Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Dubai 2013: Week 5

My week began with a session with Randy, as usual.

That afternoon I went to Spaces at the Oasis Centre for a Dermalogica facial. I hadn’t had one since November and felt like pampering myself. After that I went to a new salon called Nadia Beauty Style at Sama Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road. I’d bought a Groupon voucher for a keratin treatment and wanted to use it before I went to London. It wasn’t a Brazilian keratin treatment, it was an Argan keratin treatment, and I knew the results would be nowhere near as good as the Brazilian keratin treatment. The stylist put the solution on my hair and left me under a dryer for 40 minutes. My hair felt soft, smooth and shiny – but I think that’s what happens when you suddenly inject Argan oil and keratin into your hair. It was little more than a deep conditioning treatment.

On Monday afternoon I had a piano lesson to make up for the one I’d missed the week before, due to the public holiday. I got to the studio and my teacher wasn’t there. Ten minutes after he should have been there I sent him a text to let him know I was waiting for him. He called me 2 minutes later, claiming to have forgotten about my lesson. Great, I thought. What a waste of time. Luckily the studio isn’t far from where I live so I went home and went back to work.

I went to see Django Unchained on Tuesday evening. I thought it was brilliant! My friend and I went to More Cafe for dinner afterwards. We shared a pasta and a Greek salad. The portions there are huge…

I was home all day on Wednesday. I had some work to do and thought I’d better start packing for my trip to London. I didn’t have much to take as my Dubai wardrobe would have been completely useless in London in February. I took a few dresses for the evenings, some jeans, vests – I’d pick up all my winter clothes from storage when I got there – and the rest of my suitcase consisted of baby clothes and Patchi chocolates for friends.

On Thursday I had a piano lesson at 2pm. At 1.58 my teacher texted to say he was running 5 minutes late. I waited in the corridor outside his studio for 20 minutes and was very tempted to just leave. Did he not want to teach me? If he didn’t I could find a new teacher. Don’t I have better things to do than to wait around? Even if he’d told me at 1.40 that he was running late, I could have left home later and not wasted my time. He showed up at 2.20 – ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so busy, I’m going to Doha tomorrow…’

‘You’re not the only one who has things to do, you know,’ I snapped. Was his time more valuable than mine?

He looked a bit sheepish then and apologised. I had my lesson – he again apologised profusely for being late. I doubt that will change anything in the future though!

After my piano lesson I went for a manicure and pedicure at Amro. I spent the rest of the evening packing and left for London the following morning.

I love my life.

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Dubai: Week 17

It started off as a quiet(ish) week. I didn’t have my usual session with Rama on Sunday, and I didn’t go to the gym either. I’d invited my friends from London and their kids over for lunch – and invited my cousin too. I’d asked Joy to make spaghetti and minced chicken (separately in case the kids wanted plain spaghetti), and broccoli salad. For dessert there was fruit (watermelon, blueberries, strawberries and kiwis) and vanilla ice cream. Most of the food finished – and while we were lingering over dessert the kids were running around the bare living room. They caught sight of the pool below and that was it – they had to be there. We went down for an hour and a half, the kids splashed around for a while, and then we came back up. The kids were changed and they all left at about 5pm.

I had no plans for the rest of the day so I got into my pajamas and watched ‘Game of Thrones’ in bed. 

On Monday I had yoga and then was home working for the rest of the day. At about 4.30pm I decided to take my book down to the pool – it was such a nice day. There were a couple of kids and their nanny already there, but by the time I left at about 6pm, there were nine other people there. It was so nice, I thought I’d do the same on Tuesday.

But Tuesday was cloudy and grey and windy. I went to the gym in the morning, did some work and then decided to get my hair coloured. When I left the Fairmont, I walked to Gloria Jean’s – I was at a good part of my book so I decided to sit in there and have a coffee while I finished the chapter I was reading. It wasn’t hot at all and I thought about walking the rest of the way home. It would have taken me 15-20 minutes, but in the end I opted for a cab.

Wednesday was a busy day. After my session with Rama, my Dad and I went to Hakkasan for lunch with my uncle, aunt and cousin. We all had the set menu, but were there for quite a while. We didn’t leave there until 3.45pm. After that Dad and I went to Festival City to collect our new car. He had been toying with the idea of getting a Jaguar or Mercedes, but I asked him what the point of that is when the only person who’s going to be driving the car is the driver? So he settled on a Volvo. We got there just after 4pm and were there FOREVER. Paperwork, registration, insurance, plates. I had two coffees (which were very good, I have to say) talked James (the sales exec) to death, and at 6.30pm one of their drivers drove us home in our new car. 

A little while later I went to MoE (by cab) to meet a schoolfriend for dinner. She was another friend I hadn’t seen since I left school 20 years ago and she was in Dubai for work. We ended up at More Cafe and talked about school, and what we were up to now, and so on. Her flight back to Tokyo was later that same evening so we said goodbye a little after 9.30pm. It was nice to see her – and I think she’ll be coming to Dubai twice or thrice a year. I think I’ve met more Cobham girls in the last couple of weeks than I have in the last year!

