Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Road Trip

First of all the picture on the left has nothing to do with my road trip. I like it so it appears on my blog. Secondly my head feels like an aching watermelon. I've managed some fever too so woohoo! Looking at the computer screen is a pain and yet I really want to write this post so I will forge ahead with it.

Well I didn't forge ahead with it yesterday instead I went home to rest taking half the day off. Anyway I'm much better today and I promise to finish this post .

So where do I begin? Yes Thursday night. I was supposed to watch this movie at a press screening called 'We're the Millers'. An adult comedy with Jennifer Aniston. I got to Mall of the Emirates and met up with Anshuman. We went to the theater but they told us there was no such screening. I was puzzled till I checked my email on Monday and realised that I'd got the date wrong. Anyway we ended up walking around the mall. There was a sale at M&S so I spent a lot of time trying on clothes while Anshuman patiently ate ice cream outside the store. I didn't like anything and Anshuman was surprised when I walked out empty handed. So we walked around a little more and as we walked past Gucci I said to him- " Isn't that a pretty dress?" to which he promptly replied,"Why doesn't anyone ever say - isn't that a pretty mannequin? What about the substance? I think the person who makes mannequins must be saying it."

The next morning I was all set to head to Fujairah with Ankita. I'm a pretty good driver but I really hate getting lost which means that I've never even gone up to Sharjah on my own let alone go all the way to Fujairah. Anshuman wrote detailed directions and drew a map for me even though the resort people had already sent me a map. I was ready with my handbag and backpack and car keys. Anshuman actually wanted to drive in his car ahead of mine all the way to Fujairah so that I wouldn't get lost but I said,"That's really sweet but pretty crazy!" to which he replied,"I'd go to the ends of the earth for you." He knows how to charm the pants off me after all these years of marriage. So as I opened the door to go out he looked at me ever so fondly and said,"My little baby is going for a school field trip." I laughed and left.

I picked up Ankita from her place at the Marina. She lives on the 66th floor and the view is pretty fantastic. She was going to leave her little girl overnight for the first time since she was born. Ahana is a sweet little girl and I'm incredibly fond of her. So we began our journey with Ankita acting as sous driver. We managed to get out of Dubai on to Emirates Road and that's when I breathed a sigh of relief. Dubai scares me more than the highway due to it's plethora of interchanges which can confuse just about anyone but Anshuman did a great job of putting down the directions. He called several times to make sure I hadn't got lost.

We drove through Shariah into the middle of the desert and then through the Hajar mountains listening to music all the way. As we got closer to our destination we were both tired and hungry. The first sight of the sea was lovely and refreshing. I kept driving and at some point I realised that the ocean was not by my side. We figured we'd lost our way. Anyway we got directions and realised we'd overshot by about half an hour. I took a U turn at a no entry sign, I couldn't be bothered with finding the next roundabout. Ankita by now had started pointing out restaurants by the side of the road but they all seemed to be small cafes and the food would have been pretty sad so I thought I should bear with it and drive on till we reach the resort.

By now Ankita's head was pounding with hunger and I saw this restaurant called Golden Fork on my right and decided to park. Now I'm a pretty careful driver but this time I almost ran over a Patrol which was in my blind spot. The Arab driver gestured angrily and I sheepishly mouthed the word 'Sorry' several times. Finally we parked and soon ordered chicken curry and fish curry. The place which had looked like a Chinese food restaurant served absolutely yummy south Indian fish curry and rice. Even though the portions were fairly large we wolfed down everything at an incredible speed.

Finally we reached the resort. I was happy to hand over the car keys to the valet and check in. I was there to review the property for POSE and we were shown into our room. The resort is a cozy size with a few low rise buildings sprinkled around a large swimming pool which house the rooms, restaurants, discotheque and the spa. Our room was overlooking the pool and I could see many families enjoying themselves splashing around. There was a nice queen size bed and before I knew it we fell asleep absolutely tired from the journey. But it was not to be as some idiot from Nigeria decided to give me a missed call. People do that so you would call them back and they can swindle you. I was almost asleep again when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find someone asking me if I needed anything,"Yes! some sleep." I should've said. And then as I was almost dreaming Ankita's phone rang and she spoke to her sister for a bit. Finally both of us just woke up and ordered some chai.

Next was my favourite part of the stay. I got a Swedish massage at the spa. Even though the masseuse was quite skilled and I enjoyed it I have to say that I'm partial to the reflexology massage at Feet First in Ibn Batuta. May be it has to do with the fact that the massage therapists at Feet First are all Chinese and very skilled at what they do. Every time I get a massage my nose gets blocked and I end up sneezing a couple of times at least. I was nice and refreshed. Ankita had decided to go to the gym and sauna. I met her at the room and we got ready for dinner. I wore a new short cotton dress with red flowers on a white base. I didn't take any pictures this time. I just wanted to experience everything and keep it in my mind instead of constantly shooting everything. Ankita wore a lovely, swirling skirt. With our lipstick on we headed to the Asian Restaurant.

