And 9-moths later…

… I gave birth to the first post of 2015.

So… this has taken a long time. Me coming back to blogging I mean. There isn’t really just ONE singular reason to WHY I so suddenly stopped. And thinking about it, it wasn’t even so sudden. See in my head I would always think “Oh yeah I should blog about that.” “Should” being the key word here as oppose to “Am going to“. But I just never actually did. Quite frankly there just wasn’t enough time these past.. uh… nine months.

I haven’t banned my beloved social media. Those of you who follow my Instagram (Gabs @gabbypra) page may have noticed I sometimes go a couple of days without posting but that mostly because I don’t wanna be repetitive rather than trying to be private. And I’m still big on sharing my ups and downs, my rants and my lengthy life lessons on Facebook. Nothing has changed there. I just don’t it that often. I guess because now I also have an actual life. I mean an offline one. I know! It was quite the shock when I realised myself!

It all started last mid-October. Things have taken an unexpected turn and all at once my life was sort of upside down. I moved houses. I upgraded to the business class cabin. I was done with mankind- as in I was totally done with the “man” part of the mankind. I was still ok with the womankind. But I also met a man who made me reconsider my decision to be done with the mankind and I was still like “Yeah but I just made up my mind.” but then I was also like “Yes but he is like really REALLY really hot and also cool and I REALLY like hanging out with him.” and so I had to go ahead and reconsider my being done with the mankind but I can be very stubborn with myself at times and so yes… It was all very confusing. Then my brother came to visit me in Dubai, then Xmas came, then I sorta moved to Abu Dhabi, then February rolled over and my Dad, Holly (remember Holly my best friend?) and I climbed Kilimanjaro and then I was super busy pending between Dubai and AD and the rest of the world in March then the man and I went to Japan in April and then April felt like a super long month coz I also went to Czech to see my other best friend Rudi (remember Rudi I went skiing with last year) who got married again in the meantime and was expecting his first child (that was born a week ago but more on that one later) and was also flying like crazy and then it was suddenly May and I was like “Shit I haven’t blogged for so long and there is so much I should blog about” but I just decided to finally get a car because I’m now basically living in AD and taking taxis and buses and other means of transport is becoming really time-consuming but as it turns out it is not that easy to convert an existing driving licence OR get a car so that was May done. And now it’s June and I ALMOST have a car and I have ALMOST published this post. Talking about feeling accomplished ey?

So yeah… if you guys could tell me which one of those would you like to hear about first I’d be ever so grateful. Otherwise I may just start blogging chronologically. Or maybe randomly. Or maybe I’d try to lucky-dip it.

Let’s see.

It feels really good to be back guys I hope you are still here to read it. I really missed this feeling of an almost finished blog post 🙂 It makes me giddy ❤

Lots of love

G.

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What Time Was My Train ?

A very close friend of mine got married last weekend. I’m not gonna lie – it scared the sh*t out of me. No – you do not understand. I have gotten used to my Facebook wall being flooded every Monday with wedding pictures of my old high school mates, it has been happening pretty much since we left it almost 10 years ago. Then about two years back a new trend had started. Pictures of newborns, pictures of little toddlers messing with their first ever b-day cake, videos of their first words and steps. Got used to that too. This is different. This friend is not someone who lives in the far away universe I call The Real Life. This is not someone who travels twice, three times a year max and if at all then for holidays, someone who wakes up to go to work in the morning and goes to sleep at night, someone who has a mortgage, has an office job, has sales targets to hit, has a Sunday lunch with the family once a month, someone who’s 5 best friends come from the same country or at least from the same continent. In other words someone “normal”. The kinda “normal” I left behind the moment I decided to live in the Middle East. This is a friend I made here in Dubai. Who drinks the same water, breaths the same air, does the same job… who should be infected or shall I say inflicted the same way I am.  

I have been peacefully living scrolling down FB, skipping hen-do invites and ignoring the fact that out of the 32 girls and guys I have attended school with I’m one of a very few, perhaps already the only one that is not committed to anything in any way. Because I always had the very comfortable explanation (or an excuse) of all of them living a very different life. Well – of course ! Aren’t we all tho?! In my happy little bubble I would see everybody making adult decisions with their lives and somewhere in the back of my mind I’d think “One day that is maybe going to be me too. One day in a very very very far away future.” That one day when I’m living that different kind of life. 

