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The six people you meet at Taste of Dubai

Posted on 18-03-2014

Last week I popped down to Taste of Dubai with my sis, something that we’ve done each year as a kind of insane foodie tradition. While the festival has certainly grown over the past few years, we’ve noticed subtle changes in the variety of food on offer as well as the kind of people who show up to attend. Having attended two out of three days this year, I certainly ate quite a bit and observed my fair share of weird people (and cliques). So while we were propped up at the bar, we came up with a little list of the kind of people that you can meet at Taste of Dubai:

The Honeymooners – what better way to spend the weekend with your significant other than at a food festival, curled up on the soft grass listening to a band on stage while you sip Tiger beer. And you don’t even need to be married to be in the Honeymooner category – basically feeding anyone a spoonful of soft-shell crab while having a not-so-silent orgasm will get you into this category.

The Pram Pushers – hot on the heels of The Honeymooners come The Pram Pushers. These people think that it’s much more fun to bring their kids out as well, rather than having them at home with a sitter. And with small kids come prams that could pass as Transformers.  It’s bad enough that the place is teeming with people, but let’s make things a bit more interesting by barrelling down the pathway with this huge thing that looks like a wheelbarrow. Bonus points for carrying your two-year old baby and standing in front of a flaming BBQ pit to give you kid that extra-smoky, carbon monoxide smell  (apparently carbon monoxide doesn’t smell, so la dee fucking da).

The Serial Clubber – on your way to a club? Why not detour and binge-eat on sushi, crab, chicken skewers, and drink wine from a plastic cup? These strange creatures come decked out in their best clubbing gear (including high heels – on grass), and are utterly confused when they realize they have to buy a ticket to get in and not flash their tits at the door.

The Food Blogger – poised with diminutive notepad and DSLR/smartphone, the Food Blogger hops from table to table while painstakingly framing their five-millionth Instagram photo of a fish biryani. They’re not afraid to storm the stage after a chef’s demo or to stop you halfway through your meal to snap a photo of ‘casual diner tucking into their latest food find’. #love #food #foodporn #tod #nom

The Social Drinker - a regular every year, the Social Drinker sees Taste of Dubai as just one big excuse to go out and get completely plastered. Whether they’re staggering into the MMI tent or staggering out of the MMI tent, the Social Drinker is far from social, opting either to lean on a fence for support or plonking themselves in the VIP lounge with fellow Drinkers. Strike up a conversation with them at your own peril.

The Beachcomber - a new entry this year, the Beachcomber is exactly that – dressed for the beach, but attends a food festival. Tank top, shades on top of their head, flip-flops, and shorts complete a chic beach look, except they stand out like a sore thumb amongst everyone else who’s dressed like regular human beings.

 Did I miss anything? Leave your own observations in the comments!

Dear LinkedIn

Posted on 13-03-2014

We need to talk.

I joined LinkedIn years ago, in the hopes that mingling with the high profile names of the corporate world would land me a job at my then dream destination – Microsoft.

It did not.

But I continued to stay on LinkedIn, ‘connecting’ with colleagues and other people in my industry, all the while trying my hardest to obtain the elusive “100% complete” profile badge.

However as of late, I’ve noticed that LinkedIn has become a complete joke. Or at least I’m ‘networked’ with people who think that LinkedIn = Facebook.

It is not.

I’ve come across the below posts a bit frequently on my LinkedIn, and every time I see them I cringe a little bit. I also them promptly delete that person from my network.

So I decided to respond to these kind of posts in the only way I know how – through gifs.


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You’re Single And It’s Not The End Of The World

Posted on 06-02-2014

A table for just one sir? No one else is coming?

I’ve had to endure this line every so often when I arrive at a restaurant and have to be seated. On one hand, it’s almost always easy to seat a table for one – there’s bound to be a single seat tucked away, near the bar or even towards the back, where the bustle of the kitchen warps any sense of actually enjoying your meal. But on the other hand it gets irritating when you have to stare back at the maître d’ who’s looking at you with raised eyebrows as if a second person is going to materialize out of thin air.

For most of my adult life, I’ve been single. I’ve done the long distance relationship thing, I’ve had great relationships with people who’ve suddenly decided their true calling is halfway around the world, and I’ve had a few psycho cases along the way. But for most part, I’ve been rocking the singles boat. At parties, weddings, events, clubs – I’m usually descended upon like some kind of rare specimen, to be poked and prodded to no end. You’re still single? Oh you’ll meet someone great, don’t worry! The dialogue is always the same from my friends but it’s rarely convincing. But the funny thing about being single is that eventually, you just embrace it. And that’s when you truly start to enjoy your life.

Of course there’s always Grindr for those looking for a gentleman’s company, but you pretty much know what kind of company you’re going to get from there. I love it when I see guys who’ve written that they’re on there for ‘networking’. What the heck kind of networking can you do with a headless torso and a picture of your family jewels?

