House at Pooh Corner

House at Pooh Corner
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

An Unmade Bed at the Food Court United Nations

Yesterday, I dropped the Kid at his SOUTH AFRICAN school-buddy's birthday party.

Tried to be brave about the fact that I was in a mall & the 1st (BRITISH & IRISH) Lions test against AUSTRALIA was taking place.

BUT, it wasn't a dead loss.  I WAS in a mall during the DUBAI Summer Surprise Sales so, silver lining & all that.

Spent from a mere smidge of pre-holiday shopping, I rewarded myself with a monster skinny cappu (from Gloria Jean's, incidentally.  AUSTRALIAN.  Hoped that it wasn't a sign.  Remember, I knew nothing of the outcome of the afore-mentioned rugby match at the time) & some chips from McDs, for a spot of SRM (see Spontaneous Reading Moments post).

Sitting there, in my SRM bubble, with caffeine & carbs, I became aware of the family to my left.

A lone man, with 4 abaya'd ladies.  A baby in a buggy, 2 girl children (un-abaya'd) and an older boy child (playing on some handheld electronic device). 
I don't know but I guess it is possible that more than one of these ladies were his wives.  It's a thing that is part of life here.  I don't judge & anyway, they are all having a nice time sharing their mega Mac Attack meal.  THIS I get.

I glance around.  A positively psychedelic plethora of racial & cultural representatives are sharing the Food Court experience with me, on a weekend, one of the last before Ramadan.

There was a mainland CHINESE, maybe TAIWANESE, family, INDIAN families, LEBANESE families, families with their SOMALI, ETHIOPIAN, SUDANESE (I am toooooootally hazarding a guess here, you understand) helpers & FILIPINO families.

Just from where I am sitting I can see full abayas with burkas & hijabs all the colours of the rainbow

Hands up if you've ever spotted skintight trousers, gigantic boofy hair, killer heels & unnaturally inflated lips (& the rest!) in a mall in Dubai.  Honest to goodness, there is a whole table of them over there. 
Their children & maids are at the next table.

Maxi dresses, shorts & sleeveless tops are here too, alongside plenty of salwar kameez(s), men & women.  Is that the correct plural? 

Here too, in the KFC queue, the 'long shorts with flipflop' combo.  The weekend uniform of the standard male Western expat.

The crisp, utterly uncrumpled kandoras are modeled perfectly by a host of fathers, husbands & teenage boys.  HOW is that possible?

In 9 years I have never seen a dishdash in any form of disarray, whereas, whatever I do, I always look like an unmade bed.

Everyone is just doing their thing, not paying attention to anyone, except for the lady with a froffy coffee & a bag o'frites, scribbling on a napkin.

OK, need to stop staring.

Back to book.  Book about the fall of the BRITISH Raj in INDIA.

If I don't press on, I'll never find out how it ends & these chips aren't going scoff themselves.


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