So. I had to take a little break from writing as I was away and it seemed impossible to concentrate on that in my usual weekly update.
I am back in Manchester now, about to go back to work. I am super grateful for my time away and everything I got to experience. Dubai was special in so many different ways and I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to end my year surrounded by some of the people I love.
Happy New year to you all! Hope it brings the change we all want and need. Life is full of possibilities!
Love to all!
Monday. Today marks my day 4 in Dubai. I am still coming down from all the stress and anxiety I held on to during my time in Manchester. So it feels like I haven’t done or seen as much as I could have in all this time here. That being said, I am not giving myself hard time about it anymore. Today we went to the beach with my friend after my other failed attempt to book a taxi. It’s been so constant, my fails with taxies that all I can do is laugh about it seriously. Anyway, so we spent the day by the JBR beach and went for some dinner in the afternoon. I have recently discovered Burrata cheese and it is something else! So creamy ahh.. Price wise, well, everyone kept telling me how expensive Dubai is and yes it is on a pricier side compared to London for example, but given the income in the country it is rather understandable. I am not swimming in cash, but I think the whole idea of saying that something is too expensive without actually putting a price tag on it, is rather negative and toxic. I think it is important to know the numbers and then decided whether that is something you are willing to invest in rather than just saying that it is too much without any knowledge. We always have a choice, so it is better to know what you are choosing from. (And here I mean everything, not just money) Anyway, in the evening I stumbled across a drone light show and it felt like something from the future. Impressed. Oh one more thing. On three separate occasions I saw couples holding hands!
Tuesday. Day 5. Moved to the new hotel to accommodate our 3d friend, who is joining us on this trip tonight. This time round the hotel seems a bit more professionally run even though it has a rather vintage look to it. I actually like it as it makes me feel like I am in one of the period shows I have done. Pretty nice vibe if you ask me. We went to another beach today on the Palm and I think I finally managed to get some tan. I did some meditation while laying there and it felt very good. My mind and soul needed a bit of a boost. In the evening we went to get a massage. My first one since march I think. It was very very good. I got home and decided to do some work as I really want to finish it all before the New Years. Who knows, maybe my Mexican friend will come to see me after all. So on this happy note I bid you all good night and I hope that your year is coming to the end with all the respect it deserves.
Wednesday. Day 6. The third friend has joined our Dubai crew today and we went for a hike to another emirate. Ah sun, sand, mountains and fun conversations. It was such a nice day. Too bad that I always forget to charge my GoPro for those occasions.. So on a very surprising note. Remember my Mexican pen pal. So tonight he is taking a 16 hour flight from LA to Dubai to be here in time for the New Year. Honestly I can’t quite believe it. For a while it seemed just words and now that he is actually coming I feel kinda nervous. Well excited nervous and pretty special. No one has ever gone this far to see me before. It only just dawned on me how much of an effort he is actually doing. That is so so so sweet. I have no words.
Thursday. Day 7. For the New Years Eve the three of us went to the beach for some last minute tan. Followed by the dinner at Nando’s. Chicken and coleslaw is major comfort food for me and I felt like I needed that today. This being the last day of 2020 and that. The third friend is a make up artist for film and tv, so she made us look pretty for the evening. Thanks to her I was feeling quite good before going to pick up my Mexican friend from the airport. So in terms pf meeting someone in person who I have been talking to online only for the past 8 months. Hmm it wasn’t as weird as I thought it could have been. If anything it felt like I have known him for ages. In respect to the New Years in Dubai, it was a little disappointing if I am totally honest. We didn’t have the best plan to see the fireworks so ended up being on a roof top too far away from all the action. However all things considered I was just glad I was not all alone in Manchester.
Friday. Day 8. Aka the first day of 2021. After a rather busy night the day was very slow and chill. We went on our first real life tinder date to Nando’s, because why not and strolled around the marina. Dubai was nice warm and sunny. In the evening my girlfriends came over for a catch up and we ended up talking late into the night. Overall a very wholesome day.
Saturday. Day 9. In the morning just the three of us went to see the Atlanitis and relaxed by the beach there. It was very quiet and relaxed there. Seems like no one really goes to that beach for some reason. In the evening we went down town for some drinks to one of the bars overlooking the Kalifa and the fountains. I wore my new heels and felt pretty. I realised that it has been awhile since I actually made effort to look good and now I don’t even understand why. I feel like something has slightly shifted in me and I found interest in wearing makeup again.
Sunday. Day 10. Me and the make up artist friend went to the beach know as the kite beach. There is a very nice local restaurant there too. We had a lot of food and it was great. There is something so special about being able to sit with your feet in the sand while having food. Also we ended up watching people doing all sorts of water sports there and although I am usually the one wanting to try things out, I was super content by just watching.
Monday. Day 11. In the morning we went back to the same restaurant on the beach called Tent Jumeirah for breakfast and had a lot of food again. After that we jumped on the boat from the marina to the old town. The boat took almost 2 hours, but the journey was really picturesque. Our plan was to go to the golden souk again for some souvenir shopping. It was a success and I actually enjoyed haggling the prices down. Something new to me as I am usually so awkward with that. After the market me and the makeup artist friend went to the mall as I have asked her to help me pick some make up supplies. Yes, I really have decided to make more effort with my appearance. Not on the day to day basis, but it’s good to know that with a bit of help I can change things up for some special occasions.
