A few days before leaving Seremban for Dubai, I mulled over the idea of closing off this blog and starting a new one which would chronicle my new days in Dubai from my point of view. Am still mulling the idea of it but then again am wondering about continuity of what was started.
So perhaps now if I have something to talk about, I will enter it under Desert Diaries and sequence it ... that might work. Oh well ... I might call it the Ashka Amongst Grains of Sands ... should I change the this blogs title :) ... we shall see what develops.
Anyhows, on Tuesday I went into the office and decided that instead of not doing anything especially since I only start work 16th and have none of the IT related logins and passwords - other than trying not to surf the net there was not much else to do. And I was doing half days sorta this week, I spoke with HR and informed that I would not come in Wednesday and Thursday and would reappear in the office on the Sunday all bright eyes and busy tailed.
Tuesday I had a very long extended tea (in place of lunch - Arabs have late lunches) with my most favourite local. He was my client when I used to be in Dubai in 2001, and the working relationship he extended to my team and I was really warm and most assisting despite holding a big shot position. He and I have daughters the same and in between work related discussions we exchanged notes on the progress of our then toddlers. And aside from work, I grew to think of him as also a friend.
Catching up after so many years, I was a little nervous. He is still a big shot in the reorganised structure of what used to be my client. But from the moment I said hello till we said bye with promise to catch up some more, it was just simply another amazing experience of why I've always had a love affair with Dubai.
We talked about the project I worked on and how both of us remain disappointed that it was killed when there was so much potential only not enough buyers into the vision we saw of where this 'baby' could go GCC and globally. We talked about our respective lives in the years since we last met. We talked religion, philosophy anything and everything.
And at the end of that tea session I realised that he was still probably one of most gentlemanly of Arab gentlemen and no wonder he is way up there on my most liked people. Wish more people I knew were as amazing a client, friend and teacher as he is. God Bless him and his family.
I also had dinner on Tuesday with another friend who has always been a silent sounding board for me when I was at my lowest points in the last few years. And despite the many skeletons I revealed to him from my closet, he has stood steadfast as my friend only caring that I keep my chin up and keep moving forward. He was in Dubai incidentally for meetings and made it a point to catch me for a pep talk on how I should take care of myself in this city. The sincerity and love and concern showered on me by people who were once strangers but who now are my biggest support system never fails to touch my heart and remind me I am blessed ... truly blessed to be cared for by so many.
Having wrapped up on Tuesday, Wednesday was spent in the company of my VERY first friend in Dubai way back in April 2001. Tony is someone who from the moment I met him, I knew I had a friend for life, a brother even. And Tony has always been there for me in Dubai and now that I am here for a much longer period of time, I know Tony and his wife Michu and their son are going to be a big part of my life. Because I am family to them and they are family to me ...
I spent the morning picking lil Lucas up with Tony, looking at some apartments, then we headed off to Jebel Ali for a meeting Tony had with a client. And I was simply stunned at what Jebel Ali has become compared to the endless sand I saw in 2001. One of the most amazing malls the Ibn Battuta Mall - it has various themes as per the travels and inventions and discoveries of the most famous Arab son, the Marco Polo,Columbus, Da Vinci of the Middle East. And honestly that is a mall one must visit.
I saw all the stunning property along Jumeirah and realised I couldn't live there even if I had the most awesomest view of the sea cause honestly it is claustrophobic the number of skyscrapers like the tower of babel. Once down with the meeting we took another route back to Dubai not before going through Sharjah emirate and man has Sharjah grown in the years in between. And then we headed down to Ajman another emirate within the UAE. Finally we ended up back in Al Nahda 2 in Tony's apartment.
We had dinner and chatted and planned for the weekend when Michu, Lucas and I would apartment hunt whilst allowing Tony to finish up some work pending. Lucas is such a sweetie, reminds me of another sweetie of the same age Sam - Sarah's and Alix's son another family who are tops in my list of most loved family I got to pick :) and Lucas had asked me stay over the night - so I did and it was nice to be with people instead of a cold room alone.
In the morning Michu dropped me off at my hotel and I've spent all of Thursday in solitary silence except for my iPod playing since 8am it's 2.2GB worth of music. My human contact has been the
- maintenance guy for the dodgy washing machine
- room service when I ordered lunch
- housekeeping when they came around to clean up my room and I was in a major sneezing fit
And like I said although I am as comfortable with silence and my own company, I'd much rather be yabbering away, exchanging views and ideas. Oh well poor Michu is going to suffer the ani overload from silence tomorrow *giggles*
The days ahead in this desert man created wonderland is before me. I am also looking ahead, a pair of sunnies in my hand when the sun gets too strong. Am learning again about this place I will call home for some time to come.
Time to call it a night me thinks and organise my body clock to local hours ... I seem to be running in some sort of lag at the moment. Catch you all soon .... Friday is the start of the weekend and we shall be house hunting - maybe some pictures next time around ya - what you think?