Friday, July 24, 2009


Thought for the day: Even monkeys fall from trees.

I feel like reminiscing about my first days in Dubai. Why? The answer's down there somewhere. So, here goes(I promise I won’t make it too boring..haha).

The first thoughts of moving out of Baroda, came when my first company started asking me to think of moving to Mumbai, and, that made me think ‘If Mumbai, why not Dubai?’. As always, I only needed to think these thoughts and begin a job search and a friend called from Dubai asking whether I wanted to change over and move there. Three others from our group had already moved to the same Dubai Company. After a few agonizing days of waiting for the telephonic interview, the call finally came, it all clicked, and, after another few agonizing days, my visa came. By then, I’d already quit from my Indian Company.

Again, things clicked as I wanted them to, and I was relieved from my Indian Co on 31st December, 2001. After a week’s break, I left for Mumbai and reached Dubai on 9th Jan. Thoughts of what was ahead in life, some uneasiness included, were in my mind. But, as I was to find out, they were unfounded. (Always keep the faith, as I’ve learned in these last few years). A friend who had come three weeks back, came to receive me. He said he had already found temporary sharing accommodation for both of us in a room with a Gujju family. So, there went the first worry about looking for a roof above my head. We reached the area, Karama(I still stay in the same area). He dropped me there, and, since it was @ 10 AM, he went back to office, telling me that the company driver would pick me up by lunch time.

I’d stayed in sharing accommodation only once, during my three month stay in Abu Dhabi in 1997. So, it was not really new. We were in a sharing room. The Gujju family who were the main tenants kept the main Hall and the master bedroom with attached toilet for themselves. For us, the washroom was just next to the entrance, so we had to walk through a passage each time to reach there.( However, that family was in India on holiday at that time.) Anyway, I got used to that by the end of the day. The first day at work was fab- meeting so many new people, besides, of course, the people I knew.

The next day, we went in a Dubai bus, which, to me( used as I was to Baroda’s buses of those days with their torn seats and love notes scribbled all over the backrests and also the klick-klicking conductor pulling the rope to ring a bell for the driver(once to stop the bus, twice to let it move)), was quite a unique experience. We entered, and I couldn’t see any conductor. It turned out that the driver would issue the ticket directly from the ticket dispenser. Inside, I couldn’t see any way to stop the bus, try as I did. Then, I saw some yellow buttons, between every two seats, and realized that’s what would stop it. More unique features of these buses some other time.:)

Next day morning, I got up feeling quite refreshed. We went down- right opposite, there was a Cafeteria(As there are, all over Dubai), where our ‘staple food’ for the next three months was ‘ek upma aur do chai’ (The upma would be split into two plates). Similarly, lunch for the next few months(till we got fed up. LOL) was an apple, a 9 gm bag of chips and buttermilk). And, evening would be the thali(We had booked on a monthly basis, since it was cheaper, and, in those initial days, every dirham used to be precious(It still is, but, not as much as back then), since we had come on a low salary, courtesy our need to move out from the previous place and because the market here was not too good in those days. That put paid to my worries about whether food would be a problem in Dubai- it never is- there are oodles of Indian restaurants.

The next day came the first bombshell- the Engineering Manager who had interviewed me on the phone, told me that these were his last 10 days and he would be handing over charge to me. Since the field was much more vast that what I was used to in India, I spent the next few months working, working, working. The Thursday half-day would end only by 7 PM and Fridays would also be spent at work, collating everything. I learnt that in the International market, it’s every man for himself. No one will go out of their way to help you, so you have to learn what you can, yourself. (I decided to change that, though- and, happy to say, I’ve trained more than ten people in these last seven plus years, including ‘trainee managers’ as I call them. Hehe).

(Will post some pics, but later. Can't upload pics today, for some reason)

There’s so much more to reminisce about. Maybe I’ll continue some other time. The next post will be the Tag Austy’s been so kind enough to pass on to me!!!

Jokes for the day:

A fat man is in the bathroom pe*ing. He complains 'I am so fat I can't see my ***'.

Guy next to him says "Why don't you diet?"

He replies, "Why, what color is it this time?"


A sergeant and two men from his platoon went to a tavern near the base one night. The sergeant asked an attractive army nurse to join him in a game of pool. The nurse said, "I would rather play with your privates."


austere said...

More of the memories, please.

Thanks for sharing.

Keshi said...

sweet memories r always a soother for the mind...

** "I would rather play with your privates."

LOL LOL LOL good one!


Arunima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arunima said...

nice read. I think everybody goes through similar circumstances when they start.

I came to Bangalore with a suitcase only. I was surprised to look at the amount of stuffs that I had when I shifted from my house to my husband's. It meant a lot of memories and a lot of hard work to have survived too.

AmitL said...

Hi,Austy- surely,yes..I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy reminscing about the right moments,of course.:)
Hi,Keshi-so true!Tku.(@ the memories,I mean,not the privates..LOLOL..a joke in a joke)
Hi,Arunima-you're absolutely right-we all have memories when we start,in any place..would love to read more about your suitcase and the memories attached,someday.:)