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The Ego
Two anxiety/panic attacks in the span of two weeks is NOT good. I haven't slept all night. Literally. Considering I've been up tonight, hopefully I should get sleep tomorrow night!

This time, instead of panicking and calling the health service like I did the last time (I've had panic attacks before, and got myself checked when in Dubai; I know what I'm dealing with but it's harder to when I'm alone here), I called the nightline service. That's the listening service the uni offers from late night till early morning for nutcases like me who can't sleep and need someone to randomly chatter with. It was weird at first, but kind of felt good to unload my thoughts on a stranger; no names are exchanged or numbers stored on this service... which is why it's popular. Anonymity is guaranteed. The person on the other line was suitably attentive and helpful. Anyway I got a number for an anxiety clinic that's run by the university; plan to check them out.

I called Jo after that...she called me back and spoke to me for 15-20 mins. It felt so good to hear her, to be able to connect to my life in Dubai. To be able to tell her that hey, I'm doing well in some areas and not so well in others.

I guess tonight was brought on by the fact that I was missing home ... today was ... no... IS an important day and I sort of purposely screwed it up ... although to be fair, I didn't realize my meddling would get such bad consequences... ah well.

I need to fix this..............................
The Ego
The Indian and Arab Society held a joint social in a nearby pub. I decided to attend; I probably wouldn't have if it was just an Indian Soc social. I just figured: I'm an Indian girl who's lived in an Arab country for over 19 years now...it sounds perfect!

I got asked for ID at the door of the pub! Now, as flattered as I'd like to feel, there is no way possible I even look close to 18 years of age, much less under it! Anyway, after my last fiasco, I had gone prepared: my passport copy was in my purse. It worked and I got in.

And as usual, I turned up on time. I guess I should've remembered the 'Indian' golden rule and been late. Anyway, after a some 15-20 mins of twiddling my thumbs and thinking this was a terrible idea, people started trailing in and I got talking to people.

I met more Arabs rather than Indians, which was FINE by me. I didn't meet anyone from U.A.E. though :( ... I met Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Iranis, and Saudi Arabians. In fact, quite a few of the girls there were from Saudi. One asked me how I was dealing with Sheffield and I said the weather is something I need to get used to. She nodded and said she understood, and that Jeddah and Dubai had many similarities when it came to weather. Then she stopped, shook her head and said, oh no, Dubai must be better; I feel hotter because I have to cover myself whenever I go outside my house. [I suppose that makes it hotter for the female, especially if they don't normally wear an abaya apart from in public because of the law? I don't know, so if anyone else has any input on this, do let me know. I would, personally, think that when it's hot people aim to wear light clothing, so to have something extra and all-covering might make it a bit warmer]

I asked one Arab girl (also from Jeddah she said), if she knew if I could get shawarmas over here. I'm desperate to have them! And she said, "You know, I've lived here for 3 years but I've never seen shawarmas here! Will ask around for you; just email the society later and I'll try to help." WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY????

I also got offered a free vodka shot...which was RED in colour. The people opposite me got a few too many and one guy said, HERE! I looked at the red, remembered that I do like vodka, but declined and said I don't drink. Me and my morals.

Then I had LOADS of fun: there was an instrumental jamming session between the two societies...the guitar was the first choice of instrument. One guy played Atif Aslam's Aadat and most got singing. Then another guy strummed to a song from Rock On ... then two Arab guys got on with a drum thing and a banjo-type instrument and they were BRILLIANT! I didn't understand any words (except Habibi :D) but they played SO well and sang equally well. It was a lot of fun. Then others came back on later and did some Bryan Adams and stuff like that.

Suddenly, some Indian guys started screaming "Play sutta!" and I was like, eh wot? So one guy got on the guitar, another sat next to him and started singing about ... well ... m****ch*d sutta and the chorus went m****ch*d, b**ch*d and stuff like that and I was like, THIS is a SONG? There was this girl in front of me who couldn't believe it either. Her boyfriend (I assume he was her boyfriend or else he wouldn't have been nibbling her ear) heard me say incredulously, "This CANNOT be a song!" and he said, "Oh those are Hindi words..." and I was like, "Erm so?" and he said, "OMG you understand Hindi?" and I said, "Well I am from Bombay, what else do you expect?" and he said, "Aaaaah I thought you were Arab!" and I'm all...not again :S Anyway, APPARENTLY, it's a song by some Pakistani group. Jeez. Why???

Anyway after a while, when the DJ started playing music, I left :)

When I'm in Dubai, I beg to stay out late and when I'm in the UK, I leave early. Terrible. :P

PS - I HAD BAKLAVAS! I HAD BAKLAVAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Ego
So today everyone on my course suggested going out in the evening ... there's a huge pub culture here so that's what the plan was. I decided, what the heck, let me see if I like it...and if I don't, well I never have to go again!

Met up with them at this pub near my place and that was fine... had a Coca-Cola and ended up talking to friends for a while. Then (because apparently this is how things work), they moved on to another pub. I went along as well.

Then after a while there, they decided to go to this place, kind of like a club... where there's a DJ and music etc. I again thought, well, let's see if this is something I'd like (never really done it before so I wouldn't know). So I bought the entrance ticket and then after standing in the damn queue, when I reached the entrance... I was denied entry because I didn't have ID on me that showed my DOB. I'm 22 but obviously they had to check. They said: get something with DOB on it or you can't get in. Fair enough.

My problem was this: they refused to give me a refund. They just kept parroting the same line about my ID with DOB and I was like, why the hell am I going to walk all the way back to my flat, get a passport copy and THEN walk back and then walk back later? That's just insane! They kept saying they couldn't do anything about it and so on and so forth. One of my friends said she'd walk me home (coz she knew I'm not used to walking home alone or being out at night).

