I had a really busy week with work and it was a heavy social week too!
After my session with Randy on Sunday, I had a few errands to run – send out a transfer from Standard Chartered Bank in Mankhool, pay one of my mum’s bills in Karama, and meet a friend for lunch at the Dubai Mall. I actually got to the mall early and browsed in Kinokuniya (dangerous!) – I ended up buying the new Jhumpa Lahiri book. I met my friend for lunch at Shake Shack. It’s just opened and is on the first floor next to the Waterfall.
I’d never been to Shake Shack but my visit to Burger Fuel over the weekend had whet my appetite for another hamburger. I mentioned I was early, but my friend was running late so by the time we ordered I was famished. I had the double Shackburger and fries. And a diet Pepsi (ha!).
It was so good but as I was eating it I could see the grease dripping out of it onto my tray. Definitely for cheat days only!
I worked the rest of the day. That afternoon I got a call from the bank to say that the IBAN number I’d provided on the transfer form was wrong and I’d have to come in and submit a new form. For goodness’ sake – isn’t that something the woman checking and stamping the form is supposed to do? When I went back on Monday with a new form and the correct IBAN number, she said, ‘Oh, you’re back again.’ ‘Yes, stupid. If you’d done your job properly I wouldn’t be here,’ I replied. Well, OK, no, I didn’t say that. But I sent that to her telepathically.
I woke up on Tuesday feeling feverish and my throat was scratchy. Great. I took some Panadol and felt better for a while. I had a piano lesson on Tuesday afternoon. I’m still working on ‘When I Was Your Man’ and ‘Primavera’. My teacher also gave me the music for L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole and told me to ‘play around with it’.
That evening a friend and I went to Karma Kafe at Souk Al Bahar. They were launching an event called ‘Sake in the City’, an after-work alternative to ladies’ night every Tuesday. Women get three tokens for free drinks (either wine or a choice of three sake-based cocktails) and there’s also 50% off selected items from their a la carte menu all evening. We got there at 7pm and ordered some cocktails. I can’t remember what the cocktail I had was called but it had sake, vodka, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, lime and who knows what else. It was yummy. We also ordered some food – edamame, spicy tuna rolls and a dim sum basket. A little while after we got there the two women on the next table said they were leaving and gave us four of their tokens. We ordered some more drinks (I stuck to the cocktail the whole evening while my friend switched to Pinot Grigio) and some crispy duck rolls. We basically had four drinks each – we didn’t get round to using all our tokens! When the bill came we each paid… AED80. That’s just under £14. How crazy is that? I think we’ll be going back there a lot! There were a few photographers there from various magazines and we had our photo taken a few times.
I still wasn’t feeling great on Wednesday but really fancied some pasta from Vapiano so I went to the mall for lunch and came straight home.
I felt better on Thursday and went to wine club at the Sheraton MoE that evening. The first three wines were white, the next three were red. I didn’t particularly like any of them. I tried the first white and thought ‘Ugh, this is Chardonnay.’ I tried the second and third and thought the same thing. Surely they wouldn’t have three Chardonnays in one night? My fears were confirmed at the end of the evening when all the wines were uncovered:
- Catena Chardonnay from Argentina. Ripe tropical flavours, white stone fruit and citrus notes, lively floral notes, strong mineral character and excellent acidity.
- Finca el Origen from Argentina. Bright greenish yellow in colour, aromas of tropical fruit, pineapple and melon, light floral and citrus. Round velvety texture on the palate, a refreshing acidity and elegant finish.
- Kumeu River Chardonnay from New Zealand. Elegant citrus and peach fruit aromas, along with a touch of hazelnut that is typical of quality Chardonnay. The palate also shows nice ripe peach flavours with fine, flinty acidity that gives the wine a refreshing long finish. This wine is perfect to drink with fish and shellfish.
- Robert Giraud La Collection Saint-Emilion from Bordeaux, France. Seek out a rich dark ruby colour, aromas of blackberries and other fruit mingles with oak and a little spice. On the palate, a moderate body with a medium finish. The palate should confirm fruit found on the nose.
- Chateau de Moulin Neuf from Bordeaux, France. A well-crafted authentic Left Bank Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (for structure and power) smoothed with elegance and finesse of Merlot. Deep red appearance with ruby highlights. Reveals delicate aromas of ripe raspberry and blackberry, with hints of soft spices. Melting tannins introduce a well-structured wine on the palate, with a great balance and dark fruit flavours. Its elegant length makes it a great accompaniment for roasted or grilled meat and soft cheeses.
- Montes Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. The classic series-intense ruby-red colour. The nose has layer upon layer of caramel, cinnamon and candy with hints of mint, but without any dominance of oak. A spicy, full-flavoured wine, with good body, fruit and firm tannins and an engaging strong finish. Drink now or cellar for a few years.
After wine club a few of us went to Vantage, also at the Sheraton, where we ordered more wine and were there until closing. On the way home, three of us stopped at Burger Fuel for a bite to eat.
I felt like hell on Friday. I was home all day and would have happily stayed home all night but had a friend’s 40th to go to. I met my cousin at the Fairmont where the two of us and one of her friends had a drink before heading to the party – in the ballroom of the new Oberoi hotel. There must have been at least 200 people there – and several of them were from out of town. I met people I hadn’t seen in years and had completely forgotten about! At the beginning of the evening, I really wasn’t sure how long I would last – my head was aching and I was so tired. But after a few glasses of champagne, I got my second wind and was actually there until 5am! The DJ was amazing – he played loads of Prince – and I told several people I’d seen Prince in concert nine times (whether or not they were interested). Ha! When we left at 5am, the party was still going strong, champagne was still flowing and breakfast was being served (omelettes and shawarmas).
If I thought I felt like hell on Friday, I felt even worse on Saturday. And I had a cough. My original plan had been to spend the day at the Radisson Royal and have a massage in the evening. When I woke up, the last thing I felt like doing was sitting out in the hot sun with a pounding headache. I ordered some Chinese food for lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon in bed. Dad arrived that evening so I spent some time catching up with him before going back to bed!
I love my life.
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