Posts Tagged ‘shopping’
No smoking, no drinking. It´s easier not to indulge in the former when I´m not doing the latter either. And staying at home is a pretty good way to keep off the juice, especially in Dubai (although my friend Heidi did bring me a stash from duty free recently). So far I have resisted temptation, but prolly that´s only because there hasn´t been an unreasonable amount of it in my path.
So day two going well. Certainly having an easier time of it than Tom Thumb upstairs, who – oops! – I´ll let him tell you all about it in his own words when article appears…
But my easy ride is about to come to an abrupt end, tomorrow. Yip, it´s my first bikram yoga lesson. Now, if I were still in Liechtenstein, it might be fun to take up bikram yoga purely to experience the heat. However, I´m not sure of the wisdom of practicing this kind of yoga in Dubai, of all places. Perhaps it´ll prepare me for the nine circles of summer?
Shopping of the day: Yoga clothes.
Health food of the day: Spinneys chickpea salad.
Ponder of the day: Very lovely to receive all your support, but am slightly horrified that my readers seem so very keen to comment on my exercising endeavour, yet are comparatively silent on other topics. Are all my friends gym bunnies?!
Earlier this year I discovered Stuff White People Like, which I know some of you read. I used to quite like the blog and it still makes me laugh, but became rather disenchanted after there was a call for submissions in this post. I duly submitted a piece about Dubai, and never heard back, which pissed me off, because don´t ask people to submit things and then just ignore them. And this was back in the day when there had been only a couple of hundred thousand hits on the blog, rather than the current 50 446 437.
Anyway, I thought it was about time I posted my humble effort on my own blog – read it with a large dose of salt 😉
Reasons why people like it:
White people like going to Dubai in general, because they can claim to have visited the Middle East – but without putting themselves in any danger. They can also experience staying in a Muslim country – but are still able sip the odd glass of wine while they’re there.
Most especially, white people like going on a desert safari. This makes their experience more “authentic” and also shows them to be superior to other people who go to Dubai purely for the shopping. The desert safari gives white people the chance to engage in many of their favourite past times all in one package.
- Dune bashing. White people like this activity, because it enables them to fulfill their fantasies of being a rugged “Camel Man” adventurer.
- Camel riding. This emphasises the white person’s “daredevil” nature, and is sure to impress any other white person who’s only ever ridden a horse.
- Watching the sunset. There is nothing that white people like so much as watching the sunset, especially if it in an exotic location.
- Henna tattoos. White people like getting henna tattoos, because it shows they are hip enough to acquire the symbols of another culture. Bonus: the tattoo only lasts a week, so they needn’t be embarrassed when they return to their corporate job after the holiday.
- Dressing up in Arabic clothes. This makes for a great picture to show folks back home. White people will also feel this gives them an “insider” perspective when discussing the clothing of Muslim women. Note: a white person can gain even more credibility by telling their friends they didn’t partake in this activity because they felt it was “culturally insensitive”.
- Smoking sheeshah. This gives any white person a chance to return to their college days. It is also an excuse for them to have a smoke: because it is a traditional activity in a foreign country, smoking sheeshah doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it as smoking cigarettes.
- Eating a traditional Arab meal. This ties in with white people’s love of diversity as expressed through food. The fact that they can eat in a tent in the desert adds even more value for them.
- Watching a belly dancing show. For white people, travelling isn’t only about adventure: they also need to experience the “local culture”, and watching belly dancing provides their necessary fix. The fact that the belly dancers are likely to be Russian is of no importance.
Proper things to say about it:
“The Bedouin lifestyle is so simple and Romantic. In another life I would like to be a nomad.” On no account mention the fact that Indian, Pakistani and Philippino workers are exploited in Dubai: white people don’t want their holiday to be tainted by this fact. If you really want to impress a white person, say: “I went to Dubai during Ramadaan. Being in a Muslim country at this time was a very spiritual experience.”