I'm glad my friend walked me home though ... ppl are thoroughly drunk in the streets and doing WEIRD things, let me tell ya. I don't think I have the stomach or rather, I have some shame to not even repeat what they were doing.

I'm just so annoyed about the loss of the ticket money, as opposed to not being able to go in. Definitely not going to go again. I'm just turned off by the whole idea now, so not even interested in trying it out.
The Ego
Read a cool and evocative piece on another blog (I Open Up) and decided to have a stab at writing on the same topic. Mine isn't as good though. Read on anyway!!!

The sun shined down on them. The heat wasn't oppressive, yet enough to let them feel uncomfortable. Oddly enough, they weren't. As they approached the beachfront, she took off her boots and enjoyed the feel of the sand grains through her toes, while at the same time feeling her stomach clenched in tension and apprehension.

They kept walking. Silently. Unsure. Towards the edge ... where sand met water... what were they going to do? Would a decision on their future be made today?

She kept walking and he kept following. Oblivious to his surroundings, wondering what she was going to say. She finally stopped, knowing that she could put this off no longer.

"Well?" he asked tentatively.

She said nothing.

He said her name, adding a question mark to the end of it, unsure if he should ask again or forget this forever.

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and nodded.

It was done. She decided to commit herself to him.

He smiled, bursting through the seams with the uncontrollable happiness now spreading through him. He held out his hand and she took it. They walked a little way and he stopped and stood in front of her. She was feeling shy and couldn't understand it. His hands came on her shoulders and he asked her to look at him. She couldn't. Some unimaginable force kept her eyes fixed firmly at her feet.

Coaxing didn't work. Even though much taller than her, he dropped his head lower and planted his lips on hers. That seemed to work. She did look up but closed her eyes again. And when he finally parted from her, she opened her eyes, fixed it on the beautiful expanse of water behind them and said in a surprised tone: "Okay."

Her first kiss.

See what inspired me to write one of my own! Although mine isn't as cool as the way she's writter her piece!!!
The Ego
The funny thing about going away somewhere, leaving everyone right where they were?

You expect things and the people will stay the same.

They don't.

I thought I would be the extremely sensible one (and the people who personally know me are right now reading this and going: "HAH!") and think, well obviously I can't expect things and people to stay the same! The people I know have a life too!

Yeah, not so much.

It's not like OMG I'm dying out here and I'm not enjoying my life here. I enjoy my course, as demanding as it may be and even though there are a few twats out here, there are a fair good bunch as well whom I do honestly get along with and enjoy spending time with.

Jo says she's going out for a dinner and has to get offline. Really? Does she have to go? Why is she going out for dinner without me? (Uh and then the rational part of me says, well erm did you think she'd mope at home? Well... NO... but...I don't know!). Stained has to go out for a movie and he's going offline as well. Really? Does he have to go? Why is he going for a movie without me? And so on and so forth.

Of course the rational bit of me kicks in and says, well ... you're going out too (to play board games in a local coffee shop and eat free cheesecake; to watch old - anywhere from decades to two months old - movies for Dhs12; to go for hikes) ...

But I think there's this niggling annoying thought in my head that there won't be a place for me when I go back. Or that I'll be adjusted into the new lives of my friends.

Anyone else experience this when they moved away from home? Or is it just my insanity kicking in?
The Ego
I don't live alone. I share a flat with 4 other girls. I don't take classes alone. My specialization course has about 15-16 people including me, and when we share classes with the other specializations, we have over 100. I've made friends...in my flat, in my building, in my course, a few of whom I speak to everyday inspite of not sharing classes with some of them.

But at night...when I'm alone in my room...boy, am I lonely.

Like tonight, my good friend in my flat isn't home; she's gone over to stay the night at her boyfriend's flat... which left me with a very empty evening. I don't resent that (it's the weekend...her bf is in the same city...why not?). Luckily I remembered I could listen to UAE based radio stations online; been doing that for a few hours now... feels familiar.

On a positive note, after two lectures with her, my course leader knows my name. It's good because so far she remembers the names of only two or three of us for all the right reasons (this is why this is a big deal to me). The first lecture I got pulled out for doing something right, that no one else did. Same goes for the second lecture. I want to do as much as I can right ... and leave an impression. So I'm hoping my current streak continues.

Leaving you with a song ... I'll leave it to you to Youtube it if you like the lyrics:

"I don't believe you" by Pink
I don’t mind it
I don’t mind at all
It’s like you’re the swing set
And I’m the kid that falls
It’s like the way we fight
The times I’ve cried
We come to blows
And every night
The passion’s there
So it’s got to be right
Right?

No I don’t believe you
When you say don’t come around here no more
I won’t remind you
You said we wouldn’t be apart
No I don’t believe you
When you say you don’t need me anymore
So don’t pretend to
Not love me at all

I don’t mind it
I still don’t mind at all
It’s like one of those bad dreams
When you can’t wake up
Looks like you’ve given up
You’ve had enough
But I want more
No I won't stop
'Cause I just know
You’ll come around
Right?

No I don’t believe you
When you say don’t come around here no more
I won’t remind you
You said we wouldn’t be apart
No I don’t believe you
When you say you don’t need me anymore
So don’t pretend to
Not love me at all

Just don’t stand there and watch me fall
'Cause I, 'cause I still don’t mind at all

It’s like the way we fight
The times I’ve cried
We come to blows
And every night
The passion's there
So it’s got to be right,
Right?

No I don’t believe you
When you say don’t come around here no more
I won’t remind you
You said we wouldn’t be apart
No I don’t believe you
When you say you don’t need me anymore
So don’t pretend to
Not love me at all

I don’t believe you

--------------------------

Bon soir mes amis ...
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