After my 100s workout with Rama, all I wanted to do was go back to bed. Instead I had to make a trip to Lulu with Joy. We left with Kaleem at almost 12.30, got whatever we needed, and were back home by 2pm. It makes such a difference having a driver – none of that waiting around, hoping for a cab to show up!
Dad and I decided to have lunch at the Dubai Mall – we both fancied a steak. By this time I would have eaten anything as I hadn’t had breakfast and walking around all that food in Lulu had made me ravenous. We went to the Outback Steakhouse on the second floor. I wanted the spinach and artichoke dip to start with, and Dad wanted the onion rings. So of course we ordered both. We each had a steak which came with two side orders – we both had the house salad and the jacket potato.
Next time I won’t order anything to start with – I was so full by the end of the meal. I didn’t finish the starter, the salad or the jacket potato. I was so full that I almost didn’t want a coffee at Gloria Jean’s, but had one in the end. We got home at around 4.30 and I just wanted to go to sleep.
I’d booked a massage deal through Cobone at Chelsea Tower – just a few minutes away: ‘Experience tranquility with a 60-minute Swedish massage for AED99 from Chelsea Serano Spa and Wellness Centre at Chelsea Tower Apartments’. I was looking forward to it as I hadn’t had a massage in months, maybe even a year. I went up to the sixth floor and the masseuse showed me to the spa. The ‘spa’ consists of one therapy room, right next to the main reception area and gym. I could hear everything that was going on outside the room and it was very distracting. When she started the massage I remembered why I rarely have them – I’m so ticklish that I’m usually more tense after the massage than I was before it. Then I thought that maybe if I kept coming back, she would eventually figure out where I was most ticklish and avoid those areas.
When I turned over she said, ‘You have baby?’
‘You have baby inside?’
‘No.’ (F***ing bitch.)
‘How old are you?’
‘THIRTY-NINE?? Why you no married??’
Oh, FFS – just shut up and do the massage! I wanted to wring her neck. Or kick her in the face. Or both.
‘I don’t know.’
‘Thirty-nine? Or twenty-nine? You no look thirty-nine.’
‘I think I know how old I am.’
Well, that decided it for me. I was never going back there again.
Monday and Tuesday were uneventful. I had yoga on Monday morning and that evening Dad wanted to go out for dinner. Being a vegetarian day we went to Sukh Sagar in Bur Dubai for an early dinner. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a dosa and I’d avoided having one so far because of all the carbs. We started with paneer tikka.
Dad also had pani puri (which I didn’t have). I then had a palak dosa. I’d never heard of this before, but instead of the dosa having a potato filling, it was spinach. And it was so good. The portions are very big and next time I’m not going to order a starter unless one or two others are going to share it. We also had mango ice cream for dessert. Everything was so tasty. Our bill for the whole dinner was AED 87. Amazing.
On Wednesday I had a session with Rama in the morning. I told him about what the masseuse said and he burst out laughing. That afternoon Dad and I went to the airport to pick up my mum and grandmother. My mum had left in the middle of February and was finally coming back. My grandmother was coming to stay for about a month – her last trip to Dubai was in 2001. She also brought a helper with her as she needs assistance with various things.
Dad and I waited at the airport for ages – we had a coffee, browsed in the book store (yes, I did buy something), and finally they came out of customs.
I had a busy day on Thursday – I had been invited to my first party in Dubai! It was a friend’s 40th and she’d booked the whole of At.mosphere (at the top of the Burj Khalifa) for the occasion. So naturally there were preparations to take care of. By 5pm that day I’d been manicured, pedicured, blowdried and waxed to within an inch of my life. It was tedious.
My cousin and I went together. We got there at about 10.45pm and I think we were still one of the first few people to get there even though the invitation said 9.30. That’s Dubai for you. Nothing starts on time, apart from the movies. I’d met many of the women before, at lunches and teas, but it was the first time I’d met their husbands since I’d been here – even though I’ve known some of them for years. It was a fun evening, the view was spectacular, and the music was brilliant. Some of it reminded me of being at Bacchus in Lagos in the mid to late 1980s. I told our hostess this (she grew up in Lagos too) and she said that’s exactly what she had in mind when she hired the DJ. We left at about 1.45am and headed home.
I woke up with a headache on Friday, took some Nurofen and went back to sleep. We had lunch at home, I spent a couple of hours at the pool, and that evening we took my grandmother to Mercato Mall. It was the busiest I’d ever seen it – I’ve only ever been there in the day time during the week, but on a Friday evening it is packed! We had an al fresco dinner at Bella Donna – great food – and were home by 10pm.
On Saturday the hairdresser was coming in the morning as a friend had a girls’ lunch at Hakkasan. This hairdresser has been to me a few times but I think I’m going to have to find someone else as he’s started getting a bit sleazy. He’s also one of the most unattractive men I’ve ever seen and smells like an ashtray. This particular morning he told me he was single (I wonder why). He asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said I did. ‘In Dubai?’ he asked. ‘Of course in Dubai,’ I said. I hoped he didn’t ask to see a photo because I hadn’t thought that far ahead.
Anyway, back to lunch. There were nine of us and it was really nice. When I got there, the waitress looked at me and asked if I’d been there before. I said I had. ‘I remember you from last time,’ she said. I’m not surprised – that was my third time there for lunch in April. After lunch I went home, needing a nap. I ended up doing some work instead.
That evening I was going to a new book group. I’d found the Bibliophiles Dubai Book Club online and decided to join them. They meet at Caffe Nero in DIFC every three weeks – it was perfect as it’s not far from where I live. For some reason, I thought they met at 7.30pm so was dilly-dallying at home – and then I checked my email and realised they actually met at 7pm! It was already 7.05 and I was going to be late. I got there at 7.30, made my apologies and sat down. We were 12 people and it was an interesting group. There was one other person who was also there for the first time. The book being discussed was The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize). We finished at 9pm and I went
home. Another weekend over!
I love my life.
See more Dubai updates here.