This week the 30 days fitness challenge in Dubai has started. This is to encourage people to get off their butts and exercise at least 30 minutes per day for 30 days. I signed up together with my dog. My dog had absolutely nothing to say about the decision and is currently wondering why I hate her. I told her during our run this morning that she is a Saluki and that she is suppose to run. Her lean little body has the look of something that is suppose to be fast. She laid down in the grass ten minutes in to the run and said she is part bulldog and don’t agree with this challenge. That’s a lie. She is just a lazy dog who wants to lay in the sun, order a cold drink and soak it up.
But the fact is she is a desert dog. My colleague found her under a car about a year ago when I was heavily pregnant and motherly and thought getting a dog just a few weeks before the baby would arrive was a great idea. Who could resist those puppy eyes. A small thought back in my head said “don’t get a saluki, she will tear down the house if she doesn’t get to run 10 km per day”. And me being the size of a few watermelons knew there would be no freakin running if it wasn’t to the bathroom.
As usual I didn’t listen. Not even to myself. She sure likes to take walks but I think the fact that we have been busy with a little baby has gotten her slightly lazy. Now after eight months I’m suddenly asking her to run and she is not having any of it. I told her there are no freakin excuses. We continued running and suddenly she jumped to the side like a kangaroo. I had my earplugs in with some lame running music to make sure I kept going and I didn’t notice that a woman on a bike tried to pass us from behind. So woman on bike passes us and my dog gets scared and jumps right in to her. Woman on bike falls. I’m in my own world with background music very loud in my ears. I’m just pretending I’m finishing the last 200 meters of a Maraton. People are cheering in the arena. I’m the star runner. “Run to the hills…”. I’m running for my life. In shock (I think…?) I looked at her quickly, said Ooops and kept running. For the hills again. After a few steps I realize I’m and idiot and there is a woman behind me on the grass probably swearing at me and I stop and turn around. She is still there on the grass. Fuck. I go back to apologize, ready to get yelled at. But she just waves off and says whatever. I guess she realized that biking on a running trail is not a good idea. I keep on telling myself this the whole way around the track. That it was her own fault. Not mine or my kangaroo dog. Thank God she was rude so I didn’t need to feel bad. She was rude for falling of the bike. Not me. I’m just finishing my imaginary marathon of three kilometers.
I was having an interesting conversation with one of my Filipino colleagues. We were discussing the differences in how we grew up, challenges in the daily life and missing family back home. A lot of the female Asian community here in Dubai leave their children back home with grandparents to go abroad to work and send money home. The dads are all mysteriously uninvolved. It hurted my mummy heart to listen to this but I have learnt to understand to be grateful for what I have and sometimes people just got to do what you have to in order for their families to be safe. Even if it means seeing your child once every two year. I know, we can’t even start to imagine. We take so much for granted in our lives.
While having this discussion she looked at me and said that so much is different here in the Middle East. How we live, how we talk, expressions….like “you have something in your nose”. I was like oh, ok what does that mean? I was wondering what that expression meant while she walked away to do grab on another desk. I told her that we have some funny expressions in Swedish. For example “there is no cow on the ice” means “don’t worry”. Makes sense right.
She came back and sat down and said “your nose” again. I nodded slowly and tried to look interested while thinking this is a weird expression. Is she going to tell me what it means. I looked at her and waited for her to explain.
She handed me a napkin and said “your nose…” and pointed. And that’s when I understood that I’m a stupid blond and actually had the biggest booger in my nose and the sentence didn’t have a culture meaning. It was just a straightforward wish from her side to remove the disgusting booger in my nose while I was sitting there doing nothing and just looking at her talk.
I nodded and walked slowly and embarrassed away from the situation and to remove what was hanging out of my nose.
Sometimes my child looks at me like she wants to chew my face. I take it as she is hungry or a new tooth is coming. Or she is a sociopath. She has so much from her dad.
She has a new hobby that we call The Hook and it’s goes a little something like this:
You need one big nose (an adult will do). One baby fist with long finger nails that nobody dares to cut. The baby sits just above your head as you lay down and her fingers goes in to your nose and gets STUCK. It’s called lock and pull. Baby now pulls her fingers upwards against herself making you look like a pig in pain. This is extremely fun to watch if you are like me and get very entertained by other people getting hurt.
And then we just have the normal nose grab. When you think you go in for a cuddle and want to take a cute picture. Occasionally you get a foot in your face at the same time.
Why doesn’t the doggie filter on Instagram and Snapchat work on dogs? I had a very productive evening (obviously) and tried to get my dog to get double ears and nose, as one do on a week night. Selfie after selfie..total waste.
Anyway, just wanted you to know. Don’t try it at home. It doesn’t work. I’m still annoyed and my dog feels discriminated.
I like massage. Just not the kind when it feels like the person doing it hates you. Like Thai massage. I always feel like I have to apologize for something I haven’t done about 10-15 minutes in to the session. How can this little person (normally compared to me) turn in to Thailand’s version of the Hulk slash Spiderman. I obviously don’t see exactly what she is doing but I lay there and imagine Spider-Man sitting in his (hers) famous pose with the knees bent on my back, looking around with crazy eyes for the next muscle or bendable joint to attack. If she say “please take a deep breath and relax” you know she will do something to you which will make a noise that sounds like she just broke your back.
Nowadays I go with the safe option of swedish massage. Not only because I am well traveled and seem to have one massage story for every country I’ve been to. Yes, the ones without a happy ending. Below are two of my most interesting massage experiences that I wanted to share with you.
1. Spiritual bullshit in Montpellier, France
Ok, maybe I didn’t read the spa menu correctly and I must have pointed out the wrong option, as the receptionist kindly stated when I complained afterwards. It started out ok but when the massage therapist (a man) asked me to turn around and took the towel off me, I started to think that something was up. Occasionally I have patience. Everyone that knows me will disagree but when travelling you need an open mind. So I just laid there with my boobs in the air wondering now what. The man suddenly started singing “ooooooohhhhhhmmmmmm” like a proper yoga instructor and made rings with his fingers around my boobs. I started laughing but was directly given a “sssssshhh” by the man who had closed his eyes and went on with ohm-song. Fuck this, I thought and went out. I went to the reception and asked what I just experienced and she gladly said “spiritual massage for your soul”. No, my soul was not having it but I’m sure his was.
2. Boob grabbing in Amsterdam
Do you notice a pattern? Its all about the boobs it seems. But this time it was at a Chinese hair dresser in the city centre of Amsterdam. I guess the exotic sign of “cheap head and back massage” appealed to me. My boyfriend at the time had a hair cut and I thought I would try out out the massage to make time pass. I was sitting on a chair facing the hair salon with a woman behind me. She started out with a normal shoulder massage. She continued massaging the muscles just above the breasts. This is usually very nice as we forget to stretch those muscles. But hey ho, she went further down with her hands and suddenly and rather hard, she grabbed my boobs and squeezed. I was too shocked to react and just opened my eyes and starred right out in to the people sitting in the room getting their hair cut. Did anyone see? It was over quickly again and I was just sitting still like a tensed stick wondering what just happened. Just in time for her to stick her fingers in to my ears and whirl around. Do we have a lot of spots in our ears that needs massage? I’m still wondering. I’m also happy that I wasn’t a new mum at the time and breastfeeding. That boob grab would have caused a smaller milk explosion.
Yesterday one of my friends told me that she had a full body scrub in Dubai. After a while the woman scrubbing her told her that she was getting too wet in her clothes and just took removed them like no big deal. She continued to scrub her while she was mostly naked, only wearing small panties.
Gotta love travelling!