Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Close to happiness

So I'm sitting in my hotel room in Bahrain, with a wonderful view of the palace in front of me, tap-tapping on my keyboard and it suddenly dawns on me that I miss Dubai.

This comes as a bit of a shock, as I've always been a bit wary of having any emotional attachment with this country where I will forever be treated as a immigrant, no matter what. (unless I marry a local, which I don't see happening!)
I've tried to maintain a purely you-scratch-my-back-and-I-scratch-your's kinda relationship with this country ever since I returned from India after college.
I don't know if it's because I've been traveling so often to all the other GCC countries and they don't come anywhere close to dxb when compared or what else it is, but dxb's got me hooked!

Sure, dxb is more cosmopolitan than any other place... so it doesn't really have it's own culture... everything's fabricated... nothing's real... yeah yeah yeah! You can say all that and more.
But Dubai is Arabic in the best possible way! It is Arabic, with all the mosques and the souks and the dhows lining the creek. And yet, it is open enough to accept cultures from all over the world. You can sit in a restaurant and be surrounded by people from all over the world.
If you want to mingle and mix, you can do that, or if you wish to stick to your little corner of India or Italy or South Africa or wherever, you can do that too.

I can walk out in pants and a sleeveless shirt and won't be honked at by the vehicles at the signal or be yelled at in arabic by school boys trying to get my attention (this happened to me in Bahrain). I will not be the only one whose handshake is not accepted cos I'm a woman (this happened to me while I was having a meeting with the Royal Oman Police in Muscat).

I am all for respecting the culture of a country, and I will ensure that I am more careful about the way I dress when I next go to Bahrain. But I don't have to worry about this in dxb!
The cinemas are better in Dxb. The stores are all open till midnight here, some places... 24/7!
The shopping is better, the parks are better. They even have some days where the parks are open for women and children only! They have a separate line for women at most counters. At some banks, they actually have a men's & women's bank side by side!

Of course, all this was there before too, but the thing that got me hooked are my friends!
Now, I actually have friends here! Their joy is my joy, their sadness mine. They're like family to me. And while I've felt that I will forever be the outsider, I now, finally, feel like I belong.

I leave for Kerala on Friday. I'm going to miss my life in dxb, even if it's just for two weeks! And I'm so thankful that I have something to miss.

6 comments:

Saaketh said...

Keep us posted on your treatment :-)

I have a friend in dxb, he tells me hez always surprised at the cost of women wear esp burkas considering they cant flaunt it around :D hehe

$$ said...

Yeah yeah..!!! I cannot agree more - whatever said and done, Dubai is one of the Must-Visit cities in the world! Anybody from any corner of the world can find something that will be of interest to him/her!

The Reluctant Mum said...

Hmmm. Reminds me of my craving for Bombay and how it is in my blood.

amritha said...

You can't pick who your family is. Everyone knows how great to have a friend during our time of need to cry on his/her shoulder. In reality ppl do notlike it if we cry for very long. We can cry until we are done crying. If we cry for too long our friend will snap out of it. They help us pull ourself back & going on about their lives. Those friends who are always positive are not real friends.
Being a good friend is not just about having a good/bad time each other. Good friends don't just go with the flow. They have to be honest. Most of our friends disappear when we need them.

Sonia said...

Saaketh: yes, clothes are quite expenseive.. burkas too! they have designer burkas with shiny gems and stuff in them u know! :D

$$: it is quite interesting, yes! :o)

TRM: ah! so you know! :)

Amritha: Do u even have a point? Really, who ARE you?! And whyyy do you keep posting random spam-ish comments on my blog?!

Elizabeth said...

First time on your blog. Tho am new to dubai its charms are slowly and reluctantly growing on me.