The Wait

packed and ready

I’m in a weird situation at the moment.

I’m supposed to go to a very important work event next week, and I’ve got my tickets & hotel confirmed by the company and even booked a place to stay at for the weekend so I can stay on after the event and explore the place. But… I’m not sure if I’m going or not.

You see, I don’t have my visa yet. :/

*tick*

Usually, the Schengen visa takes all of 3 days to come through. But now, for whatever reason (tourist season, apparently), the embassy has decided that they will take 30 days to process ALL visa applications. I don’t have 30 days! I had 15! And now I have… till Thursday!

*tock*

I’m not sure if I should prepare myself to go or prepare myself to not go (if I don’t go, I face the wrath of my bosses). I’m not sure if next week this time, I’ll be fraternizing with colleagues over a glass of cava or… or… oh horror! I don’t even want to think of it!

I don’t know anyone at the embassy, and I don’t know if I can just walk up to them and coax them into giving me a visa (embassies don’t work that way do they?). I’ve got my fingers crossed, cos I don’t know what else to do. It’s a waiting game… and the tension is driving me up the wall!

 

*tick*…

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The Cookie Monster

I baked cookies… and it was gooooood!

I’ve baked oatmeal raisin cookies before, and dark chocolate cookies, but I always kinda modified the recipes  a bit (the dark chocolate cookies’ original recipe actually called for white chocolate! :P) and ended up with a different product altogether. This time though, I followed the recipe almost exactly and ended up with a wonderful batch of chewy deliciousness and a house that smelled absolutely heavenly.

Granted, I started cooking really late on a weekday and forgot that the cookies needed time to cool, so I went to bed really late that night, that too with a tummy full of cookies (what? You don’t expect me to just sit there quietly while a batch of cookies stares at me and dares me to eat em do you?!) but it was totally worth it!

I’d baked them for my colleague’s birthday and she loved them, as did the rest of my colleagues. I’m not saying I’m a super baker now or anything like that, nu-uh! The recipe is just really simple to follow and the cookie is an amalgamation of really delicious stuff, so how can you go wrong?! How can anyone go wrong with peanut butter and jelly anyway?! :D

Try them out and see for yourself! Here’s the recipe.  And here’s a picture of my handiwork! :D

peanut butter and fig preserve cookies

peanut butter and fig preserve cookies

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Life’s Pelting Lemons

Notes to self based on experiences of the previous week:

1. Working so hard that you forget to have lunch is just NOT DONE!  Also, to then have a bar of chocolate and call it lunch, is again, NOT done.

2. Do not cry in public. Seriously. You’re a grown woman (or at least you’d like others to believe!). The people at the embassy don’t care that you have been on the road working your ass off all week, they will still make you wait from 10am till 3pm before accepting your application for the visa. Because some people are jerks like that.

3. Work on getting another passport immediately! One that is more travel-friendly and has more visa-on-arrival status on it, like a Canadian/ European or American one.

Need a better passport

Need a better passport

4. Do not go grocery shopping when you’re upset. You will end up buying way too much ice cream and then proceed to eat your way through your emotional hellhole. By the time you reach the end of your depressed state, you will look in the mirror and spiral right back down into that hole again.

5. Calm the fuck down!

find happiness within

find happiness within

*deep breath*

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.

.

Whew!

And how are you? 

The Mystical and the Mythical

As you probably know, I’m Indian, though I’ve lived in Dubai most of my life. I’ve been to India too many times to count, and have even lived there for a few years for under-grad and then work. But every time I go there, I experience something new! It may be places I never knew about, food I’ve never tasted before, or customs and traditions that I never knew existed. 

For instance, have you heard of the Indian Devil Tree? In Kerala, they call it the pala maram. It is said that a yakshi (female demon) lives in this tree and likes to drink the blood of men and eat up children! At least, that’s the folklore I’ve heard. They  apparently have really long hair to hide their back, which is hollow and they don’t walk, but glide across the ground (which is lucky cos their feet are placed backwards :P). They are supposed to be really beautiful and lure the men in with their beauty and finally kill them (not sure why!). They come out of the tree when the flowers bloom and the smell of the flowers is supposed to be quite intoxicating. 

Now, my bedroom in my house in Trivandrum has a balcony which is shaded by a massive version of the Indian devil tree! Though I’m not usually bothered by the tree or any tree-hugging demon that may be living there, I occasionally wonder about all the myths and legends behind it, and then scare myself to the point that I can’t sleep at night! Yeah, I’m a wuss like that. It’s kinda also why I never watch horror movies! :P

So imagine my surprise when I saw this little procession walk by!

procession

procession

Mom said they looked like they were on a pilgrimage of some sort.

2

that guy looks like he’s covered in turmeric!

Then this wild looking guy comes up…

Then this scary looking dude came up

What’s going on?

… stops in front of the devil tree…

photo (17)

erm?

…and smears kumkum on it! 

!!!

!!!

 

photo (13)

praying?

I think he then said a little prayer, then they all walked away, still playing the drums and singing phrases I couldn’t understand. I asked my mom what was happening, and she explained to me that the yakshi was also worshipped as a goddess! There are even temples for yakshis in Kerala, which was quite a revelation to me! 

What is strange an exotic to some may seem absolutely normal for others. But in India at least, I can bet that even Indians are sometimes flummoxed by the traditions and customs that exist within their own communities!  

I guess that’s the magic and allure of India! The exotic and unknown awaits you, right around the corner, even if it’s around the corner of your own backyard! 

Weekends in Dxb

According to the Met. dept, last weekend was going to be the last one we could actually spend outdoors, after which the dreadful summer would descend on us poor mortals who live in the Middle East and send us scurrying indoors.

So my friends and I planned a picnic at the beach for Friday. Of course, this plan was made on Thursday night, after one too many drinks, so the plans were all a little hazy and lacking in detail, details like when & where to meet, what time we’d set off… ?  Who cares! That’s the kinds stuff sober people worry about!

thurs night

It’s beer o’ clock!

And so it was that I woke up at 11am to a gray Friday morning, with a mild hangover, and saw a bunch of messages on our group chat about how I needed to be ready to leave in no time at all, with hot dogs (cos apparently I’d agreed to bring hot dogs to the picnic the previous night).

When I was finally on my way, it started to rain lightly.

Summer rain in dxb

Summer rain in dxb

Of course, us folk in the Middle East love our rains, few and far between as they are. But it stopped soon enough and when we got to the beach in Umm al Quwain, it was dry enough, but too cold to get into the water.

Windy day at the beach

Windy day at the beach

That didn’t matter, cos we had other things to keep us occupied.

At the beach

At the beach

Good food (albeit junk!), drinks and conversation… what more can one ask of a weekend?

Here’s to more such wonderful weekends, where not much is gotten done, but that’s okay, cos that’s what weekends are for!

Have a good weekend!

Dusk in Dxb