Friday, October 03, 2008

DUBAI | Moving Out and Living with a Flatmate

Today is Friday, which should be a weekend in Dubai -- but guess who's working? And tomorrow is Saturday, which should also be a weekend off back home and in Dubai. Again, guess who will be working?

Things really work at their own pace here in Dubai. Try as you might, things will happen when they happen, and you just have to go with the flow. After all the delay, I am finally schedule to move into my long term apartment, nearer to the office. It will be a 2-bedroom apartment, and I will be sharing it with a colleague, H. Since the company is playing for the accomodation, I'm not complaining. Besides, I still get my own room, and it can be a good thing to have someone else around the place.

I'm okay with H. She was a little concern about sharing the cutlery and utensils with me at first, since I am vegetarian. I tell her it's fine as long as we clean the things after use. But that's more a matter of hygiene than "contamination".

I'm moving out on the 8th of October. The new apartment is barely furnished, and there will be some spring-cleaning to be done. Oh, how I look forward to sweeping, mopping and scrubbing. :(

In the midst of trying to get my work done, H and I also had to go shopping for things for the apartment. With the cost of living here, we have to really shop around for the best bargain. And H and I have different ideas of what is necessary for a living space. I prefer to work on bare minimum when it comes to furnishing the place. Pots and pans, yes, we need. But maybe not so many. We're not here forever. I conceded to H when she says she needs a doormat, because of all the sand from the shoes.

My lone contribution to the purchase of the doormat, besides the cost: "Can I just emphasize how hideous that looks?"

We have matching plates, bowls and spoons though - because I can't bear looking at ugly utensils everyday. H just rolls her eyes in disgust at how picky I am on the aesthetics on certain things.

H needs a proper bed. I'm just fine if they give me a mattress. I need a pillow, H doesn't. H wants a clean apartment, I am not as enthusiastic about the effort required to maintain a clean apartment.

Dubai has more than a hundred different nationalities living here. It is about learning to live and work with different people, learning when to compromise, when to assert yourself.

H is learning to live with someone who wants to live on the bare minimum of furniture. I am learning to live with H, who has scheduled WEEKLY housekeeping every Friday. Oh god. Did I mention I rarely clean my own room back home? Now I have to do it EVERY WEEK?

I'm learning. Oh, the experience of Dubai.

And work is going to be crazy. After all the waiting, the momentum finally seems to have built up. I will probably be offline again for the next 2 or more weeks, working overtime to rush for a deadline that I personally find unrealistic.

But we try. Meanwhile I am giving dirty looks at the broom.

Until later.


Doc Martian said...

WOOHOO! Sounds like you've got it goin' on. Now some internet access and it'll be bangin'!

I usta be a minimalist myself, lately i've learned the joys of comfortable furniture. I'm thinkin' if you show an interest... low slung arabian pillow fantasy decor rather than tables/chairs... japanese mini tables too.

If not, don't worry about it, you'll be comfortable with a corner to squat in.

either way, have fun, gotta have somewhere to unwind after work. you could probably even make a few dollars leadin' yoga parties!


Dark Orpheus said...

Doc _ Frankly, I still don't see the point of heavy furnitures. Not like we can bring it with us.

Best to approach this with an attitude of just "Passing through"

Doc Martian said...

pillows and a table is heavy furniture?!?!?!!!!

were i in your shoes, and the gig was 4-5 years or so (it is? right?) i'd buy some inexpensive starter family furniture, use it for 5 years, and when you're done, donate it to a family or organization that distributes to families in need. that way you have a bangin' pad and are part of the solution.


Ella said...

You're smart to go with the bare minimun, DO, especially if you're not into cleaning/ caretaking a bunch of stuff. The Gulf News runs classifieds for some stuff you might need, like a mattress or kitchen items - try their big fat Friday editions.

Dark Orpheus said...

Doc - I personally don't believe a coffee table is necessary. Might as well save the money on more important things like foodstuff.

I'm not staying for 4~5 years. So, just passing through.

Ella - Thanks for the tips. Now I just need to find the time to look around a little bit more.

Doc Martian said...

yeh. if yer only going to be there a couple of years... no sense making it home. i still think you should hit san francisco. its the u.s. yoga hub!


Nymeth said...

This post reminds me of where I was about a year ago. Except I was the one insisting on weekly housekeeping :P In the end, my flatmate didn't really do his share, but I decided to just do my own and let it go.

Matt said...

I would need a bed and pillows as well, but no fuss on cutlery and utensils. :) Did I mention bookshelves and a desk?

I hope you're acclimatized to living in Dubai, which, for a second, has surprised me that it's more diverse than America.

jenclair said...

Oh, my! This experience will provide lots of stories for the rest of your life. Enjoy the differences and the entire Dubai experience. Do 108 sun salutations and meditate twice a day!

Carl V. said...

I wish you and H all the best in your new apartment and living situation. It can probably be both a joy and a pain to live with someone in a situation like this and I hope you both find the situation much more joy-filled. Hopefully after this things will settle down more for you and get into a more steady rhythm.

Anonymous said...

i hope it all works out okay! i can imagine right now you just want to move in and get settled!

Imani said...

Wow. You're moving to Dubai? I came back just in time! There must be a literary life there. I do hope you get to post about it here.