Tuesday. Day 12. Another beach day. Mind you the weather in Dubai is not that hot at this time of year, so the sun is not that intense and the water is rather chilly. In the evening we dressed up and with my friends supervision I tried all the make up on myself. It may seem a little silly considering that I’m 30 now and technically I should know all those things, but make up and dressing up really takes me back to my early 20s when I worked in bars and would go out often. Ever since I started working in film professionally I made a deliberate choice not to look too feminine so I would be taken seriously at work. Film industry as you know can be pretty sexist. However now it seems that I am relearning to balance that too. It’s a good thing. It is important not to loose the sense of self while trying to “be take seriously and fit in”. Such a toxic concept anyway. I’ll probably want to elaborate on that more in a separate blog post at some point… So on a bit of exciting note, we went to the Bur Arab aka the 7 star hotel for drinks in the evening. I didn’t have any expectations, so all I can say it was OK. The sky bar there looks like a set from Austin Powers film and the views were moderate. The service was extremely helpful and majority of the staff was Russian. Actually there are so many Russian in Dubai in general my mom would probably like it here. So after this fancy place we went to another sky bar which felt like Tiger Tiger, but on a roof. (Yes my London friends, this reference is for you) So yea, we like to keep it balanced. Hashtag fish fingers and lobster as one of my friends would say.
Wednesday. Day 13. Finally we set off on the diving trip. It was in a different emirate and took us almost 2 hours to get there in the morning. I did two dives and my girlfriends did snorkelling. It was rater funny having my friends there as they were so excited to see me dive and kept taking photos all the time. I felt like I had two moms watching over me. Actually so so sweet. On the second dive my Go Pro run out of memory so I could take any photos, which was a shame, but the dive was good. We saw some turtles and a lot of massive puffer fishes. It was very cold though! I am more used to 30+ water temperature for my diving trips and this 24+ felt really chilly. Diving wise the trip was ok, I am glad I did it here, just to know that I have done it, but UAE would not be my top destination for this hobby for sure. After the trip we went to that beach restaurant again for some food and the sunset. It was the last night of our first friend here so we just hung out. She was the one who started this whole trip, so with her leaving it marked the end. Oh and after all that I really wanted to put a check on my to do list and go to the cinema here. Dubai is known for 4D cinemas and as geeky as I am, I wanted to watch something what could fully utilise that. The choice of movie was the new Wonder Woman. Not gonna go into too much detail, but I was shocked by how bad it was. The cinema however technology speaking was pretty good. Seats moved and shook and all that. Normally if it wasn’t for Covid there would be wind blowing and water splashing too. Last time I went to the proper cinema was in March the day the pandemic was announced, so it felt rather symbolic. The film I watched then was also pretty bad. So hey ho.
Thursday. Day 14. We wanted to go to the beach, but there was a proper sand storm. Apparently that’s a thing here. We went to this new indoor market instead to buy some fridge magnets and ended up leaving with few silver rings. The major plan for the day was to go up the Khalifa which we succeeded. It’s the tallest building in the world right now at almost 1km. Very very impressive. Took a lot of photos for “in case we end up having children” because tall buildings to me give romantic associations. And as a final goodbye to Dubai went for some food and drinks to a near by sky bar. The mood was a bit sombre at this point, not because we were leaving Dubai. Honestly I think all of us were ready to leave at this point, but I think it was because we were leaving each other. My make up artist friend is flying back to Lithuania which is in full lockdown and I am going back to Manchester which is also fully locked and rather grim Covid wise. The Mexican friend is going to US and there was a kind of revolution happening just days ago. So yea it seems while we were in our bubble of ignorance the world was shifting rapidly and that in itself does not bring too much comfort.
Friday. Day 15. Me and the Mexican friend both had flights in the morning so we went to the airport together. I was barely on time for mine so unfortunately we didn’t have that much time together to “evaluate”. For now it seems that after my job in Manchester I might be going to Mexico. At least we both agreed that we would want that. So let’s see. I returned to the cold and rainy UK in positive spirits. Also, it was the first time me entering the country post Brexit. Going through the passport check was a different experience. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been asked so many questions for my purpose of visiting and although I understand why I had to be asked all those things it hurt me. I consider UK my second home as I basically grew up here as a young adult, so being made to feel like a random immigrant was rather hurtful if I am totally honest.
Saturday. Being back in Manchester now feels like Dubai was so long ago. It feels like a dream, a good one, so that’s something. I booked a hotel here for the duration of my work and due to the lock down I won’t be staying longer. Originally I planed to stay and pass my drivers license, but everything is closed so no chance of that. So the Mexico plan seems like a very doable option. Well, life is full of possibilities.
Sunday. I spent the day in bed pretty much. I can still feel the jet lag and the general lack of sleep from my holidays. Looking forward to finishing the job here and moving on with my life on to the new adventure. Also just finished the call with the Mexican friend so I am pretty hyped about the future. Hope the feeling stays. I’ll keep you posted.
- Dubai getaway.
- Having my girlfriends around! After all the isolation and loneliness it was so so nice!
- Meeting my penpal after 8 months!
- Diving. Always such a nice feeling.
- Going back to work with the new fresh energy. Bring it on!
Cheers with a glass full of renewed elephant!