Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lookie! A Cookie!

Now that we're in Bombay, we're staying in a serviced apartment till we can move into the flat. This is our 4th day here and each evening we've come back to the room to find a little glass jar containing 4-6 cookies, some chocolate and some plain. They're rather yummy and Anando and I started looking forward to it the moment we realized it was a pattern. We polish them off and the next day the empty jar is removed when they clear the room. This evening I happened to be in the room when the doorbell rang (5 minutes ago). I opened the door to find a uniformed staff-member grinning at me. Holding out the jar he said with a cheerful smile, "Hello ma'am, evening snacks for you!"

Wow. I feel like I'm at a school picnic or camp, with allotted meals. But if snacktime equals cookies, I'm not complaining! Will keep this short as it's hard to type with a crumbly cookie in one hand.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flight from the Desert

Mixed feelings, as always. We leave Dubai for good in another hour's time. Although you might argue that I "left" when I closed that bank account, got my cable TV refund, or when I locked the doors to an empty house one last time. But that moment, when the aircraft noses upwards and I crane my neck to watch those skyscrapers give me a standing ovation in the sun for 20 months well spent, will really be it.

I am pretty sure I will have moist eyes and a lump in my throat. There is so much to look forward to. But I am glad there is so much to look back on with joy and nostalgia as well. There had better be. It would be a shame if I'd spent this time of my life here and found nothing worth remembering. It's not Dubai, but a life, a lifestyle, a friends' circle, and the last of my 20s - which I saw off here - that will forever linger in the desert haze of Dubai.

I will be back to reclaim it, but always briefly, and always temporarily. I don't mind. It's going to be my very own time capsule.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Memories for Sale

It's that time of life, again, when you put a price tag on things you cannot keep any more, and try and convince other people to buy them. Moving to smaller accommodation in a different country means rationalizing, and I mean really rationalizing, what all you can make room for. And the things you give up move into a mental shelf instead, where they will defiitely remain, unspoilt for much longer than their physical incarnation.

But even though you put a price tag on some things, you only realise their true worth when someone tries to haggle over it. So I dusted, polished and photographed our shoe cabinet and posted the ad online.

Within hours, I got a curt response "How old? Is it scratched and much used? I will give you ___ (insert woefully low amount here) Dirhams for it and pick it up this evening."

Well I beg your pardon!!! How presumptuous. Did he really think I would just worship him for extorting it from me! My shoe cabinet is unscratched, very new, and definitely worth more than that, thank you very much. And so, indignant and emotional, I took the ad off the Net.

What's left? The washing machine that knows my dirty linen inside out and tumble dried; the sofa-bed which...hmmm; oh well, the cooking range where I experimented with hotplate cooking; and the bean bags that enveloped my family on relaxed afternoons on our balcony.

Visitors to our Bombay house - do not be surprised if you find woodwork emerging from the inhabitants, as at this rate I doubt I will sell anything.