Sunday, June 28, 2009

I went to Arabian centre this weekend in search of a manicure. As usual , I engaged in a little window shopping and was nabbed by a sales assistant in the new " Va-va-voom" cosmetics shop.

Now, I've got what appears to be very good, clear looking skin , despite being a smoker. I don't ever tan , which as caused more than a few arguments over the years . HE has a lebanese bronzed complexion , SHE is Irish . Nuff said!

Funnily enough , on the day I went Arabian centre , it was in a bid to avoid a day at a hotel pool!The sales assistant offered a free skin analysis using a machine they had in the store. I thought . " Hey, what's the worst that could happen ? " I figured that seeing as I have not yet hit 30, that the damage would be pretty minimal !

Look and see for yourself the damage I have inflicted on my skin over a couple of decades. Admitedly , I don't wear sun screen on a daily basis , that said, I NEVER spend time in the sun . We live a life indoors here in Dubai , and I am aware that I will easily burn in a couple of minutes, so I just don't put myself in the that sotuation. How stupid I was!

If you look at the second last picture labelled " UV spots" you can see the extent of skin damage I have from the sun. I look like somebody has spattered me with paint . I don't have too many wrinkles ( see pictures) but the sales assistant gleefully told me that it was merely a matter of time . Yikes ! So my warning of the day is , in the words of Baz Lurhman, WEAR SUNSCREEN! I am NOT a sunworshipper , and just look at the damage I already have after 4 years in Dubai running from the car to my building minus sun protection ! SLIP SLAP SLOP people!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Facebook is for EVERYBODY!

Gulf news carries a story about Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid's Facebook page!
Yep, thats right , we will get status updates, can nose around his photo albums , add him as a friend and marvel at his internet savvy!

I am not quite sure what to make of this , but I'm certainly amused by the notion of the leader of Dubai opening up a facebook page , particularly when the rumour mill was telling us that facebook might be banned a year or two ago !

His latest status says , "I visited the Ministry of Education today and would like to raise this question: Should the new academic year start during Ramadan or after the Eid holiday?"

I am dying to add him as a friend and comment with something along the lines of ,
" knock yourself out buddy , it's your call - but please, try to let us know what you decide in advance, rather than on the first day of school when Im setting out books for my students - only to discover we have a further two weeks holiday ! Thaaanks! " I would add a few smileys too !

I don't doubt for a second that the page will be watched carefully in case of negative comments , but fair play to him for allowing an entire country the opportunity to poke him ! I think this is hilarious!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

King of Pop dies

I'm sitting here in disbelief. Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles aged 50. As the news spread, hundreds of fans gathered outside the hospital where he passed away . The cause of death at present is unknown ,but he was said to have been taken to hospital after falling ill at home , full cardiac arrest.

According to skynews, wikipedia and Google collapsed under the weight of internet enquiries about his death. Jackson was one of the few performers to be truely known world wide. His music spanned generations and the controversies of his life in later years led his music to take a back seat to allegations of child abuse and other scandals in his personal life.

He was an extraordinary person, in every sense of the word. The eccentricities of this man were legendary, and for somebody that was so private , his life had been treated like a circus for many years. As somebody who has performed since he was 6 years old, and therefore has essentially built up a fan base for 44 years, his death is sure to spark a public outcry, debate , or for some, more burning effigies.

Whether he was guilty or not , what was the first thought that popped into your head when his name was mentionned? Personally , I have not been able to hear his music by for many years without remembering those child abuse allegations , or without seeing those crazy images of him dangling babies over balconies. Trial by public opinion is harsh , and we will never know for sure whether he was a misunderstood genius , or a sick paedophile who happened to be in the public limelight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Game over...?

There are two main reasons for silence on this blog. The first is that things are going swimmingly, bills paid, stomachs full, minds at ease . Therefore no willingness to record it in any form , lest I tempt faith , stick out the proverbial tongue at my good fortune and gloat. That is just asking for trouble.

Its important to note that the above reason for blogging silence rarely occurs. I haven’t posted since some time in May , because , well, read my last entry - if that wasn’t a smug “ ooh I love my job and all is well” then I don’t know what is ! So, in true and time tested accuracy , things started to hit the fan shortly thereafter. While strife can lead to busy blogging , sometimes there is so much going wrong - that to write it all down isn’t really an option ! And there you have reason number 2.

Having lived here for 4 years, I can safely say that I am not a better person for it . I have rage issues ( please scroll down and take your pick from any number of posts). I have joined an entire population of people suffering from a combination of wanderlust, greed and despair. The golden days of Dubai are numbered. It turned out that those who bleated “ if you don’t like it , then leave” were right after all ! I should have left 3 years ago , when I had not yet completed my transformation in a racist , bigoted , self-pitying and fully fledged rat - race participant.

As someone who initially had a very strong sense of their own identity , I have turned , within one lifetime, into a third culture child. Someone who moves along with the ebb and flow of life , but never quite manages to get a sense of stability .

What does happen to the burnt out souls of Dubai? Our numbers have dwindled in the last 8 months, many have been forced to return to their home countries, heads down and pride dented. Will our compatriots welcome us home , and let us pick up where we left off? Or have we destined ourselves to being urban nomads for the rest of our days , straddling cultures , nationalities and loyalties?