Tuesday, 27 March 2012

What we do with (or is it to?) Visitors in Dubai

You may remember, or not, that I wrote how lovely it is to get visitors? So this is what we do when we have visitors. Who by the way make up a large chunk of our social life. We have a massive friend fix when people pop over.
Sometime last week I received a call from( lets be fair and "protect" peeps identity)  Mrs. P  to say that her beloved husband was trying to contact me because he (poor sod) had his Himalayan Adventure cut short by Horrid Inconsiderate Weather. Now, everyone I know that is “in the know” about the Himalaya’s said sagely “Oooooo , hummmmmn Ii is way too early in the season  “ use a wise voice in your head  -think James Earl Jones saying "This is CNN". Well I don’t know if it is "way too early" in the season to go torturing oneself on a mountain.  Is torture seasonal?  

The  sum total of my experience of such things is of reading a few books about mountain climbing-ish things. Do not ask me why I read these books especially considering my aversion to anything even a little bit adventurous, not to mention fool hardy and downright dangerous. But read such books I do and LOVE doing so.  Go here if you want to do a spot of mountain adventure reading http://zimbosinlimbo.blogspot.com/p/mountain-madness-adventurereading.html
I also can recommend the film “Touching the Void”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379557/.
I recommend it because it is real and gritty and because a friend’s husband worked on it. But I am being side tracked.
Back to our guests. So via his wife I made coms with Mr. P. He had a flight to catch from Dubai a few days hence and needed a spot to doss down on  till he could catch his ride.  “Could we put him up for a bit?” “YES! YES! YES!” Said I, gleefully. Bear in mind that I am at work, at my desk and being all gleeful and enthusiastic was  done with some arbitrary visitor standing in front of my desk waiting patiently  ( well not really patiently) for me to end my personal call and attend to business. I know, I know, work at work and all that but this was an Important Call and the work visitor really could have taken a seat on the sofa instead of staring me down accusingly.
Mr. P arrived at a silly hour (if I recall correctly 3 or 4 am in the morning) on a day last week and had the very good manners to not grace our doorstep until ,what he considered was, a more civilised time. This was  a very sweet but totally unnecessary sentiment.  I threaten promise that if I am a guest visiting you , I will arrive on your doorstep at 3am. Anyhooo he arrived ( he tells me) at 6am and rang our door bell. No one answered, on account of us all being, I guess, fast asleep, although I swear I was awake at six and did not hear a thing. maybe I was in the shower in which case it was "I sleep like the dead Bryan" who did not hear the door bell ring and I am off the hook.  Heads up to anyone I may potentially visit , though I realise that I am pretty much sabotaging any invitations, if at first you don't answer the door I will ring again, and again..... Mr. P waited outside our door for an hour, poor  silly dear, and then tried again. This time I was up and pottering and nearly jumped out of my skin at the ring. There was much loving up and hellos and how lovely to see you’s.
We then ducked out of the apartment, dashed off to work, and left Mr. P to catch up on his sleep and give our other house guest a fright when she woke up expecting to be alone in the flat.

Rule number one. All visitors must have at least one Arabic Meal. We got home from work and expected to take  Mr. P, and yet to be discussed other guest MS. F, out for dinner but as it turned out he took us out. Yay! I think it might have been some sort of delayed reaction-ee altitude sickness-ee thingy that had him happily forking out for dinner. Thank you.

We went out for an Arabic Meal at our favourite Lebanese restaurant http://www.reemalbawadi.com complete with live Arabic music and clouds of shisha smoke. i just love that smell.
Did I mention that we already had/have a lovely special visitor person visiting? Well we do. The next evening with a sand storm turning every outdoor encounter into a struggle for breath had our two travellers  emotionally blackmailed very kindly offering to cook us supper. This is a picture of hard at work guests.
Supper was delicious , thank you, thank you, thank you, and accompanied by yummy wine. We sat on the balcony eating, drinking, catching up and  tried to spot landmarks through the Sandstorm murk.
We also took our guests to the Dubai Fountains -what  won't do to avoid cooking a meal?  As always when we say to guests “We are taking you to see the dancing fountains” they look at us with a look that says “Seriously Dancing Fountains? How totally lame is that” but what they say is  “ That sounds lovely”. And it is! Lovely, that is.

We watched the fountains while  dinning at another stock favorite, Bakers&Spice http://bakerandspiceme.com/baker-&-spice-about.html. We think is one of the most pleasant places to watch the fountain show.

Following yummy dinner we marched Mr. P and MS. F to the fish tank and had coffee at the coffee shop there, because we clearly had not consumed enough at supper…. And the coffee is good.

After all that feeding we dragged our full as tick bodies home, MS. F, wisely, went to bed, Bryan and I and Mr. P stayed up till I could no longer keep my eyes open and Mr. P zoomed off to the airport to be joyfully reunited (ones hopes and assumes)  with his wife and children. Who are no doubt still wondering what on earth possessed their spouse and father to embark on such a hare brained endeavour as climbing a big mountain.
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