Sunday, April 02, 2006

Back by popular demand ;)

It started on a wet Sunday morning. My phone went "riiiiiiiinggg riiiiiiiiingg" and I was up instantly. After all, I couldn't afford to be late when I had a train followed by a plane to catch. My bags were packed, and I had already arranged the outfit I believed to be most suitable for the occasion. I got dressed, checked to see if I'd packed everything I needed, located my passport and head to the living room for a cup of coffee.

It was still dark outside. There was not a human in sight, not a bird fluttering in the sky and not a car in the neighbourhood. In a way, I couldn't help but feel like I was in the same situation that poor guy in 28 days later was, when he woke up in an empty hospital all alone, only to find out that the world had been invaded by a deadly virus. Ok, so the world hadn't been invaded by anything, but the place looked so peaceful, unlike usual, and deserted.

I had informed my flatmate to book a taxi for me the night before, and therefore had no intention of calling for one that particular morning. As I sat down sipping my coffee and simultaneously smoking my cigarette, I looked at my watch only to realise that it was getting late and there was no taxi in sight. I decided to call the taxi company to confirm that a taxi had infact been previously booked and was currently on it's way to claim me.

"Hello? Good morning. I was just wondering, is there a cab on its way to 75 Hyde park road, under the name M?"
"Ummmm, no ma'am."
"NO? Shit...... Ok, in that case can you please send a cab to this address as soon as possible?"
"He'll be here in 15 minutes. Thank you."

Silence. Panic. Anxiety.

Fifteen minutes later, the cab arrived. I struggled down the stairs, using all the strength I had to try and lift the 20 Kg bag full of books, my laptop case and handbag, without stumbling over in the process. I managed, and before you knew it, I was comfortably sitting in the back seat, saying goodbye to all the familiar buildings we drove by, with a smile. This comfort was temporary however, for disaster stroke once again when the taxi driver asked me where I was going, and what time I had to be there.

"Oh, I'm going to Manchester Airport and I'm taking the 5.40 train to be there by around 7."
"I see. You mean 6.40."
"No, I mean 5.40a.m."
"But it's already 6 o'clock."
"No it's not. It's 5."
"Didn't you hear? The clock's gone forward. You know daylight savings? So it's currently 6a.m and not 5."
"WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDIN' ME!"
"No it's been on the radio all morning."
"And what if you don't listen to the radio? Then what? How are you supposed to find out?"
"Well, they've been announcing it on T.V as well!"
"OH SHIT. THIS CAN'T BE GOOD!"

Panic.

The car finally came to a halt, and before you knew it, I was doing what I did best; running. There was no point in running though. I was an hour late! Luckily, trains to Manchester were frequent, and although I had booked a ticket on the 5.40 train, I was now trying to catch the one at 6.40.

Despite being an hour late, I was surprisingly calm. I sat down, lit another cigarette and text my mom telling her what had happened. There was no reason to be nervous. My plane was at 10.20 and I didn't need more than 30 minutes to track my ticket down and eventually check in.

One hour, forty minutes and a whole lotta running later, I was comfortably sitting in a cafe having hot chocolate, a muffin and a fag. I had not only made it in time, but the plane had been delayed for an hour to compensate for the bloody time change which, apparently, not only I was completely unaware of!

Three hours later, I was still sat in the lounge area listening to Kelly Clarkson complain about here dysfunctional family, while at the same time laughing at random people rush their way to their specified gates hopelessly. The plane had been delayed for an additional two hours! To others, this might have been convenient as this would've given them a chance to check in despite their late arrival, but to me, this meant one thing; I was bound to miss my flight from Doha to Muscat.

I was right! I spent the night in Doha's Grand Regency hotel. I didn't mind. I had always wanted to visit Doha, so this was my chance. And although it was dark outside and I did not leave the transit bus until we reached the hotel, I concluded that Doha was beautiful. It reminded me of Dubai. The tall glass buildings, the amazing architecture, the colourful atmosphere, it was simply beautiful. It was definitely good to be back in the Middle East. One can only stand looking at identical houses and buildings for a limited amount of time!

