Food? Friends? Freedom? Faith? Future?
I am used to living like a hermit – less religious than a monk. In my 2 years in the UAE as an expat-worker, I haven’t been to a lot of places enviable and worth-telling. Dubai is superficial. Its bustling nightlife never attracts. Its man-made tourist spots don’t really charm. It’s void of natural beauty. An ugly duckling that went through an overhaul operation to be a stunning swan. Have I discouraged you enough? Believe me, it’s a place you never should dream of coming to. Aspire to work somewhere else, if you have a choice. Or if you think you have the power to make one.
I’ve seen many ruins than blessings. I’ve heard more follies than victories. I didn’t come here to be defeated. And I promised to come back home victorious. There are many questions I wished people from my own country bother to ask me, my favorite is: ‘What keeps you sane?’
Dubai never lacks stories of expat-workers succumbing to lunacy, if not suicide. Rarely would you find those tales published on papers, websites or blogs. I didn’t. But today I feel obliged to tell others that this foreign land is not paradise, for some, it’s a grave. Who wants to dig his own grave? Nobody.
I rarely tell people how lucky I am to have my best friend as a boyfriend. He’s supportive -and yeah, at times a bit pushy. But I secretly (oh, now it’s out) love his sharp wit and scathing honesty. I’d advertise his assets no further.
I also owe my sanity to my colleagues – Jam, Sana, Shruthi and MJ. These sweet ladies make me feel a sense of achievement – though my deeds are tiny as dust, they magnify my contributions. I should remember Ihab for the frequent exchange of sarcastic and clever remarks – he doesn’t look down on me so I feel smart when I talk to him. Akbar is my only subordinate, and a very good assistant, though talking to him at times requires a trip to google translate for Tamil language quick aid.
I should thank the readers and recorders of my favorite books. They make my morning bright and warm. I must not forget to be grateful to some musicians: Joey Ayala and his group for their jolly and unique folk melodies, Freddie Aguilar (I scarcely knew he’d make me cry), Regina Spektor, whose song lyrics have so much to teach, and Anne Brun, whose voice can both heal and kill the spirit.
I must have missed to thank SOMEONE. He’ll send me a message privately, and I’d do the same perhaps. Nevertheless, I can’t help wondering if God ever read blogs.