Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Dubai 2013: Week 14

My sister and nephew left Dubai early on Sunday morning and the house was so quiet when I woke up. That afternoon I went to Onyx Spa and Fitness for a Brazilian keratin treatment – I’d bought the voucher on Groupon and was keen to use it before I forgot! I’ve had the Brazilian keratin treatment done in Dubai three times since I moved but the results have never been as good as used to be in London. It could be the weather, the fact that I exercise more, who knows?

Later that day I met up with someone who works in publishing. I’d never met her before but a friend of mine introduced us on Facebook as he’d met her on a night out and thought we should meet. We met at the Media One Hotel (where her office is) and had a juice at Cafe M. She was friendly and helpful – she asked me to send her my CV and she would forward it to a few people. I’m not sure how I feel about working full time again but if any freelance work came my way I wouldn’t say no to it.

I met up with a friend for lunch on Monday. We went to Ping Pong at the Dubai Mall. It was entertaining as always! After lunch, I went to the Al Qasr Hotel as some friends from London were staying there. They stayed there last year when we went to their fabulous Friday brunch! We sat by the pool for a while, watching the kids splashing around. We then took the kids to the kids’ area where they played ‘chef’ and served us various dishes! We took an abra back to their villa (beautiful rooms). The kids were in the bath and I sat on their balcony with a glass of champagne reading my book – does life get any better than this?? We decided to try the Spanish restaurant Al Hambra for an early dinner. We ordered a selection of tapas and a jug of sangria! We were done by 9pm and I went home.

I did a juice cleanse on Tuesday. Luckily I had a few things to distract myself from the fact I wasn’t eating all day. I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon followed by a piano lesson. There were a couple of times when all I could think about was a big burger and some French fries, but I resisted! Just as I was finishing my piano lesson we heard a strange creaking coming from the next room. My teacher and I went in to see what it was but couldn’t figure it out. I told him that if I didn’t know any better I’d say the building was swaying. As I left the building a friend sent me a text asking if I was OK? I wasn’t sure what she was referring to but said I was fine and why wouldn’t I be? She told me (all the way from South Africa) that there had been an earthquake. It’s quite possible that the building I’d been in had been swaying after all – but being on the first floor we didn’t notice!

On Wednesday I went back to Onyx Spa and Fitness as I had another voucher for a Dermalogica facial and massage. The last time I’d had a facial and massage there was back in November. My therapist was Lulu, an Indonesian lady. I told her I wanted the facial first followed by the massage, but she said the treatments had to be done the other way around. I couldn’t be bothered to argue with her so just left her to get on with it. She was very good – much better than the previous therapist I had (the one with the cough).

A friend invited me to a girls’ night out on Thursday night. It was at someone’s house in Jumeirah and everyone had to take a bottle of whatever they were going to drink. Everyone was very friendly – and a many of them were ex or current Emirates staff. I heard some interesting stories! We were there till about 1.30am and then went home.

I met up with a friend for dinner and drinks on Friday night. We met at Caramel and had dinner there (carpaccio, spicy tuna rolls, TNT shrimp, yellowtail) and a bottle of white wine. After that we walked over to Zuma for some more drinks. After that we thought we’d go to The Act but when we got to the Shangri-La the staff told us that they’re only open on Thursdays. Oops. Oh well, we settled for a drink at the Balcony Bar and then went home.

I got home at around 3am and put my key on the door only to find that one of my parents had left their key in the door on the other side and I couldn’t get the door open! My dad is usually up until I get home but that night he’d decided to go to bed ‘early’. I called his mobile it was off. I called my mum’s mobile – it just rang and rang and went to voicemail. I called the landline – no answer. I rang the bell continuously – no answer. Shit. At 3.40 I texted a friend to see if she was awake and told her I was locked out. No answer. I was outside my front door until 5am, ringing the bell and calling the landline constantly. By then I needed the loo too! I thought about going back to the Shangri-La and getting a room. And then my friend texted me at 5.15 to ask if I managed to get in? Nope! So I went to her place and spent the night there. What a nightmare. What if it had been a real emergency??

I got home at about 1pm the next day, to very apologetic parents!

That night I went out with a friend to an over-35s Meetup group at the Marriott in Marina. The venue was The Observatory on the 52nd floor of the hotel. The views from up there are quite spectacular. We were there during happy hour so we had some mojitos and mingled with some interesting characters. We also ordered some food – baked Camembert, calamari and a mezze platter. It was all average – I’m not sure I’d go there again.

