Over the past weekend in Dubai, I had an amazing time out with some complete strangers and some friends I'd made since moving here on work.
I was asked rather randomly one day if I'd be interested in going on a trek some where in UAE in the coming winter weeks when the sun is not as harsh and unforgiving as it is in the summer months.
At first I wondered about this trek and wanted to decline since if you've seen me you know I am no fitness buff and I didn't want to embarrass myself agreeing to go and then not really doing any acceptable amount of trekking.
But in the end I said what heck ... we live but once. Let's go. Didn't cost me anything, it was an opportunity to soak in some nice weather, also a chance to hang out with some folks I knew and open myself to the chance of meeting new folks - one can never have too many friends.
So having convinced 2 lady friends although one had to pull out because she was still recovering a bout of flu, we talked 2 chaps from work to go along. In the end it was 2 ladies and a chap in our car. There was no doubts some amount of drama in the early hours since chaps being chaps anything on a Friday morning starting at 6am is a difficult task to achieve - i.e. waking up :))
But soon we were hurtling along. Originally there was a plan to head to Fujairah and discover new things. Was really excited as I'd never been to Fujairah before. However on the morning of the 26th we were heading up to Hatta Dam bordering Oman. Hmmmmm ok ... I'd been there before trekking for wadis but it was to the Dam we were heading now.
It was Siny and Raja's first time to Hatta mountains and they were both excited. From the pictures we took you will know what an awesome view we had and how much fun we had climbing some slopes.
Post the climb and drive back to Dubai we decided to have lunch a the Seaman's Marine Club in Bur Dubai and that's when we started getting to know the others. And although strangers, we felt really at ease and I know I made some new friends. The Friday ended for me with plans for an overnight camping trip out in the desert when I get back in January. YAY!!!
I got home with slightly lead laden legs, showered long under piping hot water, took a Mobic pill for the throbbing lower back and Deep Heat rubbed into all sore joints I called it an early night. Was called later in the evening and asked if I wanted to go out to a joint called Time Cafe where there's some everyone single along karaoke coz apparently I am now also labelled "crooner" *rolls eyes* ... but I declined as at that time all I had on my mind was my cozy pillows and sleep.
I spent much of Saturday slightly amazed my body didn't hurt as I thought it might from being completely inactive. I had some leftover spicy Chicken Chilli 35 in the freezer so I decided to cook some rice and have it with this. As the rice began to bubble, I had a brainchild. How is it that they make Dum Briyani? So I put the chicken into the cooking rice and when the cooker kicked off I had a pretty well balanced rice and spicy chicken mix. And that was how I found out how to make a version of briyani on a lazy Saturday afternoon :)
Sometimes when you have nothing to do that's interesting, you find yourself gravitating to the bed which is where I found myself around 15:00 and next thing I knew my phone was ringing at 17:30 ... Raja was on the other side asking "Hey you want to go out for Goan food tonight?" ... aside from the fact I had nothing planned for my evening meal and that I was also too lazy to cook, I decided that ok I needed to get out of this cabin mode I tend to keep myself in over weekends.
So it was agreed Vallie, Raja and I would go have Goan food that evening at Casa Goa in Palm Beach Hotel down in Bur Dubai. Now an interesting thing I noted. All the funkier type characters seemed to be found this side of Dubai. Even the Filipina 'kupu kupu malam' (night butterflies) in their super micro short shorts and button busting micro tops .... Ooooooo the more colourful side of town I noted ;-)
Vallie had insisted that the food would be spicy but somehow both Raja and me found it rather lacking on the spice-o-meter scale. My Chicken Chilli 35 (derived from 35 dried chillies ground with 1 tomato) was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY spicier. This was like a stroll in the park ... I didn't break a sweat at all and we did try quite a few dishes. Almost 300AED bill reminded me again why I do not go out for meals in Dubai. It's so expensive. Cooking for my community lunches is a far cheaper option :)
Nevertheless it was a great evening out with the usual suspects ... laughing talking taking jibes at each other. And it was a chance to forget some of the more pressing matters that plague me the worry wart that I am. I decided that I'd address these matters a little later as the facts weren't changing now or later. It was just good to feel alive and that living was possible.
We can find joys in small things. An outdoor trip, a shared lunch with friends, coffee sessions after work (am important teh tarik habit from home), finding reasons to laugh at oneself and the idiosyncrasies of others, it all helps one find ones balance in this big deal called existence.
I came away from the weekend with some new friends, and stronger ties with people I already call friends. Its all about living in the present and knowing where you're heading to in the future.
To the month of December I look, another year closes, an review of where I am now, family time in Malaysia with my girls and siblings and parents and of course friends. As the 31st draws to a close, I look ahead to 2011 - a new decade of my life, new milestones, all possibilities are ahead of me.
I wish you a blessed day and days ahead ... simply because once you have touched my life, you will always be there - special in my life. Till the next jottings of the incoherent mind :))