2007 was one of the best years of my entire life.
Ok allow me to rephrase that, 2007 was THE best year of my life.
Let’s rewind. My New Year celebration wasn’t an ideal one to say the least. Stranded in Saudi, locked in a furnished apartment, working at a job with an abusive mental streak were all signs that 2007 wasn't going to be a good year. At 12:01 1/1/2007, I wished myself a happy new year, made a mental toast to myself and new beginnings, prepared my new year resolution and went to a soundless sleep.
The dead-end job, being expated in Saudi were all too much for a person like me to bear. I called Royal Jordanian, pushed back my ticket, packed my bags and literally escaped under the dark cover of early morning.
It doesn’t end here.
I continued to work from Jordan with the same sadistic assholes. Little did they know that I am a very proud individual with a vengeful streak and an unforgiving attitude. So one day I was haggling with my boss, who decided to cancel our break time and push back leaving hours by one hour to save one hour of electricity usage (I shit you not), the other I was in Kuala Lumpur, enjoying the vacation of a lifetime. All their calls to me to know where the hell I am were unanswered and all their demands of important files to be sent were uncalled for.
In Kuala Lumpur I acted like my jackass self the best. I pretended to be a loud Italian tourist and run into Malays asking them “Por favore sinore, zinglabto gallabto” which translates to nothing at all. The Malays would look at me in pure, fearful astonishment. One of them even ran away and I started chasing him as my tourism mate cracked up. Other misadventures include getting hit on by an Iranian girl (note to all Iranian women, please learn some English, we really like you but would like you more if we used something other than body language to communicate), and a fat snake coiling around my mate’s neck.
Then I moved to Dubai. Much of my feats in Dubai are documented in this blog around the time I came. I visited Saudi Aramco, and saw what it really means to be taken care of, visited Oman, which is such a beautiful country that I hope to visit again, vacationed in Jordan and visited Petra the new world wonder, got my license, attended concerts, weddings, socialized, got my car, and most importantly, got a life.
In short, my new year’s resolution in a dark, stagnant room in the middle of the desert came true.
Here’s to another great year.
2007 was one of the best years of my entire life.
Weddings are the most complex social setting in which any person can be. And you’d think that things would be different in Dubai, but apparently they are universally the same.
Let me paint a picture for you.
Children lying on the dance floor wailing, chasing each other with flowers while their mothers run after them to lock them in their baby trolleys, though the wedding invitation card clearly states in bolded font that they should be in bed by now, girls posing with each other for pictures, then not too long afterwards end up badmouthing and shooting each other hateful glances depending on who ends up dancing with the most eligible bachelor, (usually me), and boys ogling the lady guests who are looking amazingly beautiful like they never thought they could be.
It is no secret that I become my biggest jackass during weddings.
Me: Yeah, that’s nice. A little to the left, now smile. No wider a bigger smile. Ok now give me your nicest model look.
Girl smiles so hard that you feel her dress is about to burst.
I flip the camera, smile my biggest smile and photograph myself.
Me: Here you go. This looks nicer. Ha ha (walking away)
Girl: YOU’RE SUCH AN ASS.
Kids are also fun to hang with and toy around with. They’re too damn cute with their tiny outfits and white dresses so as not to annoy them.
Me: Ok kids. 1…2…3… CHHEEEESE
Me: Ok kids let’s make this a little more fun. Let’s do some gangster signs
Kids look baffled at me and the leader of the group for explanation.
Me: Ok just do this with your fingers (Making “W” signs with free hand)
Me: Ok say WEESSS’ SIDE!!
Kids: ESSS IIIIDE!!!
Me: hehehe. Ok whatever (snapping a couple of pics)
Just as the guests start to fret around waiting for the bride and groom to make their grand entrance, the bride and groom make their grand entrance. The cheesy first dance starts with Bryan Adams or Richard Marx singing some bullshit song of how eternal and inevitable love is.
And I thought they only met twice before getting engaged.. But hey, who am I to judge?
People get up, people dance, people huddle around the bride and groom, the groom’s father dances like an ass, the groom’s mom dances like an ass. Circles are formed to dance dabke on a Fares Karam song, Nancy Ajram hollers some cheesy yet inevitably cute dance song.
Finally, the buffet, just as stomachs are staring to groan and legs starting to ache. The best timing to mingle and hit on new people and let new people hit on you.
Girl carrying a plate with a pickle and a loaf of bread.
Me: Yum, yum. Pickle sandwich, my favorite.
The after-buffet phase is the best. Things become hot and heated, with everyone dancing like an ass, the songs much more intense, the movement much more deliberate and sensual.
Till the lights come out, and the bride and groom nervously dismiss the guests.
Posted by Expated in Dubai at 1:30 AM
So if you live in the UAE and haven’t heard that Justin Timberlake is coming to town you are one of two things:
1- You queue on Fridays for hours in front of Indian cinemas to watch the newest release for Aishwarya Rai and Amit Batchan and think bushy mustaches are cool.
2- You come back from work and roll your blanket around yourself and watch reruns of desperate housewives and spend hours in front of the peep hole waiting for your neighbors to come back from work and give them imaginary names.
Or maybe both.
Well, I am neither. I drove 2 hours to Abu Dhabi to attend JT’s performance. Ok honestly it’s not my biggest pride, especially considering the fact that the attendees were as old as my sons and daughters if I had any. But still, it was a thoroughly entertaining experience where JT outperformed himself and any other artist. I signed up for a Pop show, what I got was a mesmerizing rock performance worthy of great names like Guns N’ Roses and Pearl Jam. I am no music critic, this is my opinion. And it really seemed like JT was working his butt off, singing, dancing, entertaining, joking. It was all perfectly coordinated and choreographed, the lights, the dancing, the images on the TV screens. Even the organizers did a great job of getting 13,000 people in and out safely which I can see was done above anyone else’s expectations. So thanks y’all
On a different note my parents are coming to visit this holiday season to check on their one and only rocking son in Dubai. So if anyone from Jordan wants to send their relatives in UAE thyme, a bag of onions or potatoes, or olive oil please feel free to bother my happily-near retirement parents at …But seriously, if you want to send such things as money transfers, cute, unknowing girls feel free to contact me and I’ll give you direction
You know what that means. It means no matter what I do, no matter what I say, or hard I work to please them, I will always come out the loser. The endless interviewing of when will I get married how much am I saving the job, the career, the women, the ‘you need to get this’, the ‘you need to do that’ that will inevitably derail to whining of how hard it was raising me in a foreign country, the toys and cartoons I got as a kid, the education, then the breakdown into blackmailing tears.
Yet still. I can’t wait to get them from the airport. And I can’t wait to be my parent’s host for the first time in my life. The idea of being the one in control for a change is thrilling in itself.
It means I can drive them to the desert claiming to take them to a lavish resort and leave them there as payback for all the abuse I was exposed to as a child.
No, I'm kidding.
I’ll make sure to make them proud. I know they will be..
Posted by Expated in Dubai at 3:29 AM