Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Dubai: Week 41

Sunday was National Day and a public holiday in the UAE. I didn’t have much planned until the evening except have lunch at home with my parents and wait for the sleazy hairdresser. Late that morning one of my friends from Wine Club asked what I was up to and did I want to meet for lunch? I told her I’d meet her for coffee after lunch instead. I met her and another friend from Wine Club at Toscana at the Madinat Jumeirah. They’d had lunch and were sipping prosecco by the water – so I joined them. It was a lovely warm December afternoon and we stayed there till almost 6pm.

That night a friend had invited me to one of his friends’ birthday drinks at Okku. I love Okku and I love Okku on Sundays! We got there a little after 10pm and hung out at the bar – we didn’t really meet many new people as we were chatting and drinking and it was quite crowded. Sunday is retro night at Okku so they play a lot of music from the 80s and 90s – they started with ‘Africa’ by Toto which is one of my all-time favourites. They also played ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Chaka Khan, ‘I Can’t Wait’ by Nu Shooz, ‘Self Control’ by Laura Brannigan, some Michael Jackson and a lot more songs I loved. We left a little after midnight as my friend had an early start the next day.

The rest of the week was pretty dull until Thursday. I had my second piano lesson on Thursday afternoon – it went well. I hadn’t practised on my own as much as I would have liked – it’s difficult at home and I usually wait until I have the place to myself before practising. But still, the class went well. I spent most of it playing variations of a piece called ‘Love in Portofino’ and Elvis’ ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. My teacher said he would also give me some classical music to learn so I was happy with that.

After my class I decided to walk home – it’s really not that far – and I stopped at Tim Horton’s for a French Vanilla cappuccino on my way back. It wasn’t too hot either which was nice.

That evening I met up with a friend and one of her friends. I’d met her friend when we had dinner at La Petite Maison a few weeks before. We went to the Jetty Lounge at the Royal Mirage – I’d only been there once and that was back in May. We got there at about 9.45 and every table was taken. We added our names to the waiting list and sat at the bar until a table became available. We had three Margaritas each and ordered two of the ‘Mexico’ platters – tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa and┬ájalape├▒os. After drinks we decided we’d meet a couple of other friends at the Cigar Lounge at the Address Downtown. It wasn’t a very late night – I was home by 1.30am.

I was home all day on Friday until the evening. My cousin had organised her son’s birthday party at the India Club in Oud Metha. My parents and I got there at about 6pm – the kids were playing cricket indoors and the women sat outdoors having tea and sandwiches and chaat. I was only there for just over an hour as I was meeting some friends for drinks elsewhere.

I went to Sho Cho for drinks with some friends – we were five girls in the end. We had several glasses of wine and then moved on to Boudoir because they had free champagne for women until midnight. Score!

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There were more drinks and some dancing. We were there till just after 2am and we’d started to feel peckish by then. We walked over to Japengo Cafe but their kitchen had closed 10 minutes before. I suggested we go to Zaatar w Zeit next to the Shangri-La. We sat down and ordered fresh orange juices all round. I had the halloumi and beef bacon wrap (amazing but probably 10,000 calories) and we ordered some French fries to share. I walked home from there as it was just a few minutes away.

I spent all of Saturday in my pajamas.

I love my life.

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Dubai: Week 33

Aside from the usual gym sessions and work, it wasn’t a very exciting week.

I went to an InterNations gathering with a friend on Sunday night at the Ritz-Carlton at DIFC. As usual we were given a choice of wine or beer as our complimentary drink, but the serving was so tiny it was quite ridiculous. It was also quite warm indoors as the doors to the terrace were open – and it was much cooler outdoors. We met a few new people and some people we’d met before. It was a nice evening, and not too late – I was home by 10.30pm.

On Wednesday night I had dinner with some girl friends at Toscana at the Madinat Jumeirah. We initially had a table outside but eventually moved indoors as it was too hot outside. We ordered some starters to share – and I had a slice of pizza. It was my first slice since Bali! We also shared some main courses – some grilled chicken, risotto and pasta. I thought the food was just average. I remember it being better when I went there the first time back in January.

