This year has been an eventful one and as they say…”the best for the last” really did happen with a year end trip to the brother. This was a long awaited trip with the brother having settled in Dubai almost 12 years ago. As strange as it may sound, I never got around to visiting him at “his home” all these years, though my parents and specially my mum has made innumerable visits there. So this trip was indeed a special one and I spent four days eating and partying and of course visiting my Mecca- IKEA and spending an inordinate amount of time there.
The trip to the brother fell into my lap, coinciding with a work trip to Europe, wherein I had to fly through Dubai to my journey there. So it was only fair and extremely convenient that I stayed put there for 4 days there on my way back. Of course no fun is complete without the M. So he also flew into Dubai 2 days before I arrived there. And what a party it was. IKEA, the innumerable restaurants, the beach, the Burj and the parties- all just helped make this experience fun and crazy. And of course, the brother went out of his way to make us experience EVERYTHING in four days, driving us across town with no signs of fatigue and raring to go when all I needed was to drop into bed and just sleep.
IKEA was an experience. The famous IKEA breakfast, though yummy, was quite a task, having to stand around with food trays and keep an eye on every prospective “eater” who looked like they were about to finish and jumping almost onto the table to reserve a space. The food wasn’t really necessary but I think it just gave us enough time to mentally make a checklist of what all we needed to buy and then rush with our trollies through every section. We needed to buy EVERYTHING we saw. Why? Because according to some part of my brain IKEA might shut for ever just after we left and I might never get a chance to get high just looking at those shelves of candles and lights and crockery and upholstery and flowers and vases…you get the drift.
The weather in Dubai was a pleasant surprise. Rainy and bloody cold. Just walking across the streets to get from pt. A to pt. B sent a shiver down my spine. The city, criss-crossed with sky scrapers is a perennial tunnel and the wind just blows you off your feet, freezing you while it passes you by.
The food in Dubai was yummy. Labneh and hummus and Arabic bread was what I lived on there and believe me, I could live on it forever and also not gain any weight in the bargain. M,having given up smoking about 4 years ago, gorged on the sheeshah, somewhere in his brain telling himself that even though it was tobacco, it was not a cigarette. Some thinking that was! But the poor man was also on a holiday. So I just let it go.
The work trip was also quite nice except that it was minus 3 when I arrived in Laussanne. Pitch dark at 4:30 pm, incessant snow and a congestion I had carried from India added to the spirit dampener when I arrived, which was quickly taken care of by a fantastic group of colleagues from across the world and lots and lots of alcohol. The workshop I attended was fantastic and a very enriching experience for me, hearing of best practices from around the world and making notes of what all I could do to help the brand in India. The workshop culminated with a South American night and lots of South American alcohol and a bollywood number and me dancing on stage, teaching my fellow colleagues the “jhatkas and matkas” of Bollywood. The less said about the last part the better and I am sooo glad there are no photographs or video evidence of that part of the evening.
So all in all, I would say its been a good closure to the year except for a very close friend losing his mum to a kind of diabetic illness. She was a lovely lady and will be missed by all of us. But the year panned out well, with not too many mishaps or things going wrong. Oh, yes, there was a short circuit in the house with the geyser going up in flames the day before I left on my trip. But that’s part and parcel of life and doesn’t bother me much anymore. And as I sign off, I leave you with an image of the Christmas tree at home, bedecked with lights and awaiting the arrival of 20 people for the traditional Christmas lunch at home. And of course, some of my loot from IKEA. 😀 😀 😀