Left work early today. Decided to go for a swim. Don't normally go swimming by myself so this sort of impulse is a sign am still a little off-balance. First thing that happened was that I went into the water without taking off my contacts. When I came up for air I had to think for a second to figure out why everything was suddenly so blurry. Am such a genius aren't I?
Got bored quickly - as expected. Swimming really is a group activity for me. I don't know how my husband can swim on his own so much. So I went & had my shower. It was still early when I finished so I decided to go for a manicure & pedicure. That's the nice thing about the Ladies Club. A beach, a swimming pool, a state-of-the-art gym, a beauty salon & one of the most luxurious spas I've seen in UAE. They even have a little mall. What more could a woman want?
The therapist pissed me off because she was trying to convince me I don't need a manicure & pedicure because my nails are clean & I should try another treatment like a foot massage. If I want a manicure & pedicure then it's my business & nobody else's. And besides why would I pay Dhs.350 for a foot massage when my husband gives the BEST foot massages for free? Ok we're usually on much better terms than we are these days when he's giving me free foot massages but that's completely besides the point right?
So manicure & pedicure it was. And it was while I was enjoying my pedicure that these 2 women came in, covered in black from head to toe. That was unusual. This is Abu Dhabi Ladies Club we're talking about. The only males within a 50 meter radius are the security guards at the gate. You can't bring your cellphone in here incase it has a camera. They actually scan you for electronics when you come in. And they don't allow helicopters to fly overhead. Not sure about other aircraft though. Basically this is the one place in Abu Dhabi where you NEVER see a covered-up woman. With no men around to cover up from why should they bother?
And yet there they were. Everything covered except the eyes. The funny thing is that they were there for manicure & pedicure. So they uncovered half of their legs & half of their arms but kept their face cover on. I started to have visions of a male transvestite invasion of the women's sanctuary. I mean that's the first thing that would come to your mind no? Why would a woman hide her face from other women even while she's having spa treatments? Because 'she' has something to hide. 'She' might very well be a 'he'.
On closer inspection however I had to conclude that at least the woman who was closer to me was infact a woman. She had very pretty & decidedly feminine legs & feet. Hands too. And her voice was definitely a woman's. A little disappointed that I was not infact going to be a participant in any unfolding drama I buried my face back in my magazine for the duration of my treatment.
When I was done one of the therapists went & brought me my watch & my anklete. (You have to leave your jewellery at reception.) The anklete was a weird-looking silver piece that a friend of my Mom's had brought me from Yemen last week. I was putting it back on & the covered lady came up & asked me if it was from Yemen. I said yes. So she told me that she was Yemeni. I nodded politely - in no mood for chitchat by then. After sitting still for that long I want to MOVE.
Then she asked me if I bought it myself, if I had ever been to Yemen. I told her no, it was a present. So she asked if I knew the person who gave it to me very well. And I said yes. At this point I was pretty fed up with all these questions. So I asked her if there was any special reason why she needed to know. She said I shouldn't get upset from her but the person who gave me that piece did not have my best interests at heart. I said excuse me? She said she's from Yemen & she knows these things - that this type of jewellery is used by people who want to put an evil spell on you, they take it & put the spell on it then they give it to you as a present & evil things continue to happen to you as long as you wear it. I started laughing. What else could I do really? Upon which she got really worked up & started going on about how it's true & I can ignore her advice at my own peril etc....Still laughing I told her but you didn't give me any advice to ignore, you told me the problem but not the solution. She said that the only thing I can do is take the ankelete, read some Quranic verses on it & throw it into the sea - apparently seawater is the only thing that washes off evil spells. Then she sat down to write the relevant Quranic verses on a piece of paper for me. At that point I was too curious & was enjoying the comedy to much to go anywhere so I waited for her to finish then took the paper & stuffed it in my bag. I asked her tayeb what kind of evil spell is it, what is going to happen to me? She said you're married right? I said yes. She asked if the ankelete was given to me by an older woman. I said yes again. She asked if this older woman had daughters. I said yes. She asked if the daughters were married. I said no. And she opened her eyes wide & screeched at me you see? I was expecting her to start jumping up & down & screaming Eureka any second! It was so funny to watch her. I was practically ROTFL!
She went on saying the woman hates you because you're married & her daughters are spinsters so she put a spell on you. That was too hilarious really. I kept snickering & she kept saying you must heed the warning & you shouldn't trust anyone, everyone is plotting against you because you're married & their daughters aren't etc.....When I stopped laughing & caught my breath I asked her bas you still didn't tell me what is going to happen to me. She said I know you're thinking what is this crazy woman but tell me haven't you been fighting with your husband since you started wearing it? That made me stop laughing. I told her did you have to remind me? I was enjoying myself here.
She said believe me this anklete is going to 'tikhrib baitik'(destroy your marriage) if you don't dispose of it. That was too much. And the way she was speaking, it was so EARNEST so I was in hysterics again. She got offended though & told me that she had done her duty to Allah by warning me & that if I refuse to listen it's not her fault etc....Then she told me that my husband 'qalbu inshagal' (his heart is becoming occupied) with a tall dark woman (samra taweela) who had a mole on her neck because of our fights, that I have to break the evil spell before he leaves me for this woman . Am SERIOUS! She said that! Am going to walk around scrutinizing women's necks from now on! I asked her is the mole on the front of the woman's neck or on the back? She shook her head reproachfully & told me Allah yihdeeki(may Allah guide you) & walked off. And I thought Allah yideeni ana(may Allah guide ME)?
As soon as I got into the car I called my husband still giggling & told him I found the answer to all our problems & we're going to be the happiest couple in the world. Then I told him the whole story. It made him laugh too. He said 'Konti t2oolilha ana goozi khalas it3a2ad min elsitat'(You should have told her that your husband has developed a complex & is now scared of women). But he was teasing.
To think that this clearly deranged woman actually helped break the ice between me & him! I mean am not out of the woods yet. I still have to see what his mood will be like when he comes home tonight. Yesterday I thought things were better after the sms conversation but he was still a bit uptight & withdrawn last night. It's hard to tell with him.
But it was nice to hear him laugh on the phone. And I didn't even throw my anklete in the sea like she said!