On my day off last week, I went and had lunch with the lovely Dom at Hyde Park. She had to get back to work; I didn´t. I had a glass of wine; she didn´t. I mean, if you can´t drink wine at lunch on your day off, when can you? And I hadn´t had a shopping binge since I was in London last year…
This is what I bought:
A refill for the Dior J´Adore my friend Salt bought me for my birthday last year. And I received a free Dior Diorshow mascara. Also, some underwear (not really in the lingerie class, alas) by Sloggi.
At Oil & Vinegar:
White balsamic vinegar and truffle oil for Mim, because you can´t buy presents only for yourself. Granted, I´m the one who´s going to cook with these ingredients. But Mim and Pim will reap the culinary rewards. Actually, we had a gorgeous dish of chicken, grapes and almonds with white balsamic vinegar and truffle oil last night.
At Look & Listen:
Fight for your mind by Ben Harper. I know I should´ve bought it years ago, and I also know I have several friends who would´ve willingly burnt it for me. But I just wanted it now. Like, right now! In fact, I´m listening to it has I type. And I can´t help remembering the first time I listened to Jack Johnson in a friend´s car and I said: “Who is this?” and he said: “Jack Johnson – he´s like Ben Harper, but better.” Not to knock Jack Johnson, but my friend was wrong.
Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba. I was deeply troubled when I came home from work last Monday and realised I didn´t own a single recording by Mama Afrika. Now I do. Btw, Kim is editing a documentary about Miriam´s work with landmine victims in Mozambique. I´ll let you know when it´s showing.
The Bends by Radiohead. Kim used to own the album. I don´t know where her copy disappeared to. “Wish it was the sixties, wish I could be happy. ” Nuff said.
Joy Division 1977-1980 by, um, Joy Division. Been meaning to pick up some tunes ever since I watched an excellent documentary about the band at Encounters earlier in the year…
At Hilton Weiner:
A lovely pair of pumps. For the record, they were on sale.
“Well,” I thought to myself after this shopping spree, “I have shown admirable restraint by not entering the book store and my bank balance can be grateful that Hyde Park doesn´t boast The Space, Big Blue, or Sowearto.”
I thought too soon… Next thing I´d met up with ABJ and his mim and we were off to Sandton City. We happened to walk past Jo Borkett, and all resistance crumbled… I´ve always wanted to have a Jo Borkett dress and, while I´d had no fantasies about owing a bangle to match said dress, I discovered that I very much wanted one of those too. Perhaps I´ll post a pic sometime.
Hardman: So where are you working now?
Mim: I´m not working; I´m just having a year off.
Hardman: Kind of like a gap year?
Mim: Ja, I suppose so…
Hardman: So, what do you do each day?
Mim: You know: shopping, movies, massages, facials…
Hardman to Nim: Frigging hell – a bit different from our gap year, hey?!
6 October 2007
Today was an exciting one for me. Not only was it my birthday, but my dear friend Kate was coming to visit. I had actually planned to be in London, but for once my indecisive nature and lack of forward planning had paid off! As it was, I rose early to meet Kate at the station in Feldkirch. It was marvellous to see someone from UCT days, and I literally ran into her arms.
After joyful greetings, it was time to go for coffee, and hear all about Kate´s experiences with yodelling Austrian boys the evening before. Naturally, an extended sex-and-the-mother-city chat was called for, as we had much gossip to exchange about mutual friends. “Are you sure the people at the next table can´t understand what we´re saying?” Kate asked nervously. I didn´t notice any widening eyes or blushing cheeks, so I assume we were safe.
Next we met up with Eszter and hit the shops. My first salary was burning a hole in my pocket, and it was time to do some serious spending! We made a pilgrimage to H&M where I splurged out on two “birthday” dresses, Kate bought a top and skirt, and Eszter bought some trousers. Whenever I go shopping in Feldkirch, I think of Kate.
Bear in mind, Kate was only my fourth visitor. Some way to go until I reach my 20th visitor, whom shall receive just recognition: a case of Liechtenstein´s finest brew!
But Kate´s visit wasn´t yet over. After a quick lunch, we headed back to Vaduz to do some party planning for the evening´s celebrations. To be continued…
Visitor count: Mim, Pim, Rude Larry, Kate (4)