This post was written in 2008 and I had posted this in another blog I'd thought I'd maintain along with this :) As expected, that didnt work so here come all the posts from there
Dated June 16,2008
Everytime I visit a new place, I never bring with me the description and the ideas of people who have visited that place earlier. I like to see it fresh, and everything I see should be new to me I feel. So I restrain from asking people advices/tips before leaving to a new country. So this time its Dubai !
Different – This is one word that comes to my mind when I saw Dubai for the first time. The people have a great mix – I mean it being cosmopolitan in the true sense. People from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,Lanka, all over europe,south east asian countries and of course our dear China (I was baffled looking at their population in the United States).
Lets start from weather – its HOT! However since the major part of our time is spent at office/home/car where all these are air conditioned. Food – You get anything and everything in the world here, like anjappar,saravana bhavan,sangeeta,udupi,vasanta bhavan,sukh sagar… u name it – its available here! People are indeed independant and friendly dont find anything strange out here when compared to India.
Now to more personal reflections …..This morning I was making a cup-a coffee for me in the office cafe. Someone was in queue behind me, I could sense that, so speeded up the preparation. Immediately that person asked me “Kerala …?” I am like ” I’m sorry ?”. He says “kerala….?” again. I told him “Are you asking me if I am from Kerala? Well no”. Then this gentleman says ” I thought Kerala” .. Oops what am I to infer from that. Highly emb..
Then he asked “then ..?” I said ” what?” He says “where in India”. Now I sensed he wasnt comfortable conversing in English, so I said “I am from TamilNadu”. He said “oh thamizha ?” I guess a tamizhian feels immense joy in meeting a fellow tamizhian outside India!! Then he said he has come here on some subcontract and helps people scan documents and file it, and also said he is froma remote place near Tanjore. Nice!
Doesnt really apply only to tamizhians,I guess – I found people rejoicing at the sight of Indians in foreign countries before. Anyways lets conclude people sense a special comfort amongst their race/creed..
I wanted to pen about 2 incidents that happened today . The one above is the first and the second is during the lunch time. A woman clad in a burkah (or purdah) came from behind and asked me if she could occupy the chair next to me. I said “oh sure”. She must be from UAE I guessed looking at her. She asked me “you from India” – again!! I said “yes,Bangalore” (remembering the tip from the previous incident) she said “wow I love India…. Do you like Dubai??” I said “Thats really nice. Yup, I seem to like Dubai”. Then again she asked “first time Dubai” and quickly said she was more comfortable in Arabic or Hindi than English. Then she continued in Hindi. She said she works for the customer care division. Hmm good to have lunch with someone who doesnt crib about the SQL query they wrote which didnt provide the result he wanted or someone who weighs the pros and cons of Oracle Fusion between gulps of food.
Then she went onto “Indian Mehndi, Hyderabadi biriyani” then she asked me married ? I smiled in return. She said she is married and has 5 children (2 girls and 3 boys). I thot for a while and asked her since when are u married.. she said 2000!! Wow- that is surely a good number of children in 8 years! Cant imagine the amount of patience she must be having to manage a mini-nursery!
Then she said “We were born and brought up here in UAE, and that she was originally from Ajman. Then went on saying, there was a time when anything we wanted, our parents used to go to India to buy that and come back and she also asked me if you still use those big 500 rupee notes..”. I was’nt sure if that big 500 rupee note is the one still in practice or those R-E-A-L-L-Y wide notes used in the 50 and 60s. I smiled for this too. We chit chatted for some more time and then got up to leave.
She gave me a little hug and said “come again to Dubai”. I was dumbfounded, man -what a nice thing to say to a visitor!!!
Thanks to Dubai for the hospitality. I will be back sometime.
Varta…. (thats will be back soon in tamizh)