Guest blog: Single in the UAEWhen you’re as busy as I am in the fast-paced cosmopolitan city of Dubai, you need your days to start well. Unfortunately, today was not one of those days.
The first knock came when I stepped into the Starbucks at the bottom of my building to have the caffeine blast that transforms me from bleary-eyed zombie into successful, confident career woman (seriously, don’t talk to me before I’ve had my morning coffee!). I’m in here all the time, so they recognise me and – most importantly – remember my favourite drink (soy grande vanilla latte with an extra shot).
But today, oh no! It seems that they’d replaced my favourite barista (possibly due to a complaint I made to head office after last week’s unfortunate latte/cappuccino mix up) and I’ve got to explain it all again, losing me precious seconds. And with an important business meeting scheduled the other side of town, I need all the time I can get!
But that wasn’t the only disaster I faced that morning. Just as I’m tapping my watch waiting for one of the little coffee guys to deal with my order, I get a call from my maid.
Everybody has maids in Dubai. Mostly they come from the Philippines, but sometimes from other countries. A maid is possibly the most essential item anyone can have out here if you’re to cope with the hectic lifestyle.
When your diaries are, like mine, jam-packed with business meetings, lunch dates, hair appointments, mani and pedi sessions, glamorous media events and suchlike, it’s almost impossible to find the time to wash your own dishes, clean or iron your clothes or mop the floor. My maid has been cleaning my studio apartment for years, and I feel we’ve developed a special bond. I don’t know her name (I think it’s Jenny or Julie or something, but can’t be sure), but given the amount of time she’s spent tidying my stuff, she probably knows me better than any of my friends!
Unfortunately, today she hits me with the A-bomb.
“Sorry mam, but I been really sick all night. I cannot come clean this morning,” she says in her typically poor English (which I really think should have improved given the amount of texts I send her).
Not only am I potentially late for my business meeting thanks to Mr New Barista’s incompetence, but now I’m facing the prospect of returning home to a less-than-sparkling flat and some ironing to do before this evening’s exclusive luxury magazine launch event. I’m angry and frustrated, but decide to be the bigger person. “That’s ok,” I reply through gritted teeth. “Just make sure you come for double the time tomorrow.”
Already with possibly the worst start to a day I’ve had in years, I wave a taxi down and get in the back seat, fully expecting to find the air-conditioning on full blast or the car to stink of sweat, just to round things off. Thankfully, it smells unusually fresh, and the temperature is perfect.
“Hello mam, you looking very nice,” says the taxi driver in his distinct Pakistani/Indian accent.
Ah well, I suppose today hasn’t been all bad. There’s nothing like flattery to cheer a gal up!
Keep your eyes peeled for more of our Single In The UAE blogs!