Sunday, March 24, 2013

Calling All Networks

It seems that my depressing post from a few weeks ago did what it was intended to do: help me let go of the feelings of loneliness and pick up my boots.

The problem is, where does a 30-something find new friends?

After chatting with a co-worker of mine, Internations was suggested as a good forum. Despite my incredible awkwardness and hatred of networking events, I thought, 'what the heck' and signed up.

First, about Internations. Simply, it's a networking group for expats. And since 80% of the population of Dubai are expats, this makes for a pretty deep pool of networkers.

They held an event last week at a tapas bar, and though I needed several glasses of wine to a) get over my exhaustion and b) pump up the liquid courage, the event went surprisingly well. I met some people I've been chatting with since the event, and have made my first non-work, non-Canadian female acquaintance.


And said acquaintance informed me that there's a Meetup group for wine lovers - pretty sure I fit that bill!

I know there's going to be great days, ok days and downright shit days, and last week was fine, but it was definitely more social and that's something. So lesson learned, I'll start networking and see if that helps build my ... well, network.

That's why they call it that!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dubai First: Brunch!

Since moving to Dubai I'd heard from many people about the legendary brunches. One of my guide books talks about the debauchery brunch can induce.

The entire time I thought, 'I've been to Vegas brunches before, there's no way a Dubai brunch could be better.'

I was wrong.

Yesterday, my friend invited me to join her and her friends to brunch at Al Qasr.

First, I was late because I got dropped off at the wrong part of the resort. So to get to the actual brunch, I got to jump on a boat! An Abra to be precise.

What a lovely way to arrive at brunch!

Now this brunch is so big it has it own map. (Seriously, check out the map, it's ridic.) This is the biggest brunch experience I've ever been to. The drinks didn't stop flowing - from champagne and wine to mojitos and whiskey - talk about opulent. Post brunch we went and enjoyed some drinks at the hotel's rooftop lounge with a great view of the Burj Al Arab.

Me after six hours of brunching. 
I'm thankful that I didn't eat before brunch and that I had the sense to wear a skirt with an elastic waistband.

A sample of what I enjoyed:
Foie gras three different ways
Prime rib
Yorkshire pudding (my weakness)
Beef Wellington
Veal schnitzel
Cheese spatzel
A variety of Spanish tapas
A variety of cheeses
Cured meats
Variety of fruits

The drinks were tasty, and my favourite was the sake with coconut water - who knew that would be such a tasty combo!?

I won't be eating like that again for many moons and will be getting my workout on to ensure the elastic waistband doesn't become a necessity.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Unless You've Done It

PREFACE: This is not a complaint post. It is nothing more than the truth. Deal with it. 

Sad puppy (via Easily Distracted)
This is the third time in my life that I've moved to a city I didn't really know anyone. (The fourth if you count when I moved to Florida, because though I had my extended family there, I didn't have a social network.)

This is the third time I've tried to make it in a city on my own. 

This is the third time I've been genuinely lonely. 

I go to work. I come home. I've taken to working out (I know, who am I!?) and thankfully there's a couple of people I know in the city who have been kind enough to invite me out. My co-workers have turned out to be really nice people, and fairly social, so that's a win, but most days, when I get home, I don't say another word to another human being. 

I know this is temporary, it always is, but it doesn't make the loneliness any easier. 

My mind wanders and I get homesick like nobody's business. And then I get updates from friends and family about what they're doing and how much fun they're having, and though I'm happy their lives are going well, I can't help but feel a tad jealous, and sorry for myself. 

A friend of mine recently commented on how it's like I'm dead, but I can see how everyone moves on afterwards. 

It's morbid, but almost exactly like that. (I assume)

You see whatever space you filled in people's lives become almost immediately occupied after you leave. Of course it is. I wouldn't want it any other way, but it doesn't make you feel any less ... insignificant. 

And if you've never moved, if you've never been away from everything and everyone you love, if you've never been alone you don't know what it's like. 

This too shall pass, and I know that. Soon enough I'll carve out a little life for myself and I will start making Dubai home, but for the next day or so, I'm sad and missing my old home. 

Like I said, this isn't a complaint post, it just is what it is. (It's also a slightly pathetic post)

Friday, March 08, 2013

What to Write?

I've started about 40 different blog posts since landing in Dubai, and none of them have hit the right note for me. Some have been about my daily experiences, others have been about how this move has affected me on an emotional level, but not one has really worked.

So maybe I'll just hit publish on this one and see what happens.

Dubai is interesting. The city itself is perfectly adequate. Not a ringing endorsement, by any means, but it's the truth. I've said several times how shocked I am at the lack of culture shock I've experienced. (Though I don't exactly know what culture shock feels like, so maybe it has yet to set it. Who knows?)

It's definitely a different world, though. There is a class structure unlike anything I've seen or experienced and this is honestly the biggest challenge I face. I grew up in a world where things like where you were born didn't really matter, but here, it matters.

I am asked every day by one person or another where I am from. When I say 'Canada' in my non-Indian accent, they are often taken aback. Indian expats make up more than half the population of Dubai, so my skin colour puts me in a very large category.

Exactly four weeks after landing in Dubai, the boy came for a visit. It was both amazing and gut-wrenching at the same time - just as I was accepting the loneliness that comes with a new move, he showed up and made me forget about how much I missed everyone and everything and then poof, he was gone again. I'm glad he came but  I'll be happier when he's here full-time.

While he was here we did some touring about - it was great to have someone here to do all the touristy crap with. We toured the city, found some good happy hours, went on a desert safari and discovered my new favorite thing: dune bashing! Seriously, riding around in the desert in a 4x4 was more fun than I've ever had in a vehicle.

Work is pretty great. It's amazing to that the work I'm doing is based in so many different countries - managing time zones and organizing things on different continents is a new challenge for me. It's also been an interesting change going from a small company to one with more than 55,000 employees.

So there you have it. Only my second blog post since relocating. It's weird to think of myself as an expat and that there's a whole community of people in the exact same boat. I feel like I'm starting to settle and hopefully that will give me more things to write about.

Four months til my probation is over and my travels can begin. WEE!

Enhanced by Zemanta