On Thursday I was home all day working (or trying to) and in the evening I went to a wine club meet-up.

I had lunch with Dad at Lemongrass on Friday. We both like the food there and it’s reasonably priced too. After that we went for a wander around Lamcy Plaza – he was looking for a calculator but we couldn’t find one. We went home and I went to my spinning class at the Shangri-La.

That evening we went to see ‘Battleship’ at the Dubai Mall with my cousin and her parents. It was so bad. It should be called ‘Battlesh*t’. It’s set in Hawaii – and I kept hoping Alex O’Loughlin and the 5-0s would show up, save the day and cut the movie short. Bad script, bad acting, too long – the first and last 20 minutes were OK, but the rest was awful.

While we were at the mall, I could hear a lot of activity from the ice rink below. I walked over to the railing and looked over. The ice had been covered and people were playing football instead!


I had planned to spend Saturday by the pool, but that morning one of the women I’d met at the British expat drinks in January sent me a text about a new writing group that was meeting that afternoon. I decided to go as I hadn’t done any writing since moving to Dubai (apart from this blog). I went down to the pool after breakfast and read for a while. I could only manage an hour as it was so hot. That evening I got into my pajamas, read a little and caught up on some TV shows. 

I love my life.

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Dubai: Week 7

Not a terribly interesting week!

I woke up on Sunday not feeling very well and had to cancel my session with Rama (which I really didn’t want to do). I went back to sleep for a couple of hours and felt much better when I woke up again. I stayed home most of the day and then met my cousin for a coffee. She was visiting from Bombay and I hadn’t seen her in over a year so we went to Starbucks at the Dubai Mall and sat outside. It was nice and I think the fresh air did me good. 

We were supposed to go out for dinner that evening but when she got home after the mall she wasn’t feeling very well and in the end my parents and I went out for dinner on our own. We went to Thai Chi at Wafi Pyramids. I didn’t take any photos, but the buildings there are in an Ancient Egyptian style – the gym is called the Pharoah’s Club, the coffee shop is Rameses, the beauty salon is Cleopatra’s, and so on. Thai Chi is on the first floor – it’s a huge restaurant but being a Sunday night it was quite empty apart from one or two other tables.

The food was good, the portions are huge. My parents and I shared a tom yum soup – which was supposed to be shared between two people, but there was enough there for four large bowls of soup. We then had one of the salads and some chicken satays. For our main course we had a beef dish and a green chicken curry. It was more than enough for the three of us!

On Monday I had my first yoga class with the new teacher. I was home working for the rest of the day and that evening my cousins came over for dinner. My parents were out with their friends so we had the place to ourselves.

I woke up on Tuesday feeling unwell again – and stayed home all day. I didn’t feel great on Wednesday either but went ahead with my session with Rama.

On Thursday, I met up with a friend at More Cafe at MoE. I’d met her a couple of times since moving to Dubai but it was always with a group of people. This time it was just the two of us and we got to catch up properly. We met at 11.30, had brunch, and when her daughter was done with school, she joined us too. What was supposed to be a quick breakfast/coffee turned into a 3-hour session. I stayed home that night – I had some work to do and I was tired.

On Friday, I met up with the same friend for lunch. We had a mutual friend in town for the day from Bangalore so we went to Wafi Gourmet. The service was atrocious. It seems to get worse each time I go there. After our long lazy outdoor lunch, our friend from Bangalore wanted to go to a supermarket so we ended up at Choithram’s in Jumeirah. We went home after that and she left for the airport.

That night I had dinner at PF Chang with my parents. I felt like I’d spent the whole day at the mall by this point. My cousin joined us as we were finishing and we went to see ‘The Iron Lady’. Dad wasn’t happy when he found out what we were seeing (we hadn’t told him) – basically if a movie doesn’t involve high-speed car chases or people shooting at each other, he’s not interested. As expected he didn’t like the movie. I thought it was a bit slow, but I thought Meryl Streep was amazing. There were times, however, when I felt she looked a little like one of the characters in ‘Little Britain’. I think it was her hair or make-up, possibly both. 

On Saturday, I was home most of the day as my mum was leaving for India. I met up with a friend at Caffe Nero at the mall – I was telling her about my photography course and she suggested I brush up on my skills and start doing sessions for the kids’ play dates. She said they’re always looking for photographers for the kids – and that it would be worth my while. I’m not sure how I feel about spending time with toddlers. In fact, it’s not the kids that worry me, it’s their mothers that might freak me out! But I said I’d think about it (which I am)… Anyway, we spent an hour together and that evening I stayed home as I had an early session with Rama the next day.

So that was week 7 – hardly any exercise, lots of work, and not much else!

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