A Month in Dubai

I landed in dxb on the first of february, the aim was to have fun and relax, disconnect from the worries and problems I had in amman.

Week 1:
It started few hours after i landed, apparently i took an identical bag that is not mine, i discovered i had the wrong bag around 10pm, i instantly reported the incident over the phone to the emirates, and drove back to the airport and returned the bag, and waited for them to locate my bag.
An hour long wait which seemed like eternity waiting for my bag to be found… i had all my official documents in it, all my clothes and suits, my laptop and hard drives. i was only fearing that i lost my hard drives for ever, the rest can be replaced.

An employee driving a cart came to the front of the lost / found department and parked outside the office, he had a large amount of luggage in the cart, i jumped from my seat and started checking the bags, mine was there! all hope was restored! i picked it up, drove back home.

The first week was kinda boring, was waiting for my rental car, discovering the area, discovering the routes. but all in all it went smooth an uneventful.

Week 2:
Spent it goin out and hooking up with friends. been to the major malls, the beach, the marina, all the tourist spots.

In the middle of the week, my friend told me she will take a 2 week vacation, her new maid is coming and she wants to show her the ropes and setting her up, she asked me if I can cover her work in the newspaper as a freelancer.

I told her yes, she contacted her boss and he said ok! 2 week assignment was handed over to me.

She took me with her to Dubai courts, taught me the work I should do, and what is politically correct and whatnot. I worked with her for 2 days, learnt everything I can in those 2 days, hoping that I don’t screw up.

Week 3:
Sunday morning: 6:30 am, woke up, showered, large cup of coffee, and I was on the road!

Got my gps in order, so that I don’t get lost… Which I did! I took 1 wrong exit and I was in lala land.

It took me 1:45 hours to reach the court, endless stream of cars on 611 highway dxb bound, 2 accidents that day, traffic was nightmare.

In the court, opened my notebook, pen in hand, and scribble scribble scribble.

I got mixed up, was slow, got wrong info… I was a major failure.

Drove back, got on the phone to get the right info and details, write write write, email them to the newspaper, go back and forth with the news desk.

It seemed easy when I was just watching the work be done!

The news desk would send me ‘edits’ of each story, the edit typically is for 3 reasons, as far as i figured out:
1- fix grammar errors, fix the text if it needs to be politically correct.

2- shorten the story, or inflate it abit depending on the size and layout of the printed paper.

I had 2-4 stories published in the print edition every day. Up to 5 stories on the web.

I had 1 story on the front cover of the newspaper! I was lucky, I managed to have a scoop without knowing it.

When the weekend came, I was exhausted, I longed for 6+ hours of sleep.

During this week I managed to locate the book Azazeel by Yousef Zeidan in English. When I got the call that they secured a copy for me, I couldn’t wait, I was on the way back home, I took the first exit and headed back to Dubai to pick it up.

On the weekend of the third week, after a long deserved sleep, I took the book and headed to the beach, coffee in hand, sunset, and a book! Nothing on this good earth would be as precious to me as this.

The thought of reading an actual book was weird, as I haven’t read a paper book ever since I got my first iPad, multiple times I swiped my finger on sentences in the hopes that I highlight and bookmark them.

Week 4:
I’m getting faster in writing, I’m firing my stories as soon as i get the details, I understood what the newspaper wants, and in what way they need to be formatted.

The working hours are longer, the sleeping hours are shorter.

Half way through the week, the chief editor sent me an email thanking me on my work, and told me that he might have a position open and if I am interested to join, I said yes.

He told me the hiring process take long time, and that the HR department will be drilling me requesting documents and security checks.

While writing my last story on Thursday, it struck me then that these are the last words I’m writing for this freelance assignment, I felt sad, I really enjoyed the past 2 weeks, i didn’t want them to end.

The week ended as fast as it began, I’m writing this while watching the sunset, the people swimming and enjoying their time on the beach.

I have one month to go in Dubai, I like it here, working is hard, the morning commute is a killer, the people here are all busy working.

Come the weekend and all energy will be drained. I understand now why my friends here stay home the majority of their weekend, they have no energy, the 2 day weekend fly by in a heartbeat, they want to recharge for next week.

What’s next?
I do not know.

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Doomish:
Brave, Courageous and bold.
Long live his fame,
and long live his glory.
Long may his worthless posts be told.

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