Being back in the Gulf did (inevitably) have its downs. Wearing full-length loose jeans and a black 3/4-sleeved top proved to be quite problematic! Two Indian, two Kuwaiti, three Sri Lankan, one Lebanese and an additional Philippino man approached me in just 40 minutes! At first I thought it might've been the piercing and the unfamiliar Western look, and I was soon 100% sure that it was in fact the cigarette in my hand that grabbed their attention.

All in all, it's good to be home. I've been getting along with my mom pretty well. I have not touched a cigarette for the past 48 hours and counting. The piercing has finally come off. Been eating healthily. Relaxing.

Being back in the Middle East has proved to be a very eye-opening experience. I've done this so many times I ought to be used to it by now, but as much as I'd like to say that I'm getting used to it, the cold truth is that you NEVER get used to it!

Haven't updated in a while, so I thought I'd make this a long one :)

16 Comments:

Blogger Poll said...

Hello !

I like very much your blog !

Regards

11:35 am  
Blogger mimi said...

@ poll: Thanks and welcome to my blog :)

11:39 am  
Blogger Sleepless In Muscat said...

mimi:

welcome back mims...breathe that salt fresh air ....it'll do you some good..

lol

;P

5:46 pm  
Blogger Qatar Cat said...

Oh yeah thanks for telling me you were here... after you left!

Could have hanged out together.

Duhh

9:07 pm  
Blogger bu7sain said...

Hey Mimi,

Welcome back! Hows the atmosphere here? I mean lifewise. Look at the good sides of it. Food's on time and your clothes are washed on time :) . What more do you need. Yea consecutive phone calls from family/friends is going to be a pain. It's like asking about someone who has just got outta prison hehe..you know what i mean! But it's all good. How long are you staying here for?

Anywhoos... just enjoy the break :)

peace!

7:12 am  
Blogger mimi said...

@ ali: thanks man :)

@ Q.C: How in the WORLD would I have gotten intouch with you????? I didn't even KNOW I was going to spend the night in Doha until I got there :( But I really would've liked to meet you. Fine, if it EVER happens again, I'll make sure I inform you :) Thanks though.

@ bu7sain: It's good to be home and I do understand what you mean!!! TRUST ME! :S I'm here for another 2 weeks inshalla. Thanks man :)

1:34 pm  
Blogger Arabian Prince said...

It's good that you've updated, and its good to know you're back home.

The worse that has happened to me because of the daylight saving was being late for classes. But what you had to go through was certainly a nightmare! I sure hope it never happens to me :S

I hope you enjoy every minute with your family, and I hope you have a good time all in all!

4:12 pm  
Blogger Qatar Cat said...

:p

5:37 pm  
Blogger Lym said...

AP:

Does Australia have daylight saving? How could we when we're opposite the world in seasons and everything!

6:21 pm  
Blogger Arabian Prince said...

Lym: Yes, ofcourse daylight saving applies to Australia as well. Infact this weird thing happend to us Melburnians, they shifted daylight saving by a whole week, and they supposedly did it because the Commonwealth games were still running.

What the... b'kaif omhom?!!!

3:46 pm  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

WB girl

8:07 am  
Blogger mimi said...

@ a.p: Thank you :) I'm glad you haven't faced any SERIOUS problems due to daylight savings. Oman's good.. tsallim 3alaik, and I'm pretty much taking advantage of the stress-free life I have out here by relaxing as much as possible :) Feels goooooood :P

@ lym: You've spent almost 2 years in Oz and you still don't know this? Where the hell have u been?

@ Q.C: :D

@ Pizzaqueen: thanks babe :)

5:30 pm  
Blogger Lym said...

Queensland is never affected by the daylight saving. It's only in Victoria (Melbourne- where AP is) and New South Wales (Sydney).

I'm here, and I know :p

6:17 pm  
Blogger Verbose said...

Mother Fu**er woman.

Where are you?

Call or email me.

muchlove.

1:49 am  
Blogger Qatar Cat said...

Mimi,

Where are you??? Missed your posts :^)

10:42 am  
Blogger mimi said...

@ lym: haha.. fair enough :)

@ verbose: Now you call me!

@ Q.C: I know I know... I'm sorrrrrrrryyyy... :^)

11:12 pm  

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