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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Say It Isn't So
My mum is an endless source of entertainment for me (as well as stress). Today she asked me if my bathroom bath sponge needed replacing. Now I stopped using a bath sponge eons ago, and opted for a much nicer orange loofah, but apparently she didn't notice the switch. Now in addition to looking a bit more classier than my bath sponge, there's a very important reason why I switched over. You see, my mum buys these god-awful bath sponges that is soft and spongy on one side, and then rough and jagged on the other side. I swear that these things are made by Scotch Brite and just sold under another brand name. That sponge takes off layers of skin when I use it, which is apparently a good thing in my mum's books (See the dead skin comes off, no?).

Speaking of burning skin, I visited a hair stylist this week to get my hair colored - not something I do very often, and definitely not something I'm going to do again for a while. I had asked the guy for a sort of dark-red color, but my worst horrors came true when after not one, not two, but four applications of hair color, my hair turned out looking like Geri Halliwell. So when people ask me why I chose such a color, I calmly reply that when I was in London I auditioned for the part of a long-lost Weasley cousin.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Paranoid Android

My 2 week vacation in the UK has finally come to a close, with this being my last 'free day' before I start packing up everything tomorrow for my evening flight. It's been a precious 2 weeks away from the mayhem and bustle of my life back in Dubai, and already the gears in my head are spinning from all the work that's waiting for me back home. Still, I had a great time here and managed to meet so many of my friends, as well as visit some great places. If I was to actually sit down and write about every single experience, I'd be here all day. So here are some 'pearls of wisdom' about my trip:

  • Singing in a gay karaoke bar is like stepping into an audition for West Side Story - every man who gets up on stage sounds like he's auditioning for a Broadway musical.
  • It's perfectly normal for a quiet looking old bookshop to have a licensed sex shop downstairs.
  • Soho is for straight men too - there are brothels a-plenty.
  • When you can see your breath, you can safely say that it's cold.
  • Apparently, a 'crisp winter morning' is 8 degrees outside with the sun shining - go figure.
  • You can meet some perfectly interesting people on the Underground.
  • You are never too far from an American Tourist.
  • Within a few days, you can convert ¬£ to your home currency in your head in a matter of seconds.
  • According to M&S, it's not too early to start buying Christmas decorations.
  • And according to Tescos, it's perfectly normal it tuck into mince pies in October.
  • A pocket tube map is a godsend.
  • Never check your work email when you're on vacation.
  • Even if you've been talking to someone on the phone for a year, they will always never turn out the way you imagine them once you meet for the first time.
  • Avenue Q is possibly the best musical I've seen yet.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008
La Puerta Del Cielo

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Friday, October 10, 2008
Bittersweet Symphony

I'm sitting in the departure lounge of Gate 113 at Dubai Airport, waiting to board my plane to London. I spot an elderly woman wearing a salwaar khameez and sneakers and I smile quietly to myself. A man sits in the seat next to me, and is intent on making me listen in to his phone conversation - he's speaking that loudly. After 20 minutes of trying to concentrate on my book, we are finally called to board the plane. Having checking in online earlier, I was able to squint at the plane's seating plan and choose a relatively comfortable seat in row 17, which meant that there was no seat in front of me, so I actually had a decent amount of legroom to accommodate my 6ft frame. The only problem was that my headrest wasn't actually reaching my head, but was instead digging into my shoulder. No matter what I tried, I could not get the headrest to move, so in the end I had to sit slouching in my seat at such a low angle, that I may as well have had my legs in stirrups and gone into labor. Despite the rather awkward seating, I had not however, taken into consideration that my chances were pretty high that I would be seated next to a complete idiot. And so it was - the mid-20s guy who sat next to me looked like he was evicted from an episode of Survivor. No sooner had he disposed of his hand bagged and strapped himself in, slouched in his seat, he raised both feet up in the air and rested them on the panel in front of him, making a very uncomfortable looking V-shape. He pretty much looked like he had leapt off a diving board and was trying to break into a swan dive of some sorts.

Of course no flight is complete without the bawling baby, and my row just happen to have three couples with their kids. The first two couples had bawlers, which meant that no matter how hard I crammed in my complimentary headphones, I could not drown out the piercing baby screams. The third couple had an explorer - a kid no more than three years old who decided to make the aisle his own personal runway, tearing up and down without a care in the world. I resisted the urge to trip the kid up as he pelted through to the business class area with his poor father in pursuit.

We are soon served lunch, and mine consists of a pale looking fillet of fish drowned in a blood-red sauce, along with mashed potatoes. I peek through the felt curtains in front of me which separate Economy from Business Class and I can see people eating with real cutlery off real plates - not from plastic and aluminum trays that have been microwaved until they reach the temperature of the sun.

After seven hours, we begin to approach Heathrow airport, and I look out the window to the green landscape below. For some strange reason, the song Bittersweet Symphony floods into my head, as we fly over towns, fields, and miles of railway tracks. I want to laugh, cry, scream, and hug someone all at the same time, as it's just dawned on me that I'm miles away from Dubai, ready to begin my vacation.

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Monday, October 06, 2008
Give It To Me
A few months ago I blogged about the 'Trophy Husband' - the guy who's dragged around and paraded by his wife in front of her friends. Well recently I was reminded of another type of trophy - the Trophy Boyfriend. You see, similar to the Trophy Husband, the Trophy Boyfriend is a mere fashion accessory. Hanging on his arm is a skank or some gay drama queen who just wants to show the world what a catch they've landed. Everyone else they knew before will now melt away into the background, to be called upon probably for a random favor or for the obligatory dinner invitation, which of course involves more doting and face-rubbing. Soon you get to hear of exciting job promotions, exotic vacations taken around the world, and how the happy couple are planning to spend the rest of their lives together. Maybe it's Sour Shirley inside me, but sometimes I can't help but hurl just a little bit inside. In many ways, the Trophy Boyfriend is worse than the Trophy Husband - at least with the husband you know that eventually the novelty wears off.

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