Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's been a while.

But sometimes there are so many things happening in your life that you don't know where to start. Blogging used to be topmost in my priorities a few years back. But now it isn't.

I guess it's mainly because I don't seem to need a medium to vent, which is basically what this was. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the rush of emotions I feel with the things happening in my day-to-day life, but talking about it doesn't seem to help.

The other day, it took me two hours to get to work because of the traffic.

Now usually, in Dubai, traffic is because of some accident or the other.

But last Sunday (which is the beginning of the week here in the Middle East and not a weekend) the traffic on Sheikh Zayed road was reportedly due to a film being shot near the Crowne Plaza!

Now who in their right minds would permit people to shoot a movie in rush hour traffic on a weekday?!

And what about the other main highway? The Emirates Road?

For one thing, there were several accidents on that one.

Plus the cops had completely blocked off one road leading to the free zone in Jebel Ali.
They would just re-direct you to another road, they didn't care where you went. And they wouldn't tell you why either.

I heard later on that a bunch of labourers had gone on strike and they'd gotten so violent that they had overturned the police vehicle that had been sent there to disperse the gathering.

They were on strike to protest a cut in their pay.
Apparently, they were just being paid 800 AED in the beginning, and then their pay was reduced to just 500 AED. How anyone can live in the UAE for just 800 AED is mind-boggling. To be asked to survive on 500 is just adding insult to injury.

The real estate business here is extremely competitive. And when each company bids for a project, what with most of them having the same kind of proposal to offer as far as quality and lead times as concerned, the only way these companies have any advantage over one another is on pricing. And since they cannot cut down on resources like building material, engineers etc. they cut down on the easiest thing possible - the labourers' paltry paychecks.

The workers here are are all from third-world countries and if you listen to their stories, your heart will break from the drudgery and the hopelessness of it all.

I have seen labourers working during the night (at 2 am even) and day and I've seen them doing the most dangerous of tasks- scaling tall scaffolds with nothing but a helmet, digging deep trenches... and the most dangerous one of all as far as I'm concerned... waving a red flag on a busy highway to warn oncoming traffic of road-work being carried out. Which is pitiful.

Can such a rich country not afford to pay for decent accomodation and wages for these people?
For the people who are building this country from a desert into what they claim is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Life update (minus juicy details)

I've just returned from a trip to Kerala.
I'd gone to get some ayurvedic treatment done for my shoulders and neck. They've been hurting for a while now ( doc says cos I'm using the computer too much, but I'm in bloody I.T! How can I not use the pc?!)

The treatment did not go well unfortunately.
I don't wanna go into details, the pain is still there and I'm looking around for some good yoga classes in dubai, so if anyone knows of anyplace good, lemme know please! (and don't gimme some place in freakin Jumeirah or wherever, cos doc says I shouldn't drive too much either!)

I'm dead tired. My mum is in India with my sis now and it's just me and my dad.
And my dad is not the best of cooks, although he isn't the worst, I gotta admit! But he can eat the SAME thing for weeks without tiring of it, which I cannot do! (and the weirdest combinations too! I mean, who the heck has bread and aviyal??! For breakfast?!!)

Plus,my dad doesn't like the kinda stuff that I cook, cos I know how to cook more north Indian stuff than south Indian ( as my roomies in delhi were the ones who first taught me how to cook). So this time when I went to Kerala, I wrote down a bunch of mallu recipes with clear, precise instructions from mum (add 2tsp garam masala beta, that's the one in the dabba with the purple lid) and tried a few things in India and even taught my mum how to make northy stuff.

Also met with an old friend from college, whose three and a half year old daugther fell in love with me! ( How could she not?I'm so lovable na! ;o) )

So all in all, except for the botched-up Auyrvedic treatment, the trip was quite fun!

Anyway, back to cooking.
The thing is, cooking is a whole lot easier when you're not hungry and tired as hell and all you really wanna do is just jump into bed and sleep till midday. (from midnight of course, in case you're the anal type.)

but I came back from work and cooked! And even though I only made dal-chawal (too tired to make southy stuff, they're way too complicated) I was so tired that I didn't have the energy to eat it. (could be bcos I spilled water and then had to clean up the damn kitchen as well, but whatever!)

So I heated some milk, added a little sugar and a stick of cinnamon to it, and that was dinner.
It tasted reaaaal nice btw.

And now I feel nice and warm and sleepy. So I'm gonna go to bed.
Update complete!