I went for dinner because I hadn’t left the flat (other than to go to the gym) in 3 days. Out of the six other women at dinner, I only really knew two of them, and two of the others were brand new to me. The conversation revolved around schools, Bollywood movies and a couple of other things I’ve forgotten. I had absolutely nothing in common with them. They must also think I’m pretty dull as I don’t say very much when I’m with them.

I was supposed to leave for London on Thursday morning but decided to postpone my trip. I was away for so long over the summer and was just getting back into my routine. I just didn’t feel like travelling. Not going to London meant selling my George Michael tickets – it was the sole purpose of my trip. I’d had those tickets for 18 months (due to the rescheduled shows) and had really been looking forward to it!

I stayed in on Thursday night – I didn’t really feel like doing much that evening.

On Friday night I met up with a friend – we went to Karma Kafe at Souk Al Bahar for some drinks and a bite, and then headed to Movida for more drinks and dancing. It was a really fun night – the music was good, the vodka was flowing, and I even bumped into someone that I knew (which is weird because I only know about five people in this city). We left when the club closed. I got home at around 3.30am or so.

For some reason I thought it would be a good time to watch an episode of ‘Revenge’ and chat to a friend in San Francisco on Skype. By the time I went to sleep it was 5am. I woke up at 8am – couldn’t sleep. I tried to go back to sleep at about 11.30 or so but managed to snooze for a little while only.

That afternoon I had to go to the Virgin Atlantic office to pay for the date change of my ticket. Mum and I went together, it took 5 minutes to sort out, and then we went to BurJuman. I had a coffee at Gloria Jean’s while she had a sandwich. We walked around for a while. I tried on a dress in Ted Baker but thought it looked better on the hanger.

After BurJuman Mum and I decided to go to Mirdif City Centre for a wander. By the time we got home it was 8pm and I was shattered. I couldn’t wait to get into bed and pass out. I watched a couple of episodes of ‘Revenge’ and that was the end of my weekend!

I love my life.

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Dubai: Day 14

Saturday (Day 14) was a busy day! 

I woke up unable to move my neck. I’d been finding my pillows more and more uncomfortable – they’re too ‘fat’ – and a few days before my neck and right shoulder had started aching. Not a lot, but it got worse each night until the morning of Saturday when I was in too much pain. I took some Nurofen, got ready and went to Mazaya (a different mall near our flat). My mum, Vinay and his nanny came too. I bought some new pillows and we went back home.

We were home for about 10 minutes and then decided to go to Wafi Gourmet at the Dubai Mall for lunch. One of my cousins joined us as well. Wafi Gourmet is on the lower ground floor and also has an outdoor seating area overlooking the Dubai Fountain. The service is rubbish, but the food was good:

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And look at all those olives!

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After lunch we walked around for a while, I bought a tripod, we had coffee. By then my sister, her husband and Vinay arrived at the mall so I met them outside the Dubai Aquarium:

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It’s actually very impressive. The tank is huge – and you can even see people diving in there.

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All kinds of sharks, manta rays and loads of other fish swim around in that huge tank.

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We went through the tunnel looking at all the fish – it took about 20 minutes.

After that we went up to the second floor where they have the Underwater Zoo. The only things under water are the animals though – so it’s like going through another aquarium but with much smaller exhibits. There were giant water rats (shudder):

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Little crocodiles:

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A Finding Nemo exhibit:

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And even some penguins:

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That evening we had dinner with my cousins at Toscana at the Souk Medinat. There were no tables available outside so we went over to Trader Vic’s for a drink until they called us. We were there for about half an hour, had a quick drink and went back to Toscana. We had a table by the water:

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I was shocked to see pork on the menu:

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We ordered the calamari, mozzarella salad and bresaola salad to start with, and a bottle of red wine. Our waiter was moody and extremely irritating. When asked where the ladies’ room was, he just pointed to the restaurant. ‘Really? I thought it might be out here by the water.’ He wasn’t amused. We ordered our main course and more wine. He didn’t write any of it down (I hate that) and of course go
t one of the dishes wrong. He asked if he could bring us the bill when we had barely finished eating and hadn’t even seen the dessert menu. I think we could have all done without dessert but were determined to have it just to annoy him. We ordered a tiramisu (I had one bite) and a hazelnut chocolate cake. 

It was a chilled evening for a Saturday night, but I need to remember that Sunday is a working day in Dubai! 

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