Essay 31 – Soft Shoe Shuffle

March 21, 2015

by — Posted in Dubai

What with now working at the Airport every morning, and that’s six mornings a week, my days have turned into something akin to the soft shoe shuffle, why is that,  I hear you asking.E3l Sift shoe shuffleWell, after yet another night out on. The Town, arriving home late and getting up early, shuffling along was the only option available, in the slow  lane preferably!  That is if one wanted to arrive at one’s destination bright eyed and bushy tailed, sometimes that was a tall order!!

E3l Bright eyed 2


It’s true to say I have taken to the job like a duck to water, loving every moment, is it the buzz, is it the uniform or my goodness perish the thought, is it being a token female at the Airport every morning. E3l intoxicating mix 2Or, maybe, it’s being in charge of almost everything but with one notable exception and that is piloting the plane.   It really is anybody’s guess but a little bit of all three, I think!   My goodness what an intoxicating mix!


E3l intoxicating mix
Each morning, when I had finished kitting myself out in ‘that’ new gear of mine, I would look into the mirror and would say, is that yoo-hoo!   My goodness, what a transformation I had undergone and I love it, mind you, who wouldn’t!


E3l yoo hoo


One thing though,  I still wasn’t too adept at  firmly securing that natty hat that perched like a bird’s nest on top of my head,  and I was constantly terrified that it would fly away just when I was trying to impress, God knows who!!


E3l natty hat


Everything was going really well.  No catastrophes at the Airport,  so far I hadn’t put anybody on the wrong plane, but there is always time!    It surely was a godsend that there was normally only one plane on the ground during those morning shifts otherwise it might have been a question of eeny, meeny, miny mo, and goodness knows where my passengers might have landed up!


E3l eeny miny


In retrospect the passengers in my charge during those, hectic, happy days had a very lucky escape as they could have been in for a big surprise and I could have been in for an even bigger surprise a very high ‘hi jump’!


E3l big surprise 2

 As they say it was all a laugh and a giggle and it sure gave a new meaning to ‘airport departures’,  these occasions were very special indeed, it was VIP treatment all the way even although it was all a little unorthodox.

E3l airport departures

We were now into early November when the humidity tends to be extremely high and dodgy cars like my bright orange beetle had a tendency to succumb to this phenomenon, i.e. it was very hard to start.   I normally managed to cajole it into life but this particular morning was an exception, there wasn’t a squeak out of it.E3l humidity   We didn’t lack an audience though and eventually, the Farash and the boys from Dhows, moored opposite, jumped into action.  Firstly, they gave it a shunt and then a shake and also checked the ignition, no joy, so with a great heave ho they started pushing the Beetle with me at the helm round the corner.


E3l pushing car


We went past the front of the Oasis Hotel, along to Gray Mackenzies, then left past Red Shoe, until we eventually reached the main road, still with no sign of life, it was as dead as a dodo.   What do we do now; they couldn’t possibly push me all the way to the Airport, could they! E3l dodo


Obviously it was quite beyond my remit as I only knew how to put the ignition key in the designated slot, turn the key and then wizz off up the road, with no worries.


E3l wizz


That was my undoing, as one of these chaps had the extraordinary idea of checking the petrol gage and would you believe the tank was empty, I was incredulous, how could that be!  As if I didn’t know, what a dummy I am! And what a red face I had!


E3l red face


At that precise moment I was so very glad that my language skills left a lot to be desired and I couldn’t understand, Arabic, Urdu, Hindu or any other language you can think of because they were not best pleased with little old me!


E3l language skills


From that day on when they saw me charging out of the lift in the early mornings they always made them selves scarce and to this day I could never understand why?   There is surely a moral to this little story, it would possibly  be a very  good idea indeed,  if from time to time I filled up the tank and also I should,  maybe enroll on a car mechanics course pronto!  What do you think?

E3l car mechanic

The Farash still looked bemused and incredulous every time I popped out of the lift in my gear.   These days though  the boys from the Dhows were far more wily, they kept their heads down just in case they were required to help this maiden in distress, which would,  without a doubt,  require some terrible physical activity on their part, like pushing the Beetle half way round town!   Who could blame them!

E3l see nothing   What a sensation I was causing! but obviously, in my new  found exalted  position I should  really try and act with a little decorum, after all I was ‘flying the flag’!


DE3l flying the flag 2


Although I was still sailing most afternoons I now had other priorities which were becoming more pressing, would you like to know what these were?   Well, we were now being invited to so many parties. Dubai, seemed to have turned into one big party-go-round and obviously a girl needed the correct attire.   Darling, one couldn’t possibly be seen wearing the same outfit twice, well not in one week anyway!


E22 party 2


Naturally, this necessitated many trips to the Material Souk and the Tailors, is that a surprise or is it a surprise!     Actually, wandering around the Souk in the early evening was a truly magical experience as it was always a very special place to be at that time of day, consequently this little exercise was always full of fun and promise.   E3l dressmakers 2)


One’s tummy too rumbled with anticipation hoping that it would get the chance to devour a magnificent Shawama because the aromas that were wafting around were too tantalizing for words.. E3l mosi cafe


E3l memories 2





Sometimes though time was of the essence as the party go round usually began at 7pm kicking off with Cocktail/drinks parties.   As there were still few hotels in Dubai which were deemed suitable to cater for such occasions they were usually held in private residences, in other words the houses of the number ones.  A truly lovely nick-name for Company bosses!

E3l No one 2


The few new homes that were being  constructed in Dubai at that time were usual large, opulent and suitable to cater for such events, in other words they were party houses. There was only one drawback though, and that was that these houses seemed to be built in the deep blue yonder and one usually had to wade through mounds of sand to get to the front door.


E3l sand dunes and camel


It was worth all the effort though as the first thing you saw when the door was opened would usually  be two or three waiters lined up offering one the largest Gin and Tonic you could ever imagine this side of the next sand dune.

E3l tray of gin and tonics

After quenching one’s thirst one would sigh contentedly and say, yes the treck had really been worth while and also well rewarded.   Let’s have another one,  I don’t mind if I do!


E3l don't mind if I do 2


Hello, I hope you have enjoyed this little tale from the sand dunes!   Please drop by again. interviewed me recently and I would love to share their article  with you, which can be viewed HERE.


Essay 32 will be posted on Tuesday 3lst March, 2015


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