Saturday, December 31, 2005

I've got a home!
It's a good feeling to know where you'll be going home next week.
After a brief stay at the penthouse apartment, with the super-religious costalino family, I have found a modest but cheap accomodation, that too, within Bur dubai, in its very heart, in the narrow by-lanes, locally known as "Meena bazar" and "mini-bombay" for its close resemblance to those places. The best thing is that I share my room with just 1 guy - a 50 something, balding, Sindhi textile wholesaler by the name Gurmukh, or 'Uncle', as I fondly call him; not your ideal 'trash the damn place who cares' roomie this uncle, yet a decent chap; except for his obsession to keep the room super-clean, almost hotel-like,, with pillows always facing a certain side up; reclined against the wall at the "correct" angle et all....he tries to recreate a Sheraton deluxe suite in this modest room with green carpeting, and walls with peeling plaster. I admire the spirit, but lose it when he constantly monitors my movements...his worried gaze assessing the "damage" to the "aesthetics" of the room; I have a good idea 4 dis room - just a few holes in the green carpet flooring and we'll have an indoor golf course...I dare not suggest this to uncle though...the place is good (at just 900 dirhams) and the 1 thing I greatly value, I find here - peace of mind; retiring for the night after a hard day's work, and stepping home to find peace. Readers must appreciate that the accomodation scene here in Dubai is quite bad - 3 fellas sharing a studio apartment (a rather glamorous name for a matchbox sized room with attached bath) is a norm here....several families here confine their household to a single to rent out an adjacent bedroom or two, to minimize the pinch of an axhorbitant isn't very unusual to find 8-10 people livin a crammed life in a 2 BHK apartment. Againts this backdrop, my one room shared with just 1 other guy seems a luxury....My belief in the neccesity of peace got reinforced after the brief stay with the costalinos, a mostly good natured konkani-speaking Manglorean christian family with 3 boisterous kids. The may be normal 4 their age, but the noise that they cause made my life miserable...add to that the high decibel snores of my roomie there, Sathish kumar (southies spell it that way with an h - the logic, as one kannada pal explained me once, being that the spelling satHish is to ensure that the "T" is pronounced the way it would be pronounced in the word tandoor rather than in the word Tarzan)....

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Something as easy as crossing the street poses a challenge when you are still getting used to the change of driving side in a new country. I would get out of my hotel, approach the street, and instinctively turn right to look for on-coming traffic; traffic that was actually coming on at me from the other side! Welcome to right-sided driving, I thought to myself.
The first week passed like a flash...

infrstructure here is just 2 good; the airport is huge n full of escalators and horizontal auto-walks/walkways...i donno what they call them...roads r wide and tree-lined; parking meters everywhere; and fancy cars all around - corollas; mercs; BMWs, humvees, even limos!
Food is expensive; an average meal at an average restrnt for 1 costs abt 10-15 dirhams..almost averybody here is an expat - bur dubai, where i live, is some sort of a melting pot - indians; pakistanis; afghans, iranis; turks; lebnese, filipinos; europeans; africans; ;....mallus r everywhere...and the funny thing is even arab/middleeastern/irani shopkeepers speak hindi! ... I said sayonaara to the oriental lookin lady who runs the cheap ccafe that i frequent and it turned out she's korean and hates japanese!! The hunt for acco is on in full swing...saw an accomodation avialable advertisement on Gulf News site this morning - studio apartment, spacious, bla bla, Only for Keralites....looks like dere's no airline weight restriction on the baggage of bias that people can get from their home countries....more later