Life Getting in the Way of Living

Let me tell you what my life looks like nowadays.

Take yesterday, for example. I got to work, which has been increasingly stressful for the last 6 months, with a lot of crap going on that I don’t think I should talk about here. Suffice to say I spent 10 mins crying in the loo, it was that bad. (I never cry at work. It’s happened ONCE before, and even then I was much younger, a rookie).

I left office early, at 5:30pm… only because I had a flight to catch to Qatar (for work of course! No one goes to Qatar if they can help it!) at 10pm. I got home. I was hungry, cos I’d only eaten half a sandwich (stress makes me lose my appetite) at noon for lunch, but I’d no time to eat cos the cab would come to pick me up soon. My day had started at 5:30am, and I’d not really been able to sleep well for a week or so, so I was exhausted and decided to take a 5 min nap. I woke up when the cabbie called telling me he’s waiting downstairs.

I jumped out of bed, packed everything in 5 mins and ran out the door. I got to the airport and got to the gate at 9pm, ten mins before boarding was to officially start. I saw that they were boarding people early, but I figured I had time for a quick bite to eat, so went to the nearby cafe and ordered a quiche. I sat down to eat it, and just as I’d put a forkful of food into my mouth, I heard the *final boarding call* for my flight. I was confused… cos my boarding pass said they would start … oh why bother! I discarded the quiche *sob* and ran (literally ran!) to the gate. That’s when I realized I didn’t have my laptop bag on me. I must have left it at the cafe. So I hauled ass back to the cafe, but the woman at the counter said she hadn’t seen any laptop bag.

There was a moment of wild-eyed panic cos I wasn’t sure where the hell else I could have possibly left it. I ran back to the gate and explained my predicament to the officer there. By now, people were starting to notice the crazy woman running to and fro between Gate 10 and Paul’s Patisserie. The guy who works those golf-cart type cars was parked there looking at me going back and forth like a ping-pong ball with a look of pity on his face that made me want to start crying all over again. The officer at the gate gave me 10 mins to retrace my steps and find my bag before he closed the gate.

I turned away from the gate wondering where to start when suddenly, the golf-cart driver beeped his horn, and when I turned around, I saw him driving to me with my laptop bag sitting beside him. Apparently the chef at the cafe found it and gave it to him. I thanked him profusely. But words like “thank you” seems strangely insufficient at times like this. I got to the plane, ate the crummy little egg sandwich and a sorry little cupcake they served and fell asleep watching The Big Bang Theory.

I woke up in Qatar, arriving at the same time I’d left cos of the 1 hour time difference, with only my body clock complaining confusedly. The line at immigration looked like it was inspired by Lucifer himself, serpentine and long enough to make me wonder if I should just kill myself then and be done with it. I finally got to my hotel much after midnight. But no, the night was not over, cos you see.. I still had work left to do before I went to sleep. I managed to send a couple of mails before I finally succumbed to sleep. I’ve been up since 6:30am, working. And I just realized I’ve forgotten my laptop charger.

Help!

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Ouch!

I slipped and fell down on a wet floor, twisting my leg sideways from the knee down. The pain keeps increasing and spreading from my knee to the rest of my leg, so I finally decide to go to the hospital. I’m at the hospital, and the nurse is taking my vitals. I step on the scales and groan out loud.

” Does it hurt?” she asked anxiously.

” No, I’ve gained two kilos!”

And she laughed.

Hmph!

Where Domesticity is Attempted

I know I know… you’re probably wondering why I even keep this blog alive when I have to use a defibrillator and kick-start it to life for a sorry few days with a new post and then let it go comatose again for weeks on end.

I’ve been busy TRYING to travel and when that didn’t work, I was too caught up in coming to terms with the fact that my aussie and brit colleagues had just had the time of their lives ( I could tell by their red-eyed, hungover faces) while I was whiling my life away in boring old Dubai! Don’t get me wrong, Dubai isn’t usually boring. It’s only boring now cos most of my world was away on holiday for the long weekend while I was stuck here.

What bugs me most is when people ask “did you try this?” and offer their suggestion of what I maybe should have done. I had, of course, tried every trick in the book to try and get a visa (short of buying a fake British passport) and was frustrated beyond words at the incompetence of the guys at VFS, who first wouldn’t get me the visa on time, and then, once I withdrew my application for the visa, refused to even give back my passport in time for me to make use of the long weekend we had by taking a short trip someplace, maybe Sri Lanka?

Anyway… as house-bound as I was… I figured I’d make the most of it by catching up on movies and maybe doing up the house, which still looks like I’m halfway through unpacking though I’ve lived here almost 2 years. I need an ottoman to complete my furniture-circle around the TV, and I have a bunch of stuff I bought/photographed from around the globe that needs to be framed and hung up. Of course, I’m not exactly domestic ( I cook quite well, but maintain house? meh!) so I did nothing at all and the house still looks like it always has- incomplete. :/

In order to compensate, I bought me this lil thing.

Meet Vera. Aloe Vera :P

Meet Vera. Aloe Vera :P

It’s an aloe vera plant. Isn’t it  pretty? :D I bought aloe vera cos I’ve handled it before (my parents used to have a massive version of this plant), and because it’s a cactus succulent, so it’s pretty low maintenance. If you know me at all, you’ll know that I made the right decision by not buying anything too delicate. I need hardy, I need tough! Something with an IP rating if possible!

And now, I hope and pray that I get to at least go on my vacation  next month without any problems! My trips this year have been jinxed twice already! It would be cruel if it were to happen again!

Bring me luck Vera!

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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.

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Whew!

And how are you? 

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