That fact, that someone so close to me (not only in geographical sense) , someone with a not-so-different lifestyle has gone and effortlessly created a bridge between them two worlds that seemed so incurably incompatible to me has made me realise that I may have missed my train. No- I haven’t just missed it. I wasn’t just late. I haven’t even purchased a ticket. I had no idea there was a train to catch. Nobody told me. I was just gonna walk. And quite possibly the opposite way. In fact that’s exactly what I was doing. Cheerfully skipping down the road, with my EarPods in, all on my own when I suddenly saw the train rushing off in a different direction. With all of my friends and acquaintances aboard. And I’m just standing here in shock. In complete disbelief that I didn’t get invited to this “Happily Ever After-party”.

Does this make me sound desperate? Well that would only make sense. Not because I’m a single girl. Not because I’m living in Dubai. Or because I’m dating (or well -at least trying to). Because I’m a single girl living in Dubai and dating. And last time I checked that was the new definition of desperate over here.

It’s a jungle out there. No- let me rephrase- it’s a war zone. My parents always use to say how lucky my generation was to be given the chance to grow up in a Como-free, revolution-free and a war-free environment. Little did they know I was heading into one when they congratulated me on my new exciting job in the skies. I can just feel your raised eyebrows and feel you clicking away from this post. You think I’m being overdramatic and exaggerating. I swear to all I hold dear – for once I’m not. It is hard to believe unless you lived the experience of the Dubai dating scene but let me try and paint you its true picture. 

Imagine a buffet brunch. A massive buffet brunch. All kinds of flavours in huge quantities catering to all kinds of tastes and appetites. And you are starving- you haven’t eaten for days because there is quite literally nothing but the desert all around you. Just this buffet you have been waiting for. And now you have all this tasty, delicious food harvested at its best, prepared to its best and presented at its best – all of it nicely laid out in front of you. Up for grabs. All you need to do is reach out and choose. Are you imagining it? Ok – in that case you are the guy in Dubai. 

Now imagine being that poor little courgette or a lamb chop and a chocolate tart, laying there on a plate surrounded by tens and hundreds of others just like you. You are the girl in Dubai now. Being brought out here into the open and scary world and being scrutinised by every single pair of eyes. Are you the biggest, the juiciest, the tastiest looking? Or what if he doesn’t like courgettes? Maybe he is more of a carrot-type of a guy… Maybe he is sick of lamb and wants chicken, maybe he doesn’t like chocolate and vanilla is his thing. Maybe he doesn’t like sweets at all. You simply do not know. You are hoping you would be The One to at least his pair of eyes and look – he is reaching out just about to choose you… But wait they just brought out a new plate of freshly prepared courgettes and that’s the end of it. See – that’s the thing about Dubai. You can be the funniest one, the sexiest one, the fittest one, the tannest one, most fashionable one but you will never be The Newest One. The Freshest One. The Most Exciting One. The moment you go out with the guy you have become conquered (sex doesn’t even have to be involved, not even a kiss). You have been seen, talked to and evaluated. Let’s move on, lets swipe right again, let’s see what else is out there. Because this is the brunch buffet of Dubai – aka the Brunch Buffet of Bigger and Better. “I’m perfectly happy with my medium rare steak cooked to perfection and seductively bleeding onto the plate. But I HAVE to go and check if there isn’t a piece of sashimi that COULD taste better. Because that’s what it says on the tin – and I want and CHOOSE to believe it. Even if I possibly cannot eat any more. There must be a little space somewhere in my stomach for a little more. Because c’mon once I leave this brunch when will I ever get the chance to eat and taste so much ?! “

“Oh I’d so very much enjoy a brunch in Dubai” is probably what most of you guys are thinking right now. Yeah well – it’s not all just pearls and diamonds. Actually – that’s precisely what it is! Going to a brunch in Dubai is all about status. You have to book the right table, wear the right clothes, turn up in the right car. If you are driving anything less than a Lexus just take a cab honestly. Otherwise you are walking off from this brunch and still starving. It’s also a very exclusive event. You have to book well in advance. Try turning up at the last minute and wearing jeans. You are gonna be laughed at for weeks on end. And probably banned from the place for the rest of your days. But let’s say you managed to get in and at last you are holding your plate and about to choose your first dish. “Oh my- look at that beef stew! I always liked beef stew, reminds me of my granny and my granny is the one person that loves me the most, because she knows I’m just the best thing since sliced bread. My granny is awesome. Man- I’m definitely having some of that stew it just smells so good. Especially in comparison to that awful overcooked fish stir fry right next to it. Ewww – fish ! Fish makes me sick, not to mentioned this one comes with green peppers and I’m allergic to green peppers. Last time I had them I broke out in hives. Yeah let’s have that stew.” And just as you are about to have the tastiest looking stew of your life you notice a guy to your right helping himself to the fish stir fry. The flash of his Omega watch is what caught your attention. “Why does he get to eat the fish stir fry?! Wait- do NOT eat it all you dick,what are you doing I just told you not to ! What do you mean I said I was allergic to it?! Well now I’m not and I want some of that. What? What beef stew ?! I don’t even like beef. Gimme that fish ! I want fish!”