I got home after midnight and was absolutely shattered. I’d hardly slept the night before and couldn’t wait to get into bed!

I love my life.

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Dubai: Week 37

It was quite a busy week and I didn’t get as much work or writing done as I would have liked.

I’d bought a voucher a while ago for a Dermalogica massage and facial at Onyx Fitness and Spa on Jumeirah Beach Road. I made my appointment for Sunday and went along with my voucher. It’s a nice place – I think it’s new. The treatment rooms were spacious and my therapist told me she’d do the massage first and then the facial (which I thought was odd, but she was the expert). Both the massage and facial were OK – what ruined it for me was that the therapist kept coughing. I know that people get coughs and it can’t be helped – but during my facial she kept coughing and I just wanted her to stop! What should she have done? Covered her mouth when she coughed and washed her hands each time before continuing with the facial? Or carried on with the facial while coughing without covering her mouth? I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

On Monday I had an appointment with Randy, my new trainer – as Rama had left Dubai.

That afternoon I had an appointment for a Brazilian keratin treatment. It was another voucher I’d bought before my trip to Bali and it was expiring soon. I went to Hair and Colors Salon at the Four Points by Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road. The salon was empty apart from the two Arab men who worked there. In the past, it has always taken at least two hours to do the treatment – by the time my hair was washed, and the chemicals applied followed by the blowdry and ironing, it’s at least 2 hours – depending on the length of my hair.

The younger guy washed my hair, rough dried it with a hairdryer and applied the treatment. It wasn’t the same treatment I’d used in the past – it was a spray called Brazilian 24 Hour Keratin Treatment by Rejuvenol.

Rejuvenol

The hairdresser sprayed it into my damp hair, straightened my hair with hair straighteners and I was done. In just under an hour. He told me to leave the treatment in for 24 hours and then I could wash it. Great!

I picked up a French vanilla cappuccino from Tim Horton’s on my way home and settled down to do some work.

I was home most of Tuesday. That evening I met up with someone I’d met at the last wine club. Her office is at the World Trade Centre so we decided to meet at McGettigan’s at the World Trade Centre. I was half an hour late – it took me ages to find a cab and when I got to the World Trade Centre I couldn’t find the bar! I got there eventually and we had a few drinks and some dinner. Considering there was an exhibition on at the World Trade Centre the bar was quite quiet – apart from the table next to ours who were singing along with the Irish folk band. It was a nice evening and I was home at a reasonable hour.

After my session at the gym on Wednesday I washed my hair, not knowing what it would look like after the Brazilian keratin treatment. I let it air dry and was pleasantly surprised at the results. The frizz had gone and it was slightly wavy rather than poker straight. Perfect – now let’s hope it lasts at least a couple of months!

On Wednesday afternoon I headed to Abu Dhabi (for the first time) to see one of the boys who was there for the day. It took just over 1.5 hours to get there – partly because there had been an accident and traffic was being diverted in different directions. Thank goodness for Google Maps! His meeting was done by lunchtime so I met him at the Beach Rotana where he was staying and we had lunch outdoors at Indigo. We ordered our starters from the Indigo menu but didn’t fancy a heavy Indian meal for lunch – we asked them whether we could order from the Italian restaurant next door and they didn’t have a problem with that (eventually). We ordered the spinach salad with goat’s cheese and artichokes to start, and we shared the grilled salmon and tiger prawns as our main course. The salad was good, the main course was disappointing. We also had a bottle of rosé which went down rather quickly! It was great to see him and catch up – we hadn’t met since I was in London in June. Later that afternoon another friend of his joined us so we ended up ordering another bottle of rosé – and then heading to Trader Vic’s for a drink (totally unnecessary!).

I left Abu Dhabi at about 6.30pm and was home by 8pm. I thought the traffic heading back to Dubai at that time would be worse but it wasn’t too bad.

I was home most of Thursday, apart from a trip to the supermarket and a stop at Tim Horton’s for a French Vanilla cappuccino.

It was a very lazy weekend. Friday was lazy but I managed to drag myself to Karma Kafe for a drink with a friend. I had two drinks and was home soon after midnight. Saturday was also lazy. I suppose that’s what weekends are for!

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

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