Something crazy happened around here this weekend, and I’m afraid I missed it.
See, we had something of a weird week. It was the last week of summer vacation. We’ve all long since lost our minds, so the past week was sort of a haze of who-still-needs-whats and Do-I-have-to-go-to-Carrefour moments. I don’t like retail stores. I never have liked them. I don’t like aisles, don’t like the lighting, and crowds in Dubai have a very…special…quality to them that makes me want to send my husband out with lists rather than actually venturing out.
No, I am not developing agoraphobia.
But every time–and I mean every single time–I have a retail experience, it is guaranteed to include:
- Someone cutting the line, often directly in front of me, and usually at the fruit scale;
- Out of control children pushing those stupid small carts–or their parents’ carts–and slamming against other shoppers as though the whole world is their abused Sri Lankan nanny/maid;
- Foul smells emanating from meat, seafood and/or produce;
- Far too many people operating without the most basic consciousness of what is happening around them, or perhaps simply without a care about who may be trying to navigate through an aisle while they’ve parked their trolley sideways and lined up three across in the noodle section.
And I don’t really even eat noodles.
So, I don’t go out much. My husband likes to go out. He likes to socialize with the butcher, so as long as he’s at the store, I have him pick up milk or cabbage. He’s constantly looking for new electronic
garbage gadgets, and the only thing I dislike more than a grocery store is an electronics store, so I often stay home and clean while he shops. The kids go with him. I don’t mind.
On top of my distaste for shopping, we had a little car thing this week. My husband got rear-ended and as a result, the car is having some work done. At a garage. This leaves us without a car. Now, Dubai’s not the kind of place you can’t live without a car. A lot of people live just fine here without cars. There’s a Guiness-World-Record-Holding Metro (look it up; Green Line launched this weekend); a good network of buses with air-conditioned shelters; and, of course, enough taxis to keep us all on the move.
But it’s hot. Swelteringly so. So we spent most of the weekend in. I took the kids to the beach one late afternoon, and we did manage to go here and there, but I missed something, obviously.
Because this morning, I found Ganesha on the beach. Washed right up on shore, poor fellow. Hope he had a good time.
Onam is a Hindu holiday celebrated by Indians from the Kerala region. Dubai has many Keralites, and Ganesha’s appearance on the beach this morning when I arrived to swim a few lengths after a very sweaty run, was a sweet reminder of some of the happier sides of the diversity in a place like Dubai. To my neighbors, a belated happy Onam! I’m sorry to have entirely missed the festivities, and I look forward to experiencing future holidays with my eyes and ears a lot more open.