But let’s say we all got thru that brunch successfully. And the courgette was lucky enough to be the tastiest thing on the menu that day. And the guy wore the right clothes and drove the right car the courgette was happy with. And nobody is already married… altho -ehm ehm – even that doesn’t seem to stop some of us… And there is date number two. A dinner this time. Then perhaps a movie night. A couple of drinks the next time. First kiss. Goodnight and good morning texts. Then the “sweet nothing and I miss you and when are you back” texts. And then you seal the deal. Or so you think. Because apparently having slept with somebody you have been dating for some time doesn’t make you guys exclusive anymore. Nowadays it goes more like ” Dinner, drinks, kiss, sex and I may see you next week unless the other girl I’m seeing is available in that case I will see you the week after that or maybe you will not hear from me for a few months and when I get back in touch I will be married”. Welcome to Dubai. You are gonna have the time of your life. It’s gonna be the best party you have ever been to. The only thing they forgot to mention on the flyer was that this is a BYOB (where the B stands for boyfriend not beer) kinda party. 

I dedicate this post to all my fellow Dubaians. To my fellow fighters. I salute you and gracefully surrender. I’m done with Dubai dating, especially the online type. I suck at it anyway. I’m gonna stick to doing what I do best. Which is sit around cafes smoking shisha and blogging. So if you are an available single guy with singular taste and see me around sometime- don’t Whatsapp me. Don’t Snapchat. And definitely do not look for me on Tinder. Just come and talk to me – it’s worked for thousands of generations before us maybe it will work for us too! 

Love 

x

G.

The 800 Magical Candles

People keep all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff in all kinds of weird and wonderful places in their lives. I have met people that keep old pairs of shoes under their beds, people that collect little pieces of rocks from all the places they have visited. I know people that keep a stash of emergency pain killers in beauty boxes on their bed tables and take them as precaution “just in case” and people who would never let go of a worn out t-shirt even tho there is no chance in hell they’ll ever wear it again. I myself am guilty of keeping a few too many skeletons in my own closet and cherishing some of them way too deeply. There is a little sentimental freak in each one of us that from time to time forces us to hang on to certain beliefs, feelings or a memory that we are scared would fade into oblivion if we didn’t have that small reminder hidden somewhere…

I have recently met someone that keeps 800 candles in the bedroom. Countless white paper boxes full of candles neatly stacked in one big box and carefully placed in a corner of a green and a maroon wall. As if that was the most natural place to keep 800 candles. Because  isn’t that where we all eventually end up anyway? In a neat box somewhere between the green grass and the maroon ground?

I have left that bedroom thinking about those candles.I have never kept 800 of anything. It just seems like such a vast and intimidating number. I went to bed that night and dreamt about 800 magical candles coming to life and each telling me a story of its short and rather pointless existence. I woke up with candles on my mind. As if they have all melted overnight and the wax has covered my body and created an invisible shield all over me. And I just can’t seem to be able to shake it off. It is after all a powerful shield – 800 candles have been used on it.

It’s been a couple of days now. And here I am still thinking about those candles and that fantastic number 800. Would I ever be able to keep anything of such quantity? And if I did would I proudly display it or would it be my dirty little secret – for my eyes only? Let’s say I did have 800 candles laying in a corner. If I decided to burn one each night it’d take me exactly 2 years, 2 months, 1 week and one more day to get thru all of them. That’s a commitment to alternative energy sources if I ever saw one. Or if I’d want to use them every year on my b-day cake I’d have enough till my 46th birthday – which would of course still officially be my 21st…  

I could also turn them into wax figures and become the Mayor of the first ever wax village. I’d call the place Waxville. “Welcome to Waxville – a heart melting place.” It has nice ring to it don’t you think? 800 tiny wax soldiers would also make for a nice powerful army. Waxarmy. And I could be the general. It’ be protected and forever safe under the watchful eyes of my soldiers…

My mind has literally taken me on a Magical Candle Mystery Tour. I started to feel slightly obsessed. And that’s when it hit me. I may not have 800 candles but do keep something so numerous it surpasses The Great 800 (as I decided to call the pile of wax in somebody else’s bedroom) by far. And I keep it so close to my heart it hasn’t even occurred to me at first. It’s my chants. My guarding angels. My happy thoughts. My blessings I count everyday before going to sleep in order to remain grateful for the life I have been gifted. In order to never become oblivious to the fact that I’m a epitome of a happy-go-lucky in the most literal way. 

