Now summer is just about over and we’re back to the joys of life in Dubai, I thought it might be good to reflect on the last couple of months.
In the Middle East, from mid-June onwards it’s stupid hot all the time. So how do you know that summer has well and truly arrived? Well, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the one about the cold tap delivering hot water and vice versa? True of course, but a bit unimaginative.
So, here’s my thoughts on the topic, based entirely on that special time of the year when the schools are closed and your wife and kids are several thousand miles away.
Nine signs that it’s summer in Dubai
1. You can get a parking space at the big Spinney’s on Al Wasl Road. Even on a Friday.
2. Your commute to work is reduced by 90%.
3. Finding and eating the stuff in the back of the freezer marked “Best before August 2011″.
4. Alphabetising your DVD collection is your main plan for the weekend.
5. Weekend socialising with your work colleagues seems like a good idea.
6. You make a big list of all the DIY jobs you’ve managed to avoid for the preceding 11 months.
7. You actually complete some of the jobs on the list.
8. You get through an entire season of ‘24 hours’, in 24 hours
9. Every time you walk into a restaurant you’re greeted with ‘Table for one Sir?’
Summer in Dubai can be fun – yay!
Summer this year had all the potential to be devastatingly dull, with Ramadan and the infamous WANKER period neatly overlapping. Showing the kind of thought leadership that is usually the preserve of Mrs H, I decided it would be a good time to complete my PADI Advanced Scuba diving course. An inspired idea as it turned out, with the long dreary weekends filled with trips to the bottom of the Indian Ocean off Fujairah. Wonderful, and if you were ever thinking of taking up scuba, both Pavilion Dive Centre and Al Boom Diving Club are great places to learn.
Jelly Fish Alert – Killer Jellyfish off Jumeirah
First Friday into the course, my fellow divers and I had an encounter with a flock/spawn/bloom/collective noun of jellyfish off Russian Beach. Five out six of us were stung, of course mine was by far the worst, even (I think) topping the guy that got a face full of tentacles.
Don’t pee here.
Looking for sympathy I posted a picture of the aforementioned sting to Facebook, only to learn that my FB buddies are all obsessed with wee. Did I wee on the sting? Did I ask anyone else to wee on it? Numerous discussions about whether people would or wouldn’t wee on it. Every weeing combination was debated at length on the World Wide Web.
All slightly British and bonkers, but sympathy? No chance. Not a sausage. For the record, let me tell you three things about being on the wrong end of an encounter with a jellyfish;
1. It bloody hurts.
2. Nobody takes it seriously.
3. Weeing on it does not help.
Cats and poo.
Unfortunately, for me at least, whilst I was Home Alone, Shobna had returned to Sri Lanka on vacation, leaving me with the daily task of feeding and poop scooping for our two cats, Fat Bob and Tommy Reid. During week 2, as if to exact revenge for my no-nonsense approach to animal husbandry, 0ne or both of them got diarrhoea. It was messy and usually wide of the litter tray. Pretty gross, but at least the ants were loving it.
Desperately trying to avoid a kings ransom/vets bill, I took to Google, the fountain of all wisdom and found an article that suggested a change of food can help. To the delight of the cats, Frisky Biscuits were out, Whiskers Tuna in. Big mistake.
The next day there was poo. Man oh man, there was poo. A. Lot. Of. Poo. After a bit of CSI work, I decided the problem was mainly with Tommy Reid, so off to the vet we went. After some rather intrusive testing, the vet announced Tommy had some kind of bug before presenting me with a big bag of meds and an even bigger bill.
The next six days was spent wresting medicine down the throat of an angry and flexible cat, who, despite being held by the scruff of the neck, can simultaneously bite, scratch and spit out meds. Still got the physical and emotional scars from that week.
Guest Blog; Tommy Reid – letter to Mrs H.
Dear Mrs H, and boy and girl
This morning the Shouty Man who feeds me and Bob put me into a cage!! He then took me in a loud metal box with wheels to a house. Inside the house was a TORTURE CHAMBER! Inside the TORTURE CHAMBER a strange European man with a funny shaped furry thing above his lip was mean to me.
He stuck a plastic thing up my ‘you know what’. I was struggling and struggling. He then went and got his friend who called the Shouty Man ‘Hello Mam Sir”. The second man then helped the strange European Man put the plastic thingy back up my ‘you know what’. I was just getting over that when they put a wooden thingy called a swab up my ‘you know what’. Those men have got a problem – and I’m the one the Shouty Man said was sick!
The strange European Man said I had a nasty bug living in my tummy making my poo squidgy. Then he and the ‘Hello Mam Sir’ man grabbed me again and tried to make me eat a yucky white tablet and some disgusting cream out of a tube. I spat it right out on the table! YUK!!
The Shouty Man then put me back in my nice, safe cage, and took me to a nice lady. I heard him shout ‘it’s how much?!!!’at the nice lady. He then brought me back home in the loud metal box with wheels. Phew!
I think he felt that he’d been mean to me, cos he bought me a fabby new toy to play with, which is now stuck under the sofa.
Purrs and meows
Tommy Reid (your kitten)