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The Ego
Intro Week is coming to an end tomorrow, which is probably why it's been mildly surreal till now, as opposed to me figuring out what exactly my study life is going to be like. That will begin from Monday.

Anyway, a bit of my experiences till now...

I've been attending events related to postgraduates, international students, movies, bowling outings, game nights and the like. It's been interesting to meet people from literally all over the world, all with different perspectives and world-views. Specifically pointing to my journalism course, I'm the only Indian in my specialization and one among three from the entire journalism postgrad group. Mildly odd that. Anyway, the journalism postgrad group are, till now, a good bunch. We met over an informal social with juice and cake and desserts at this brilliantly old-fashioned building...I wish I'd taken photos of it, but I didn't. I think I do have classes there as well, so will probably take a few shots of its amazing architecture and interior design. Apart from the journalism group, the general postgrad and international bunch are so diverse, I feel as though I'm at a model UN of sorts.

Adjustments are more in the mode of weather and taking care of myself without my mother to fall back on. Weather...well, I've a rule of thumb that has been working over the last few days: if it's sunny, it's still windy but wear the thinner sweater as it'll get HOT climbing uphill; if it's cloudy, it'll be freezing no matter whether it's windy or not, so wear the thicker jacket. It's working till now. Hopefully it will last. It's been drizzling on and off over the last two-three days. Have not bothered with the umbrella or anything... Taking care of myself involves cooking, cleaning, buying household supplies. Who knew there were so many different kinds of dishwashing liquid? I'm lucky in a way; one of my flatmates is just super-helpful and having lived on her own for a few years now is guiding me if I need anything.

Electric gas stoves are terrible. Old fashioned fire spouting from little holes on the stove totally win.

Getting used to a culture different from the UAE is a little odd...I mean, here at student union poster sales you'll find big posters of naked women, posters about alcohol and stuff like that at their weekly poster sale. Condoms are given out for free at various spots to encourage safe sex as opposed to getting STIs and all that (which is good in a way; keep a level head and only do it if you must...no regrets later is what you're aiming for). Thinking twice before ordering bacon because hey, am I eating pork? (No, I'm not Muslim and no, I have no issues eating pork... merely pointing out differences between Dubai and where I am right now). Just last night on my way back home on the public transport this guy was literally eating this girls'face with his hands (and I am NOT making this part up) on her butt, but inside her pants!!! I was looking at the ceiling, outside, at my feet, even at my fingernails...anywhere but there. Doesn't help when said public transportation is packed and his hands move from her butt to her boobs directly in my line of vision. Thankfully this time, at least his hands stayed outside her clothing as opposed to inside. GET A ROOM PEOPLE!!! I mean, no one's saying don't show your gal a little love, but not SO MUCH love!!!

Oh guess what... I found a shop just a minute away from my flat...THAT SELLS MASAFI JUICE! How freaky is that??? And even weirder, yesterday I met a girl doing her PG as well...who is also Indian, who has also lived in Dubai since she was a child and... lives LITERALLY 5 minutes away from me! I can pretty much WALK to her house in Dubai! These little portals to Dubai make me feel good...oh, and I signed up for the Indian Society. Another thing I can identify with. Feels good to have dual identification points. Oh but I met another Indian who annoyed my socks off. Why? Within 40 seconds of meeting me, she asked which religion I'm from. I'm Pastafarian this week and a Scientologist the next...so there. (No, not really...am just quipping)

Anyway, that's about it for now.

Au revoir.

PS - Is anyone missing me yet? :)
The Ego
After being in UK for almost a week now, I can say that people actually know where Dubai is and what it's all about! Here's a few experiences I had when I told people I lived in Dubai:

- Dubai! WOW! That's where Ski Dubai is!!! (About 2-3 people said this)

- DUBAI! WOW! Isn't that where all the buildings are? (Yes dahling, because there are no other buildings in the world)

- Oh okay... you live in Dubai... do you know XYZ? (Eh no... did you think Dubai was just me and XYZ in it?)

