Contrary to popular belief, I am still alive. I’m just not doing an awful lot.
I remember someone messaging me and asking how I was, and I said, quite frankly, I was bored out of my mind (but trying my best to find things to do). They said “but your Instagram looks so exciting!” Solid evidence of how misleading social media can be.
In saying that, I am getting into a bit of a groove. As much as you can without a job and an actual routine to get into. I’ve started going to the gym again, although that in itself is a bit depressing, as they leave on the France24 news channel. Things aren’t exactly pleasant from a global news point of view, with the bombings in Syria, truck attack in Stockholm and Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt. You can’t really zone out when there is a TV right in front of the treadmill. But given the lovely food I am enjoying in Dubai, I definitely need to keep on attending.
No, not really. It would be super easy to be lazy as hell and order food all the time, but I usually order myself lunch about one a week. We go out to dinner once a week, twice at a push. Eating out, while enjoyable, is incredibly expensive, and then its the cab to and from the location (or we catch the metro, if we are lucky).
I’m starting to get on top of the meals, although I do feel like I spend my life cooking, cleaning and doing washing. In the last few weeks, I’ve managed to cook chicken katsu with cauliflower rice, lamb kofkas with tzatziki, a weird sort of vegetable nacho job, homemade burgers with kumara fries, numerous attempts at poached eggs on bagels with bacon (Anita, your pan worked a treat!) and crazily spicy tandoori chicken. I forgot there were actual Indians living here, and purchasing a pre-made spice mix obviously intended for them was a little on the extreme side. Lesson learnt. I even managed to make chocolate hot cross buns. They turned out so well I’m going to attempt to make them again, although I think I will be very lucky if I manage to get two lots of delicious Easter treats.
Today, we ventured out into the wilderness to pick up my Emirates ID. It was probably less than a kilometre to the post office from the metro, but by the end, we were both sweaty beasts. I checked my phone… temperature of 37 degrees, feels like 40. That explains it. We managed to extract the ID – I look about as delightful as one can expect on Government issued identification – and headed to the Lime Tree Cafe in Jumeirah for lunch. Mainly because I really wanted the NZ beef and gorgonzola toasted sandwich. After that, we went to Mercato Mall and Town Centre Jumeirah, as I’d located a craft store there. I’ve been in touch with a lady here in Dubai that does charity work, and they are collecting toys for children in Africa. So I have a pretty extreme knitting circle going on (well, its hardly a circle with just the one member). Our house will be swimming in blanket bunny friends in no time.
So what do I spend my days doing? Not a hell of a lot, but it still seems to eat up the time. As I said, I cook and clean and wash. I go to the gym. I log into my emails back home everyday, but not a lot comes up – just a bit of work here and there. I apply for jobs – which is both time consuming, frustrating and a bit demeaning – I think I’ve been rejected for more jobs here than I’ve applied for in my entire life in New Zealand. I study, I have an average of two assignments to complete a week. I look for the stuff we need to buy or locate, but I mainly spend a lot of time at home just searching online, or ringing places. I talk to or message people, I knit, and I am trying to learn a little bit of Arabic. I’ve signed up for a free week long trial of Amazon Video, and I’m speeding through two seasons of The Man in the High Castle before it ends (the rest of the fare on offer is very, erm, Punjab in origin). It isn’t exactly a very exciting life, but I’m trying to make the best of it.
I’m making a big list of all the things I’ll get you to bring when you visit, mum. Dry shampoo (the water here makes your hair fall out… a filter is stuck somewhere in courier land, on its way to us). NZ wool ($20NZD a ball here). Spare knitting needles. Protein powder. Once we know the mailbox at Matt’s work is functioning, I’ll order some things there. But its not until you move to a foreign country that you realise how easy it is in New Zealand!