Well, hello, strangers.

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I have not fallen of the face of the earth. I have just had a hiatus.

I had alluded to some issues that were going on.

The 13 year relationship between myself and my husband has been undergoing some problems, probably, in retrospect, for some time. In the past few weeks some major realisations have been made. Some time alone was required.

Hence, I went to Dubai, and have now come to Singapore.

I was scared of being lonely during this trip, but in truth I have not been. Maybe briefly, but not generally. I feel more alive than what I have …. probably ever.

This does not bode well for our relationship, if the truth be told.

I am not going to bore you with all the details of my trip, as I am wont to do. Feelings and observations are always far more interesting than lists.

So.

  • Dubai. The heat. The rampant consumerism. The largest mall in the world, full of luxury stores, and a Laduree (my favourite patisserie in the world). This place is amazing.
  • The Arab women. We have so many preconceived notions about them, but many of them were broken. The richer ladies prance around the mall, either a couple of steps ahead of their husbands, or in large groups of women. They are mostly covered in black abayas, but are meticulously made up and groomed. They have expensive bags hanging off their shoulders and if you look closely, designer shoes adorning their feet. Their hands are soft and skin is pale; they look protected, mollycoddled, pampered. They wear lots of expensive gold and diamond jewellery.
  • The multiple shoegasms. 2 pairs of Oscar de la Renta shoes at 70% off. These shoes are the bomb. Other heavily discounted designer pretties were bought as well. Multiple bargasms.
  • The trip to Sharjah- a glimpse of Bedouin culture.
  • The dune-bashing 4 wheel drive trip, which I enjoyed for the first 20 minutes and then spent the last 45 minutes of it with my eyes squeezed shut, head in a bag.
  • Meeting the insouciant Ghanian Ann, and going out shopping with her to buy (real) hair extensions, sourced from India and China.
  • Going to Verre, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, alone. Walking there in my new heels (500 metres across the road) and black dress, attracting stares from local men. Generally though, the men were well behaved.
  • Enjoying my meal at Verre, and being introduced to the head chef there, who trained under Gordon Ramsay.
  • Getting a manicure and pedicure. Sitting next to an American lady called Mary Louise, a construction lawyer based in Dubai but working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We had an amazing chat and she invited me out to brunch with her expat friends.
  • Going to a jazz bar, alone. Meeting the singer and her boyfriend pianist, who was Australian, she sang a few songs for me. Rebuffing some slimy looking older arab men (and what the hell are they doing drinking alcohol, anyway). I had a great time.
  • Going to that brunch, or more properly, buffet lunch, in a hotel called the Palace, an Arabian styled hotel, very swanky. Now, I have eaten some amazing meals in my time, but this was one of the more memorable. The buffet contained lobster mornay, fresh crab, oysters, roast beef and….foie gras, fried up for me freshly and served on brioche. Fresh mussels cooked in white wine and cream and garlic…yumm. All the prosecco we could drink and a mojito to finish off. All for the equivalent of $100 Australian.
  • At this brunch, meeting Jen, another American expat, a web designer. I had reservations for at.mosphere, the bar on the 120th floor of the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), and I invited Jen along as my date. Dressed and made up to the nines, we drank sublime cocktails and felt like the girls from Sex and the City.
  • Then the flight to Singapore – exit row seat, valium, sleep.
  • I have met some amazing people here, too. I spent last night at the bar on top of marina bay sands, the view of Singapore was amazing (sorry to overused the word).
  • Smiling at the little kids playing in their undies under fountains. Smiling at people talking Singlish ( a bastardised singaporean English). Smiling a lot. Singing in the street – luckily nobody can hear me, it is so loud.
  • Having my hair dyed by Edwin, the singaporean hairdresser with strong hands who gave a head massage to die for.
It has been quite a time. To use the cliche, a real rollercoaster, but quite a time.

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