- Oh wow you live in such an exciting place!!!

- I went to Dubai last year! It's SO cool... you must have a blast living there!

- Dubai...beaches, shopping and tall buildings. Love it.

And finally ... here's the top of a flyer of the architects society of my university. I picked up a flyer only to be asked by the reps of that society if I was going to join. I said no I'm not an architecture student; I just live in the city of the Burj Al Arab. She said, Ah. Wow.

The Ego
In about 6 hours or so, I'll be off to UK! It's a bit odd really. Today was spent in packing and meeting people. One of them, to be honest, was a bit of a surprise. And one no-show was equally, if not more, hurtful. Anyway, met a few friends, called a few later, spent time at my grandmom's house and had one friend drive to my house at night to meet me as well. Was nice. Finished with the packing. Somehow. I'm nervous. You know when you get nervous and your stomach is doing somersaults and the food that you didn't eat is rising up to your throat? That's how I feel. This isn't just any trip I'm taking ... it's not a vacation... it's a semi-permanent move, at least for the next one year, if not more. The thought of living alone, being away from my family and loved ones is slowly starting to sink in. It will really hit me though once I'm alone in my room there. Wow. I'm really off to get my postgraduate degree. Wow.
I'll post once I get my internet connection sorted out over there. See ya soon!
The Ego
I've been meaning to make this post for months now but I always put it off. No longer!

Anyway, there was a time when I was short on cash (and I felt I didn't want to borrow a lot from my Mom) so I accepted a 'friends's' invite to join her/him for a market survey of sorts. I think till date I've gone for three or four and after the final experience, I was SO fed up, I refused to go henceforth when I was called. Here's why:

First experience
We were a group of maybe 10 young adults for a focus group related to a media company. This was fun simply because I actually liked the topic, I had no qualms talking about the company that organized the focus group and *this initially struck me as odd, but I understood more later* I agreed to praise the company because I actually believed then it was better than its competitors. Ok, so far, so good. Money and vouchers in my pocket.

Second experience
HUGE market survey of over 100-200 people. Free food. Vouchers. This time, we were not intimated as to who the organizing company was so there was no bias. Extremely professional.

By now I began getting calls for random things from this lady who organized the participants in my first experience with such things (once, a surveyor was so desperate to get people to participate, she kept begging and was almost in tears and I agreed to let her survey me as though I was someone who drinks often, which I thought was a rather odd experience as I honestly had no idea what I was talking about). But what struck me as odd was the insistence of the woman who put together the focus groups that whatever happens, we HAVE to praise the company that organized the survey or focus group. I was quite disillusioned then. I mean, isn't the whole point of such focus groups or surveys that we know what the public think? Apparently not. She had to please the people hiring her and apparently they only wanted to hear good things about their company. Great way to improve guys.

Third experience
Focus group. I wasn't told (an error on their part) who organized the group. I was happily praising the outlet I liked the best, and then during a break, the lady who put together the groups for such occasions literally hissed at me, asking why the hell I was praising X company when I was supposed to be rooting for Y, and that I've ruined everything and goodness knows what else. After that I stayed quiet for the remainder of the session. I wasn't interested in retracting what I said or praising Y when I honestly thought that X was better.

At the end of the third experience, I found out that even though the organizer's requirement was a certain age group in the female gender, this particular focus group had ladies who were WAY older than the cut off point; one of them honestly looked younger than she was and the other used her completely covered self to pass herself off to be in her 20s.

I never went for another survey again. And now I don't trust all survey reports or focus group findings. I've seen its underbelly and it's not nice.
The Ego
There are just ten days left for me to leave. Bah. Looking forward to it, but already missing the important people in my life.

* * * * *

Why is it that I always, always, always end up caring and loving someone more than they love me? Is there anyone (apart from my family possibly) who loves me more than I love them? I honestly doubt it. It hurts you know.

