Here I am! In Dubai دار الحي. Love it! I arrived yesterday and am leaving tomorrow. We (My sisters and I) came on a little trip for these couple of days. My two elder sisters have their children with them. I do not have my children with me. Why you ask? Let me tell you; the purpose of this trip was to relax and just unwind. And shop, yes shopping was a big goal. So, I figure, 4 am flight with 3 children only to get here and stay two days then go back home… Might as well stay in Riyadh.
Although I refused to go see kidzania because then I might feel bad that I didn’t bring them. But they have never been here and have no idea what Dubai is. I could have said I was going to Lisbon they would have had the same reaction. J keeps forgetting I left! J to her father: Baba! Imagine! I forgot mama was in Dubai! I thought ‘why didn’t mama come to lunch? is she lazy’. S doesn’t have time to talk to me on the phone! Baby B spoke to me on the phone and said “Mama!” then fake cried, then laughed then threw the phone on the floor and ran away. So they don’t miss me. It’s a good thing! I don’t want kids who are torn up in pieces when I am not around… Apparently it means they are emotionally stable… what ever… it’s not like I miss them or anything anyway.
As I said at the beginning, I love it here. I haven’t been here in 6 years! It’s crazy how much it has changed! I wonder if there will ever be a day when cranes are not part of the skyline.
I love cities. More than the country side. It’s nice to go to a quiet beach or some rural place for a short while but something happens when I go to a city like Dubai or Hong Kong or London. Where there are people from all over and daily you interact and see and walk by and hear hundreds of complete strangers. I feel alive, and anonymous and like I could live here and I could be me and I could walk and I could be self-sufficient and not have to rely and ask and get approval for the most minute details of my daily life from anyone but myself.
My brother-in-law took us to The Pavilion for lunch.
It’s an art gallery/ hangout/ restaurant in the heart of down town Dubai. Outside it on the front lawn of the property there is a beautiful wooden sculpture that looks like a nest and is appropriately named ‘The Falcon’s Nest’.
It’s weird, but fascinating to look at… actually, I have an urge to climb it! J would have climbed it if she were here!
When you walk in there are art installations all over the space like this one in the main entrance hall of the Pavilion.
Then there is this piece which I thought was an installation (and might be for all I know, not a big fan of installations, some seem like an artistic cop out, SOME not all).
You can rent the bicycles and on the wall is the recommended route to ride them. Thought that was cool.
Then there was this piece.
I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I stood and stared at it for a while trying to get the significance of the strange spelling of the word extinguisher. Later, walking around the gallery I realized it wasn’t an installation. Cause there were other ‘estiguisher’ signs around the place. Thank God I didn’t sit there and do my usual thing of blabbing about the meaning of the piece when the piece was a just safety measure! (Quick google search found that people use the word estiguisher in place of extinguisher! but google still says ‘Did you mean extinguisher?’)
When you walk into the main hall there are some book shelves to the left and behind them a really long table with many people sitting at it working on their computers. All around people either were talking (creatively, I could tell) writing in note books (normal notebooks with pens) or on their laptops. It’s the kind of place that made me want to write a novel or take up sketching just so I could look as interesting and productive as everyone else around me.
The food was great! had a yummy lunch of rocket salad and lamb chops. It’s a nice, quiet alternative to the rushed pace of Dubai life. And people didn’t look at us sideways when we walked in wearing our Abaya’s so any place that doesn’t make me feel like an alien is number 1 in my book.
That was the peak of my cultural experience here as the rest of my time was spent shopping. (although my brother-in-law has tried to get us do other things, next time I promise! I need stuff!).
Oh! There’s one more! It’s a great (Word of the day) installation in the lobby of Burj Khalifa. This was amazing. The piece is made of really tall metal poles with cymbals on them.
From the ceiling, drops of water fall randomly on different cymbals so that they were chiming in different pitches. Amazing.
Now I am back in my hotel looking at a picture of Baby B that they sent to me today from Riyadh. Want to pinch him he’s so cute! I am stuffed from an amazing dinner we had with our new extended UAE family. I loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new people, each more welcoming than the other. They make you feel like you are at home and make you so welcome you never want to leave. So, my sister will just have to get used to us practically living with them when she finally moves here!
Tomorrow, Dubai mall… all day… breakfast lunch a dinner. Next time I’ll see art and galleries and stuff. This time I need shoes, hell, the kids need shoes!