It’s 6am on a Dubai morning, and I am sitting on our balcony looking out into the sea. So okay, part of my view is obstructed by this monstrosity of a building right in the middle but I see a fair amount of the vast expanse on either side of me. I see a spattering of green, a few palm trees here and there, boats and yachts lined along the shore, and I can’t help but think that we could have done much worse.
It’s been just over twelve hours since we arrived in Dubai and so far Dubai has not given me anything to be remotely disappointed about. The flight was quite nice, although I had a splitting headache when we landed, and a near paralysed left side courtesy a whale of a woman who seemed to be of the opinion that half my seat was hers and that she could just sprawl all over. Miss munchkin slept soundly for the entire duration and let me watch one and half movies with no disturbance while the husband spoon fed me my lunch. Immigration was done in two minutes, where I graciously said my “Shukraan” and although the husband had prepared me for a long drive from the airport to our apartment in Marina, yesterday being a Friday and the time being afternoon the roads were free, the drive was smooth and we reached home in barely no time. Maybe because the husband had set my expectations from before, or maybe because he had deliberately downplayed the place, the moment I entered our place, I was all smiles. It’s a small one bedroom apartment, smaller than I had hoped for but bigger than I had anticipated; it is cute and practical and it is home. It was love at first sight.
Miss Munchkin had about five tantrums in the one hour we were home just starting to unpack (we’ll get back to the tantrums later) and when both of us were crying (her for reasons best known to her; I, because I had finally reached my breaking point after almost a week of suffering her tantrums) the husband said it was enough and we needed to get out of the house. We walked five minutes to a place called Marina Walk, where the first thing we did was walk into a Spinneys and buy a punnet of fresh blueberries and then walked out into a fountain area where kids were squealing and playing and the breeze (oh yes, there was a breeze!) was the perfect touch to a gloriously honeyed evening. And as we sat on a bench, she ate her blueberries with dedication in complete silence and I let myself be lulled by the sights and sounds. Tired that I was, all wired up over travel and sickness and yet excited about this new city, I think that was the moment I kinda let go. A few mothers and nannies smiled at me, and we shared the sigh and the shake of the head that is the universal sympathy symbol for parents chasing after running toddlers. I confidently conversed with the Filipino staff in Tagalog without even warranting surprise, then filled our shopping cart with all of missy’s favourite stuff that she’d missed in Assam (strawberries and flavoured yogurt and Cheerios and more blueberries) and we came back home a happy bunch. That she polished off two strawberries, a whole lot of blueberries and a slice of cheese was the icing on the cake.
So what, you say? So everything, I say. Poor thing came down with a really high fever last Wednesday that refused to come down and lasted for almost four days and completely stopped eating so that she is now all skin and bones. Her refusal of food basically meant she was dependent only on breastmilk and for four days I felt like an IV drip hooked to her. Couple that with her constant need to be carried only by me and a wailing tantrum anytime I was out of her sight, and I was ready to start pulling out my hair one by one. Mercifully the moment we landed in Delhi she suddenly got her appetite back and the first meal of chicken noodle soup that she slurped happily almost moved me to tears. Ah, motherhood!
The “conditioned cold” will take some getting used to, and I see the irony in that. I also can’t seem to shake off the headache and for the life of me I don’t know what to do to feel better. But I somehow feel it in my guts that the Dubai chapter will be a good one. For one, it’ll be amazing to have my shopping cart wheeled home for me from the nearby Carrefour or even have stuff delivered home if I feel too lazy to walk those two steps. The people too, seem friendlier, although I must admit it’s just been a day. I am almost tempted to knock on our next door neighbour’s house to say hello, something that I had never done anywhere else. All in all, it’s a good start and a good first impression and for now, that’s all that counts. We’ll deal with everything else when we come to it. For now, the focus is on setting things up, turning this house into a home and yes, helping Miss Chicken-legs regain her health back. Prayers and blessings are immensely welcome.