* * * * *

I stood in IKEA today in a 12 by 12 metre enclosure and tried to imagine living there for one whole year. They have these display rooms in IKEA right? Now they've started (or maybe they were always there and I never noticed) writing on a placard on a side of the display room what the size of the room is. I found on that was 12 square metres and said, THIS is MINE! It wasn't too bad. Smaller than I'm used to, but I think I can handle it.

* * * * *

I woke up today with a huge smile on my face. My dreams were so sweet last night... am feeling down now for no good reason. I wish I could talk to you and feel better. But ... ah well...

* * * * *

Goodnight... another blog post soon I think!
The Ego
As regular readers of this blog might know, I'm going to the UK for further studies within a matter of weeks (irrespective of petty threats made by idol-worshipping flunkies, more about whom I shall speak about in another post).

Obviously there's quite a bit of shopping to be done, and today was no exception. My mother and I went out today to buy necessary provisions and during the course of our shopping, we entered a store that we frequent quite a bit as they do have good clothes available. Correction: "used to" have good stuff.

We entered the store (which had recently undergone a revamp of sorts) and realized the structural changes were reflected in the choice of clothing they had on offer. Sorry to break it to ya, but selling thick-n-long coats, trenchcoats, a coat thing that looked like a fur rug, sweaters and other paraphernalia we associate with below 15 degrees temperature seems like a bit of an odd thing to do. I think only people like me who are moving to colder weather for a bit might even be vaguely interested in your wares. Although dahlings, Dhs100 for that uber-cute sweater with hoodie is a bit much in my opinion. If it wasn't Dhs100, I would've totally bought it...it was ADORABLE and nice and thick, and nice colour selection too. Definitely not to be worn in Dubai though. Otherwise the person wearing it would melt. For a while, when walking about in that store, I felt as though I'd already gone to UK and was walking around in one of their departmental stores, looking for warm clothing for the winter ahead.

Why would a respected store sell woollies in this weather? Why? And why, even in Dubai's winter, would anyone wear those things over here? A mystery.
The Ego
When I read this post ... I had to ask the blogger's permission to re-post it here. She agreed. To read more, go to her blog: "I open up..."

The following is the post she made, which I kept reading again and again... I just loved it!!!

I closed my eyes to perpetuate the dream
As your fingers linger on my palm, a tickle runs down my stomach. The butterflies make it almost impossible to respire. Something churns up in my gut. I disincline to see any more of the world. I find my heavens when I melt down in your arms…

As your lips brush against my neck, the blood in my veins gushes at a much faster pace. The breathing becomes eccentric as my heart begins to throb in its own beautiful melody in my throat, choking the words that I was trying to convey…

As your palms fondle my cheeks and you set your mischievous gaze on me, I condone the whole universe and its magnetism ceases to cast its spell on me. I blithely drown in the pulchritude of your hazel eyes and the warmth of your caress so tender and loving. It becomes herculean to keep up with the smoldering stare of yours. You kiss my eyelids and send the chastest of the sentiments down to my heart…

As you leave the impressions of your lips on my forehead, I urge for the moment to never end. I desire for the time to stop. I crave to live eternities in the allure of that moment. I yearn to be yours forever…You stroke my hair and bring me closer to your smooth bare chest, I lose my sentiments and break free into the intimacy of the second…I don’t yearn for anything else as you take me in your embrace and sweep me off the sheets…I wrap my arms around your muscular back and close my eyes with serenity because I know that I’m secure and blessed in your seal…

And, I open my eyes, the dark in the room disturbs my vision, the tick tock of the wall clock penetrates into my eardrum, and the cooling in the room pierces my cold skin…A tinge of pain in my heart is all I feel because I was woken up to reality…And I close my eyes to perpetuate the dream…
DISCLAIMER: All opinions expressed on this blog are the bloggers private thoughts, not meant to cause harm. Take everything with a pinch of salt.