27 March 2007
Just my luck to be walking past the mosque at chucking out time. Caught in a scrum of south Asians trying to locate their flip flops…..
Have been in this very Pakistani/Bangladeshi part of Deira (Al Nakheel) for nearly 3 weeks with exception of an end of week break meeting my wife in Germany. I can hardly believe that that occurred, although I have seen some photographic evidence. It was wonderful to bond again, after things had got so difficult prior to my departure to the UAE. Alcohol wise it all proved to be excessive however. It was a weekend, and a (large) part Polish one at that, with distant Welsh cousins and a lot of Germans thrown in. The father of the bride brought his home made vodka, a splendid touch that it would have been churlish to have refused……
Back here that seems like a lot longer than five days ago……Wondered around after a Chicken Kairi (could that be curry?) and chai, to walk off the heavily spiced sauce…..Found parts of the area that I had not seen before, some better but still cheap Asian as well as Iranian restaurants, even with pleasant seating outside..who could I bring here I mused, only my wife would dare amongst the western or bourgeois Arab crowd that I know, and she would be inhibited by one obvious issue.
Am still staying at an allegedly three star hotel …I was the first to crack that I might be permanently resident here, as in the metaphor behind the song of almost the same name. I have already checked out once, planned to come back briefly, and have since negotiated a much reduced rate for another three weeks. On my second day back, the next western pop song to be recycled endlessly over the PA system throughout the day and night in a version performed by some Indian covers band, was, you guessed it, Hotel California. Marginally better I guess than eating cold egg and omelette to the accompaniment of a cover of that titanically awesome tune, recycled and remixed, originally performed by Celine Dion….Since that historic breakfast low with Ms Dion, I am adjusting to the bad early morning scene and have discovered that if you hit the mezzanine as breakfast is first being “served”, the eggs are still hot and you can get to the toaster before the waiter turns down the heat and turns up the telly..or possibly both state of the art flat screen tellies…..
April 3, 2007
Ignore that....breakfasts here still making me suicidal. Apparently some of the waiters think I’m Iranian, maybe they should take care. I was asked this morning how much agriculture there was in London….the best bit though was upon asking why we were being denied corn flakes this morning, being told it was because today, unusually, baked beans had been provided. If course they were barely edible and barely warm, and absolutely no substitute for the sugary paper and warm milk with which I normally round of my daily sumptuous breakfast feast.
Walked down by the creek last night for second night running. Rained as it had much of afternoon, and very nice it was too, not being cold it was quite bracing, while I was almost dancing outside the Dubai Chamber of commerce to Neil Young.