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Showing posts from 2017

When travelling: Make a list, and then check it twice. And then check it again. And then grab your passport. Because you forgot it, you idiot

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I've been to more than 30 countries in nine years in Abu Dhabi - just add the Maldives, where I am now. And sometimes I think that between all those airplanes and airports, and hotels and guesthouses, I've actually gotten worse at travelling.

I hate packing and always bring too much, except for one or two things I don't have that drive me nuts the entire time. I always forget the most obvious things (which is how I found myself paying US$35 for a bottle of sunscreen at Baros Maldives this week and borrowing nail polish remover from the spa at One&Only Reethi Rah) and beat myself up about them later.

But this trip I made the motherload of travel errors: I forgot to take my passport to the airport. How, you ask? Don't ask me. It's been a rough couple of weeks and my mind has been scattered. But still.

Kim Kardashian and Scott Disick in Dubai

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I finally got around to watching the two episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians where Scott Disick and Kim Kardashian visit Dubai with their crew. I'm still sort of blown away with this family as a cultural phenomenon. A couple of years it didn't seem possible for them to be more famous, and yet here they are, more and more and more. 
Anyway, it was scintillating viewing and not at all fake. Here are a few takeaways:

Overheard in the newsroom: Pie edition

You shouldn't even call shepherd's pie pie. It's got no pie component.

Overheard in the newsroom: Eat your veggies edition

Editor A: Cauliflower is the most flamboyant vegetable.

Editor B: Cauliflower doesn't even have any colour!

I liked to write: I interviewed Dev Patel today

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You can read my full Q&A here or turn to theprint edition of The National on Thursday for a write-through. (Please keep in mind I only had 10 minutes to speak to him. This is de rigeur for celebrity interviews but it always gets my heart racing a bit. And don't even get me started about how much I worry that I'm going to erase the recording - you simply can't do notes when you've got so little time.) 
I can report Patel is as handsome as ever, very tall (6'2, he said during a group elevator ride at the Four Seasons DIFC in Dubai, where the interviews took place), thoughtful, fun and very polite.

Overheard in the newsroom: Movie star edition

One of the pleasures of Ramadan is seeing Steven Seagal films in the cinema.

An Arabic breakfast in London, Ontario

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I had to giggle, when my friend from Abu Dhabi decided on the Paramount, a Middle Eastern restaurant, as our breakfast meeting place. 
She is a friend from Abu Dhabi who just happens to also be from my home town. Actually, with her Lebanese background and our shared history, it was perfect. (And delicious, by the way).
She, her husband and two kids are in the process of repatriating and they are struggling with it, as most every expat does. 
I compared it to leaving a relationship that has a great many good aspects, but isn't right for you any more - those are the ones that are easiest to slide back into.
And they agreed. 
When I make these visits back to Canada and see my friends and my family, my gorgeous niece and nephew, when I see how it's changing but still the same, and I try to imagine myself back there, the whole 'should I? Could I?' Takes over a lot of my inner dialogue. 
People who have left tell me that you know when it's time to go, and that it can ta…

Boys in dishdashas: The picture I've been trying to get for 9 years

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One thing that makes my heart instantly melt over here is the sight of a little boy all dressed up just like his dad. It's not that common - they are usually wearing the rough-and-tumble gear any little boy might wear - but when it happens it's the best. I've never been able to snap a photo though, mostly because I just couldn't figure out how to say 'can I take a picture of your little boy' without sounding like a Western weirdo.

Then, last weekend, while sampling the food truck fare at Reem Weekend, this little trio came walking towards me and I spotted the opportunity.




















Overheard in the newsroom: Lunch order edition

Editor A: What kind of cheese do they put on it?

Editor B: I think whatever they have lying around.