There must be thousands upon thousands of people, things and experiences I’m thankful for every minute of my life. Do not worry I’m not about to try and list them all – I cannot afford to bore and consequently lose any of you my dear readers. Y’all are one of the first items on my “Thanks for” list. Because without you I’d be just a crazy nerdy girl publishing random stuff on the internet. It’s you guys that make all the tossing and turning over syntax and endless grammar checks and author’s blocks so worth it. So thank you. For every click you make on this site. None of them go unnoticed. And all of them are highly appreciated.

But then I still feel like to make this post come together I should mention at least a few of my Magical candles that I light every evening before bedtime and that shine so brightly and guide me thru the unknown waters of my life like countless reliable lighthouses. 

There is the Big Ten. The Big Obvious Ten. You know – the fam, the friends, the job and all the trimmings. I write about being thankful for those in every post so why repeat myself all over again? I thought instead I’d let you on about the Big Five after The Big Obvious Ten. Now how about that? 

1. FLUFF 

Oh – how thankful am I for all the fluff. How bruised would I be by all the edges of everyday life should there be no fluff. Fluffy animals. Fluffy food. And fluffy conversations in particular. What’s a fluffy conversation? You know- it’s those that don’t necessarily have a purpose and yet are so meaningful. They lift you spirits and leave you all warm inside hours after they’ve happened. Put a fluffy smile on your face. 

This kinda fluffy smile :

Happy hamster is happy - Imgur

 

2. SVEN

You remember Sven? Some of you may some of you may not. Anyway he is the guy I write so extensively about here. You know The Guy. The one that made me believe in love again and then kinda went on and broke my heart and sometimes I feel like he also broke me for the rest of the male population on the Earth. But no hard feelings. There is always the outer space I could try my luck in- I just hope they use Tinder over there. Plus I’m obviously joking. He has not broken me. He merely highlighted areas in my life that I have been ignoring for long enough and that are in a desperate need of improvement. I still think about him every day. But not in a I-hate-you-way. In a very thank-you-for-all-the-nice-moments-and-have-a-nice-life-way. I do miss him from time to time. Well I mostly miss the way I used to feel around him. I miss what I thought we had when we had it. But I no longer believe that he was the only one I could ever feel like that around. Because after all – those feelings came out of me and not him so it is quite possible there is someone out there who could bring the same feelings to the surface again. If I ever let them. 

So thank you Sven. Thank you for trying to break me (I know you did not mean to) because I know it will eventually only make me stronger. And I will forever love you for that. 

 

3. BAD DATES

What would a girl’s life be without all them bad dates we have to go thru to eventually have a really good one? I mean- some of them are true horror stories that we exchange over liquid lunches with our girlfriends. Like when you go out with a guy and he disappears and next time he contacts you weeks later he casually says ” Sorry I was in jail for beating up a guy once.” Yes – that happened! To me… 

Or when you bravely venture out on a blind date and the bloke brings his best mate along. Probably for moral support, who the heck knows? Also happened. Also to me. 

I’m not even gonna go into details about all the others that just can’t take “no” for an answer and would try pretty much ANYTHING to change your mind. The mind that has been made up the moment they first spoke. And when you still try to remain polite but firm they still try the ” Ok well how about at least a BJ?”. Yes- they are out there believe me… 

I’m so grateful for every single one of them because they make me appreciate the good ones that much more. Plus what would I have to write about and what my best friend to have to laugh about? 

 

4. Le PQ

I simply do not know what I would do if there wasn’t Le PQ right at the bottom of my building. I would probably starve to death without realising. Because when I blog for hours (very much like today) unless somebody comes along to ask if I wanna eat or drink anything I simply don’t. 

F<3<3d

F<3<3d

Thank you PQ for your being here for me, for feeding me, for putting up with my many overstayed welcomes and for being generally very awesome. 

 

5. GUESS

My newest obsession that managed to overshadow the one man I thought could never be replaced in my life- Michael Kors. Thank you Guess for so gladly accepting all of my pay checks. You are great ! I love you too… 

It's all about the watch !

It’s all about the watch !

Lots of love

x

G.

Note: If you are wondering what’s the reason there are 800 candles kept in a bedroom somewhere – they were once used to try and mend a relationship that was about to break. They carried a love message. The message didn’t work. Or maybe it was the candles… maybe it is a very intimidating number to carry such an intimate message or that’s at least what I think. But then again what do I know about love messages or romance in general? Quite possibly very little…