Sitting back thinking now I can't believe the day I had yesterday. Even by my standards it was crazy. It started at 6:00am like usual. At 7:30am I had to give a one & a half hr orientation session to some of our trainees. This involved being on my feet talking the whole time. At 9:30am I had to leave for Al Ain for an 11:30 meeting with my new user. That's an almost 2 hrs drive. Managed to get there in an hr & a half though which was good because I spent another 20 minutes lost from the user's location so I was not late for a change.
Didn't get back to Abu Dhabi until about 3:30. Reached the office, made myself one cup of coffee then I went to report to my boss about the meeting. Of course I was full of ideas & he was full of arguments so we sat there talking & arguing until 5:00 - an hour after work. He tells me:"Get out of here. Go home. I'm an old man. I can't keep up with you. I'm tired & I haven't had my lunch."
That's when I realize that I haven't had anything other than two cups of coffee & water all day. I go home to find that everyone already ate without me. Now I have a complex about this. I can't eat alone. So the answer is?I make some phone calls to see who I know that happens to be out sitting someplace which serves food right now. In the end I join F.(my Sudanese friend), her husband & some of their friends at the Beach hotel. I have a club sandwich and fresh strawberry juice. Then more coffee, water & cigarettes. Nice people though. Didn't feel out of place at all even though I had never met most of them before.
When I leave I suddenly remember that K. has been complaining that he hasn't had home-cooked food since Ramadan. Of course I keep inviting him to eat at our house but he feels uncomfortable - says he doesn't like to put my Mom to any trouble - that it was enough he ate with us so often in Ramadan etc....So I know what's going to happen next. I make a stop at the Co-op in Abu Dhabi mall, right next to the Beach Hotel because I know that K wouldn't have anything at home. I pick up some supplies & then on the way to his(our?) place I suddenly remember that I was going to get some microwaveable containers to freeze the food in. So I stop by another Co-op - this time in Khalidiya.
When I get to his place I know he's at work & won't be home for hours but I still want to finish quickly because I look a mess & smell of smoke & I don't want him to catch me like this. Not sure exactly how long I spent cooking but I made sure I was making big quantities of everything. I leave some food outside incase he feels like eating tonight & everything else I put in the new containers & shove in the deep freezer. Now he can have home-cooked food anytime he wants for a week or so. Maybe not very fresh but still better than eating take-out all the time.
Once done I suddenly get a craving for ice cream. I think all my food cravings are just my subconscious mind giving me excuses to go out. D. was saying earlier that she wanted to go out after Maghreb. I call her & she is getting ready to go out so I ask her to come over & bring me some clothes. Not only did I smell of smoke by then I also smelled of onions & garlic & various spices. However I had already gone home changed & gone out once. If I try to do that again my parents would have something to say about it. So plan B is to borrow a change of clothes from a friend & have my shower where I was which is what happened.Called my Dad to tell them I was going out with D & might be late.
Went out with D. for ice cream & sheesha. K. sent me sms asking where I was about the time I knew he'd have finished work. Told him where we were. Then D. & I kept remembering all the people we know who lived nearby & might be offended if they know we were in that particular place & didn't tell them. We made some calls, sent some sms & people kept coming & going which again was kind of nice. I mean no one did anything to bug me. Everyone was being nice. Except that everytime someone comes they look at me & say you know that looks like D's dress. I mean couldn't they just shut up about it?
K called me at one point & I could hardly hear him because it was so noisy by then. So I went outside to speak to him & he tells me you said you were only going out with D. in the tone of voice that he uses when he doesn't like something but isn't planning to quarrel about it just yet.I pretended I didn't notice it though, told him how everyone happened to be there & asked him if he wanted to join us. He said no he was too tired, was running some errands & then was going home. Told him to call me when he gets home. For some reason it slipped my mind to tell him I'd been there earlier.
When he did get home I was still out & he called again but this time he was really sweet. I think he felt bad that he gave me a hard time about being out with my friends when he realized I spent all afternoon cooking for him. He asked if I wanted to come over but I was way, way too tired. And I was making this elaborate plan to go to bed early for a change. So he told me to call him before I go to sleep.
Got home about quarter to 11:00. My Dad looked at me with this sad face, sighed & asked me where I was. I started telling stories about what we said & what we did & he made the same comment K. had. You said you were only going out with D. What is this?A conspiracy?Do I have to give a list in advance of everyone who might be passing in the street when I go out?Just went over, gave him a big hug & kiss. He hugged me back & smiled at me. But then he told me that they were worried about the way I was 'tistahliki nafsik'- which means consuming myself- so fast. Strange thought. Is that what I am doing?Consuming myself?
So I think definitely that I'll try to get an early night. How?Well there's this bottle of lavender bath oil that I bought in Dubai months ago & never used. I bought it aslan because the saleslady told me it's supposed to make you sleep. And am going to have warm milk. Maybe with cereal?No cereal is supposed to be breakfast food. It's supposed to wake you up.
Tell Mom that am tired but can't sleep so can she give me something. She gives me a funny look & says if you're not sleepy you don't have to sleep. Why does she always act like I'm turning into a drug addict if I ask her for any medication?I mean she's a doctor. She gives medication for a living.Mom makes me some warm milk with a really nice cinnamon taste.
I take it & go to my room, run myself a lavendar bath & settle back to relax. Except lying in the bath tub doing nothing is simply not me. First I decide to put a masque on my face. Then I remember to put a conditioning treatment on my hair. Then I decide to do my nails. By that time the water is cold so I run another bath. And finally I get my cell & so there I was talking to K. & filing my nails while I am in my supposedly relaxing, sleep-inducing bath. He thought that was hilarious - that when I decide to go to bed early I make such a big job out of it. He said ya3ni most people would just go to bed & fall asleep. He was going out for late night sheesha with the guys so he couldn't talk to me too long. We hung up. I got up, washed off the hair stuff & the face stuff, put on my bathrobe & went to the kitchen to get rid of the empty milk cup. By that time it's almost 1:00am. So much for going to bed early. I open the fridge to get a water bottle & catch sight of a bottle of cough syrup. I remember that cough syrup always makes me drowsy so I have a big spoonful. Then I pray & finally get into bed & manage to stay still.
I think it was the cough syrup that finally did the trick.
P.S. Am pleased that things are kind of picking up between my uncle & D. If two people are single & tired of it, nice & fairly attractive & you throw them together a lot & talk to them about each other all the time they're bound to get a little intrigued. What worries me is that I ended up getting more involved in this than I was planning. Was just going to create opportunites & hope there will be a spark. Had to push for it more than I wanted to. Don't like to think am taking that much responsibility. Now if anything goes wrong will they blame me?
P.P.S. The news these days is so grim. Terrorists still blowing up people from Jordan to Pakistan to Iraq. Makes you wonder what happened to the war on terror. No one is talking about it anymore. Reminds me of a joke I read in MAD magazine many years ago. It said:"The war on drugs has been won - by the drug dealers."
Must remember not to read the BBC online when am blogging late at night. Not the kind of tone you want to end your day on.