m still working on all the same things as the week before, and finally started working on: Amelie’s Waltz.
There was another InterNations event on Wednesday evening so a friend and I went together. It was at Seville’s in Wafi, in their outdoor area. We’d been looking forward to it as we’d had such a great time two weeks before, but this was disappointing. Neither of us was feeling particularly social to start with, and we would have been happy to just talk to each other as we hadn’t seen each other in two weeks. The staff at the restaurant were absolutely clueless about everything. It took us almost 30 minutes to order a bottle of wine, and that was after a lot of going back and forth because they didn’t have certain wines on the list. It was just irritating. When we’d finished our wine we decided we’d leave and go elsewhere to catch up.
We walked over to Carter’s and ordered our drinks at the bar. We were then approached by an Indian guy who insisted on buying us champagne which we politely declined. I could sense him looking at me so I continued staring in the opposite direction while my friend told him we weren’t interested. We got our drinks and found a table outside. Twenty minutes later the guy showed up outside and said he wanted to buy us a drink. We told him we still weren’t interested. ‘Are you Indian?’ he asked me. ‘No, I’m Spanish,’ I replied. ‘But I mean, where are you from originally?’ ‘Spain,’ I replied. He didn’t believe me so I started speaking Spanish.
And then my friend said: ‘That’s a lovely wedding ring you’re wearing.’
I hadn’t even noticed. His persistence suddenly turned into sheepishness. He mumbled something about it being a ‘separation’ ring and he left us alone. Jesus, what a tool.
I woke up with a slight headache on Thursday. I was home all day but had wine club that evening. It was supposed to be held at the the new JW Marriot Marquis at their poolside but because the weather had been terrible all day (grey and windy) they moved it indoors. It was a good venue but there really wasn’t enough food (in my opinion). The wines we had were:
- Villa Maria Private Bin 2011 Sauvignon Blanc: Strong citrus grassy notes on nose and palate. Race acidity that pairs well with vegetables, seafood and lighter dishes. Excellent with asparagus. Typical New Zealand style from the South Island. This was my second favourite.
- Villa Maria Private Bin 2011 Chardonnay: Mineral, citrus, and very clean aroma. In the mouth, good acidity, grapefruit, and clean long finish with a hint of spice. I hated this.
- Cusumano Chardonnay: Grown and produced in Sicily, taking advantage of the island’s rich history in wine-making and full sunny days for optimal ripeness and full-flavoured wines. I hated this too.
- Villa Maria Private Bin Dry Riesling: A pure and delicate bouquet of ripe citrus-lime and spring blossom aromas. The palate is beautifully balanced with intense flavours, lovely juicy length and a zest lime finish. Great on its own or with light fresh food.
- Villa Maria Gewurztraminer: Gewurztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety. The name literally means ‘Spice Traminer’. The grape has a pink to red skin colour, and is high in natural sugar. The resulting wine is white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Its aromatic flavours make Gewurztraminer an ideal companion for mild curries and chillies, Thai and Japanese cuisine, pork and ham, and spiced apple desserts. This was my favourite.
- Cusamano Cabernet Sauvignon: Loaded with rich berry fruit and substantial tannins. Best to let set out for a while before drinking to soften when young. Excellent with hearty dishes and red meats.
I was sitting with a friend on one table but had a few friends on another table so we all met up afterwards and went to Vault, the wine bar on the 70th floor. We had more wine (South African Chenin Blanc) and were there until they closed at 3am.
I felt like shit the next day. I eventually got out of bed at 1pm, took some Nurofen and had some lunch. My entire day was going to waste until I asked a friend if she wanted to go to Art Dubai. She said yes, and that she’d drive as she had to drop her daughter off at JBR. Great! I was ready by 5pm, she picked me up, we went to pick up her daughter but she wasn’t ready so we hung out in the kitchen for a while. Then her daughter said she wasn’t meeting her friends until later, so we waited a bit more. We left her place at 6pm, encountered terrible traffic to and from JBR (which is an everyday occurrence, apparently) and spent half an hour stuck in the parking lot at the Madinat. It did not bode well. We eventually parked 10 minutes away, walked back to the Madinat and got there at 7.30pm. We asked for two tickets and the man said they had just closed. WTF?? It was 7.30pm on Friday. I thought it would have been open until at least 9.30, but neither of us had even thought to check. I was gutted. I missed it last year, and I missed it this year (I wasn’t able to go on the Saturday). Third time lucky?
We decided we’d get some food at the Madinat as we were both famished and hungover. We went to Japengo – I really fancied some Iranian kebabs and some houmous but when we sat down the waitress told us that they didn’t have any Lebanese or Iranian food. I could have wept. We ordered some spicy tuna rolls and some French fries (which appeased me a little). I was home by 10pm.
Saturday was a long day. I was up at 6am as I was volunteering at the Jack Canfield 1-day workshop (Living the Success Principles) at the Meydan Hotel. I had wanted to go but I felt 2000 dirhams was a lot of money to spend, especially as I haven’t had any income since November (long story). Luckily for me, my parents know the organisers who told me that if I came as a volunteer I could help out before and after the event, and in the breaks, and attend for free. Amazing! I left home at 7am, helped with registration (handing out name badges), put flyers on the tables in the breaks, put inserts into leaflets for about 10 minutes during the afternoon session, and sold some books at the end. It was totally worth it. And I felt the workshop was just what I needed to set some goals – personal and professional – for the year ahead.
It also gave me an insight into what it would be like working in event management. I’ve realised I would loathe it. I like to get on with things in peace and quiet rather than be bothered by people asking me questions all day!
Anyway, I was home by 7.30pm and in bed by 9pm.
I love my life.
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