It was a quiet, understated low lit place- the kind where there's a battery operated little light is attached to the menu. We had to wait a bit for our table. Finally seated we ordered Thai food. The starters which were essentially grilled meat on sticks (officially called satay) with various sauces were yummy. The peanut sauce was particularly good and I ate all of it. I'd have licked the dish but Ankita would've been horrified so I restrained myself. The presentation of the food was impeccable and the taste was very subtle considering it was Thai cuisine but I realised we should've informed them to not hold back the chili. In any case we enjoyed our meal and for the first time I had watermelon juice in which the seeds were present in a ground form. I drank it anyway, I love watermelon juice too much to waste it.

After dinner we went to the Discotheque where I found two couples sitting and sipping their drinks. We were told that there was going to be a belly dance performance at midnight so we decided to spend some time at the beach. It was a beautiful moonlit night and we took off our shoes at the beach-side restaurant. Suddenly Ankita looked in the distance and said - "Bhoot!" (Ghost!) I looked hard but at first couldn't see anything then she said,"There are two of them." By now my heart rate had begun to increase as I still couldn't see anything. And then I spotted a dark blob at the edge of the ocean and as the waves hit it, it moved slightly and for half a second my heart was in my mouth. Then the blob got up and I realised it was just two Emirati women clad in Abayas enjoying the water at the beach.

We plonked ourselves on a couple of beach chairs. The waves crashed to the shore and we talked but mostly sat in silence and listened to the sea. it was peaceful and a cool breeze was blowing. The moon reflected in the water and shimmered like silk. It was very beautiful and so serene. We stayed there for over an hour and then headed back to the disco.

It was buzzing as the belly dancer was doing her sensual moves. I think I must have been the only person having Cranberry juice in that place. Everyone seemed pleasantly tipsy to quite inebriated. I danced for two hours and observed people. There are people who know they dance well and these guys and girls take up the most space on the dance floor. There's the 'player' who is found dancing with three different women during the course of the evening. There was a woman who only danced to Arabic music and she danced quite well and at one time everyone left the floor and she completely took over. There was a sweet European couple dancing together. They were obviously married as the husband had put the wife's handbag around his neck. Two Cranberry juices later I was ready to call it a night but Ankita wasn't. I tried to coax and cajole her into coming back with me but she wanted to dance some more as she wasn't sure when the next girls' night out would be. I understood but I was so pooped I headed to the room. As I walked out I saw the 'player' puking in the fountain with a fourth girl by his side. I smiled to myself and carried on.

I crashed out within seconds as I hit the bed. I don't know when Ankita came back to the room. She woke me up in the morning. We ordered morning chai and chatted. She told me that a few minutes after I left a fist fight broke out between two men. I was very disappointed at having missed it. I love a good fist fight. Ankita spoke to Ahana who had been lied to. Pushpita- Ankita's sister had told her that I was sick which is why Mom had to stay away for the night. By now Ankita was missing her little girl a lot never having been away from her.

We went to the breakfast buffet and I had a plain omelette with chicken sausages, fruits and hash browns. Too much fried potatoes but we were on holiday and I totally cheated. We checked out and got on the road. All was well till we got very close to Dubai and lost our way. After driving around at the periphery of the city for a while and many exasperated "FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" later I managed to hit Sheikh Zayed Road. I dropped Ankita to a cab as she had to meet her hubby and sis at the opposite direction of the road and I was much too tired to try to figure out how to get there.

Finally I got home. Home without dog, without husband is not really home. I watched the whole of Pride and Prejudice BBC series. Colin Firth plays Darcy to the hilt and Jennifer Ehle brings Miss Elizabeth Bennett to life. I could never watch it while Anshuman is around so I watched it for the nth time as he was away. I fell asleep and in the morning woke up with a fever and cold. I spent most of Sunday in bed working from home.

So altogether it was great fun and I wouldn't mind doing it again given the opportunity. So finally this post comes to an end. I will go have a much needed cup of coffee!


sunil deepak said...

"I love a good fist fight"!! I'm shocked :)))

Anonymous said...

The road looks delicious...just the kinds we miss in Bangalore.Colin firth is the ideal end to a fantastic trip.

Anonymous said...

G-uess who?

parul gahlot said...

Gazal!!! Finally you came to my blog :) thanking you!