Thursday, November 19, 2009
Plan in leisure, repent in haste!
The mall I was working in was one of the oldest in Dubai. (It’s even featured in a couple of Hindi movies back when Dubai was a cool place to be I guess) The customers were mostly Indian and I made atleast one friend a day. But now I’m in an office surrounded by people I don’t really have much in common with. But hopefully, once I understand what exactly it is that they wish me to do, things in general and this job in specific will become much more easier to live with.

What I love the most about my job is that I am truly amazed by my boss. He has impeccable product knowledge of books and book retailing as well as an amazing knack of handling people well. How can you not respect that?

Today I just got a batch of free books, ahh I feel like the dark clouds are lifting already! There I go, being in the here and now again, without a thought for the future. Aren’t reams and reams written telling people how to do that? And millions of people pay money to learn that as well. Well I'm really getting worried about how I'm never worried at all! I’d really like to see a book that says “Wake up you dolt, can’t you see your money and your life are passing you by while you sit around enjoying your immaturity!”

Even now that I’m earning here, all I can think of is how I finance a trip to Europe first. But maybe that’s why I took up this job; so I can finally travel the world and see the places I’ve dreamed of and even those that I’d never dreamed I’d see?

So I’ve spent my free time today calculating which city has the most cost-effective tickets from Dubai, Rome, Paris, London or Oslo. Paris it is! I can get return tickets for half my salary. Isn’t that awesome, I can probably spend the other half on food and hotels? Or will those be more expensive?

Any suggestions about where to go first? France or Italy or Greece or England or Spain or New York or Switzerland or Australia? God, so so so much to do and see. Can’t possibly do all of Europe together, that’ll be one helluva bank-breaking trip! So how should I break it up.? Write in with advice please.

And oh yes, please remember… this is money that I haven’t even earned yet! Joy oh joy!

Special mention to my dear dear Asha for whose wedding I will not be around in person. Truly sorry dear one but I wish you all the very best with everything. Big round of hugs all around!

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posted by Ipshi @ 7:35 PM   4 comments
Friday, November 13, 2009
All new or is it?

Dubai is the ultimate commercial city. Everybody here talks about money... either about spending it, earning it or saving it. That's all anyone is interested in or wants to be. Nobody cares about your health or the crappy weather or the your crappy health because of the aforementioned crappy weather. All they care about is the size of your paycheck and how it compares to theirs, how much you can save in a month, how much you send back home (nearly everyone is an immigrant here) and other variations on the above themes.

I have answered these questions in the above forms and even in the extended bhangra and hip-hop versions so many times. And I thought Bombayiites were materialistic (do I havta take permission from Mr. Raj Thackeray to say the B-word too?)

Dubai is a cleaner, better-roaded, beggarless version of Bombay with hugely pompous-looking buildings. It's like the people here decided to do their version of 'mine's bigger than yours' with buildings. There must be some seriously under-equipped guys out here when you look at the way they're trying to overcompensate for their shortcomings (pun intended). And the funniest part is that most of these huge building still have some construction work going on that was interrupted by the recession and now have the additional baggage of a construction crane lofted atop their heads.

But its the sand which is the most interesting facet here. They've tried so hard to hide it... with loads of tubes running parallely to each other on the sidewalks (which have got to be the most unused sidewalks in the world!!!) These tubes irrigate the sand and half-hearted little clumps of grass and forcibly-flowering shrubs grow there. But there is a thin coating of sand over every part of the city and the visibility is so poor that you can't even see buildings that are just a road away. It's like a mist of nature reminding all us immigrants, "Remember you're in a desert, stay in your little A/C malls and cars and houses all day but I'll always be around you... waiting... till its my time..."

It's very hard for me to miss Bombay when the lit up roads and the ease of getting things of your doorstep and the Hindi-speaking cabbies exemplify Bombay for me everyday. I just think that my friends and family are just a holiday and will catch up with me soon...

Wonder what will it take for the realisation to hit me... more importantly, will I be left standing after the sudden impact?

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posted by Ipshi @ 4:46 AM   5 comments
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Location: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

It is only in my 30s that I have realised I will never be the elegant lady who can wear white without spilling something on it. I recognise my blessings like my family, my friends & my job & I am letting go of my fears of writing & just jumping in. I love my job. It has given me the opportunity to live in a city where I am surrounded by the most amazing friends in the world & the most surreal experiences. It also gives me the opportunity to read great books & travel to fascinating new countries. Join me as I share these with the world.

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