I have a fair amount of friends who start to get all mopey in the run up to Valentine’s Day. Something about it just turns them into bickering, bitter human beings, and to be honest it can be quite toxic. For these people, Valentine’s Day is a not-so-subtle reminder that they don’t have a ‘significant other’ in their lives, and for some reason this scares the living daylights out of them. For a long time, I was one of these people, always worrying about when I would meet this other person who would give me a reason for living, and who I could share every special moment with. Truth be told, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Speak to any couple in private and they’ll confess that they often envy their single friends. Why? Because as single people, we write our own rules. We go where we want, when we want, and we go with whoever we want. There’s no obsessively texting someone that we’re going to be home late, or spending twenty minutes deciding which movie to go for or which place to order dinner from.

I choose to celebrate being single, and of course it’s taken me a while to get there. Sure, I could be a complete nutcase and join the various ‘Anti-Valentine’ brigades that seem to be popping up everywhere, or burn all memories of my exes in some kind of ritualistic dance, but neither of these are going to end well. Valentine’s Day is just like any other day for me – I see couples and people in relationships on any other day, so there’s nothing different this time around (except that flowers go up in price by 135%).

If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, don’t make a big deal about it. Life is meant for living, and right now sitting around worrying about when and where you’re going to meet a partner isn’t helping anyone, least of all you. Go out and enjoy your single life while it lasts – meet up with your other single friends and treat yourself to a night on the town, or just do things that make you feel good. In fact, why wait for just one particular day to treat yourself? Do it any day of the year, any time you feel like you just need to unwind, or blow off some steam, or just to remind yourself that there are greater things in life you should be worrying about than heart-shaped candy and roses.

So yes, I’ll take a table for one – just me and my fabulous self.

Music Monday – No Scrubs

Posted on 02-02-2014

Music Monday – Same Love

Posted on 27-01-2014

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Music Monday – I’ll Get You (Do you like Bass)

Posted on 13-01-2014

Music Monday – Somewhere Only We Know

Posted on 30-12-2013

Music Monday – White Christmas

Posted on 22-12-2013

What it’s like to go clubbing in your 30s

Posted on 19-12-2013

You just fucking don’t.

Despite what your friends may say, despite how awesome the venue sounds, despite your brain telling you “You’ve earned this night out”, don’t do it.

Clubbing in your 20s is different. When you hit 21 you can finally saunter into a club without having to bribe the bouncer or sneak in with your older friends. At 21, you’re officially a member of the night crowd, and your nights blur together as you become intoxicated with the clubbing scene. You have no problem leaving the house at 11pm and coming back at 8am before downing a latte and getting on with your day.

But when you hit your 30s, things are very, very different. Going to a club no longer becomes a fun night out with your friends, but is instead an absolutely exhausting exercise. Before you even get started with anything, you need to figure out what to wear. Fashion has taken a convoluted turn in past years, where suspenders, bowties, drainpipe pants and rib-crushing vests have become the norm (I will confess that I own at least two of these wardrobe staples). A club’s “smart casual” dress code could mean anything from figure-hugging denim paired with a wild-print polo to flat-front chinos held up by red suspenders.

Finally when you reach the club and get in, the first question you ask yourself is why the hell everything is so fucking LOUD. Seriously, you don’t recall the music being so loud that you can feel the fluid in your inner ear starting to vibrate. You try to mouth your drink order to the bartender (who is now referred to a ‘mixologist’), but this goes mostly ignored since the chick with boobs pushed up to her face has just flagged him down for another round of shots that looks like small servings of mouthwash.

Apart from the insanely loud music, you become aware of how everyone in the club is impeccably dressed and presented, and how you can feel at least seven pairs of eyes judging you already. If they’re not judging you for your outfit, they’re judging you for your age. I’m sure there are plenty of people in their 30s who can rock the clubbing scene, but let me tell you something honey, it’s not going to last very long. Going to a club in your 30s means that you enter into some kind of timewarp where your watch may say it’s 10pm, but your body thinks its 2am and is already entering shutdown mode. You try to dance a bit to stay awake, but your so-called dance moves are dwarfed by the slender guys writhing around on the dancefloor as if they’re possessed. This, apparently, is what’s called dancing. Eventually the noise and crowd begins to overwhelm your brain, and you wish you were at home catching re-runs of Games of Thrones interspersed with The Mindy Project. But you fight the urge to crawl under a table and curl into a ball, and try to stick it out for another twenty minutes, flashing a smile to your friends so they know your consciousness isn’t slipping away. The worst part is when you actually recognize a dance tune, it’s being played because the DJ considers it ‘retro’ when you could have sworn it was something that you heard on the charts only yesterday.

Or in 1998.

Music Monday – Amazing

Posted on 16-12-2013