I’m wearing headphones at work, with no music playing. The room is still completely silent, I just don’t want to have to speak to anyone just yet. It’s too early in the day and my weekend calm is still with me, albeit in a fragile state. A big part of that is the absence of my boss and my team member. Both of them remind me what it’s like to grow up in north India, where things like volume are only to be taken into consideration when they’re too low. The headphones encourage people not to talk to me, and for this I love them.
I’m trying to make certain healthy substitutions. Green tea instead of coffee. Once I’m done with my stock of sweet & low, I hope to switch back to sugar. Unfortunately, I remind myself that my soothing mint green tea only works its wonders in the quiet workplace, a phenomenon that is both rare and short lived. I had a very satisfying weekend, unusually. On Thursday night (which is the Friday night of the UAE) I accidentally fell asleep at 9:30 PM and woke up at 3 AM to a house with all the lights on. I sleepily wandered around the house making sure everything was in order and went right back to sleep. Woke up at 11 AM, which I was thrilled about as my weekday routine of waking at 6:30 AM seems to have ruined my ability to sleep in on holidays. Had a very relaxed morning and a long video chat with my mother. We try and do these regularly, but the best kind are when we’re both home alone in the afternoon and have our leisurely lunch together. This was followed by my first trip to Dubai’s outlet mall and excellent behaviour on my part. I only purchased a few adorable, heavily discounted pieces and felt very smug. My friend, who I went with, is getting married and has happily accepted a redundancy offer made to her by her firm. I marvel at the change in these women, a strange calm descends on them as they march with single-minded determination towards their goal. It’s pretty interesting to watch. Makes me feel like I did in junior school when I was significantly taller, rounder, had a crazy curly afro and was more obnoxious than everyone else. The little girls with their straight hair and fascinatingly bejeweled hair ties and their struggles to write essays and finish their math homework. I was never quite like them and I was never sure if I wanted to be like them. Digression! This shopping excursion was followed by a girl’s night in with my super fun 38 year old friend. Two bottles of white wine, two bags of microwave popcorn (butter and cheddar flavour) and fistfuls of jelly beans were consumed by the two of us. I love having these drunken rowdy nights at my house. When the night’s over, all I have to do is walk to the next room and collapse onto my bed and worry about the carnage only when I wake up. The next day was peaceful, with me slowly and intermittently swimming into consciousness to remedy my hangover. The first round of consciousness involved drinking lots of water and falling asleep. The second involved me hankering for something salty and thick, which resulted in me sleep-ordering a subway sandwich. The rest of the day went by in slow motion, and blessedly I wasn’t hyperaware that the next day was work. I took a bubble bath, I washed my hair, I had my apartment cleaned, I did no laundry. I fed the cats and realized I’ve accepted the fact that young male cats will tend to wander and not necessarily return just for food. I’m surprised I didn’t make the association with the scores of virile, young male cats who’ve casually walked out on us back home. I was in bed and asleep by 10.
This sort of weekend is currently the best kind I can have here. With the exception of not doing any laundry.
My morning walk to the metro station today might have just led to a revolutionary new Murphy. It was the dimwitted equivalent of me lifting my gigantic, rock filled head and slowly turning it in the right direction. Onward and forward!
I return to this entry many hours later, marveling at how it’s already 3:30 and it only feels like I’ve been here a few hours. That’s the scary bit about Dubai. Time seems to fly here – it feels like I’ve just woken up on Sunday morning and the next thing I know it’s Wednesday evening and there’s just one day left for the weekend. The kind of excruciating quality time took on back in Delhi at my consulting gig doesn’t seem to exist here. I remember dying a million deaths during the eternity that yawned between Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon. Everything about living here is so convenient, that I don’t seem to have struggled at all in the year that I’ve been here. Clearly I’m tempting the fates and soon the hair dryer of fuckedupness will sort of teeter at the edge of the bathtub of my wellbeing. Soon.