Monday, February 21, 2011

Celebrating February #2 - Weekend Getaways

To celebrate my happy month we took a little getaway. This is not a review (it might sound like that) but just a memoir of a wonderful weekend spent at Fujairah.

It changes suddenly, the terrain, from a busy highway to miles and miles of lonely red dessert and on the horizon an outline of mountains at a distance growing closer and emerging right in front of you. You hold your breath and gasp ‘Wow’ when after thirty minutes of driving in the mountains you take a slight turn and for the first time you see the bluest sea spreading till eternity, calm and collected, reflecting the bright sun like a million stars. With the mountain on one side and the sea on the other, you don’t really breathe till you soak in the beauty you are mystically right in the middle of.

I had heard a lot about Fujairah but quite honestly didn’t expect much. We were pleasantly surprised that a city we considered to be just buildings and sand could have something so close to heaven just an hour and a half away.

We set off on a Friday morning. I don’t understand why hotels have to have a check in time of 3PM because it’s almost evening by the time you settle in. Therefore we decided to reach early, have lunch and just laze around till they finally give us our room.

The Jal Fujairah resort can be quite deceiving by its looks on the outside. But one should not judge a book by its cover they say. As you drive into the resort you wonder if it’s worth paying AED 650 a night (taxes and breakfast included) for something that looks like a sea side motel.

So before you wonder what kind of a place this is, I must tell you that as you walk into the lobby the first thing you see is the sea! Yes, it’s right at the beach. And this makes the resort totally worth the money you spend. The staff is efficient and sweet (they upgraded our room from a standard to a superior :- ) )

Each room is sea facing with a large balcony that’s perfect for sipping tea. The bathroom is huge with separate shower and bath units. The bathtub opens with a window in the room (very romantic if you are there with your better half) so even if you don’t get out to the beach or the pool the room is quite nice and spacious by itself.

Sadly it was very chilly and the water was freezing so we couldn’t swim much and do any water sports which we have scheduled for the next visit. The resort has three pools and one of them (not the one with the bar) is heated. The food is strictly OK. I strongly suggest the buffet barbeque and not the Indian dishes. The breakfast spread is wide and no one should miss the waffles. Make sure you get a table at the patio overlooking the sea, it just wakes you up!

Milan from Srilanka and Mohsin from Pakistan, sweet and chatty servers at the pool side were extremely helpful. They remembered our orders from the previous day which is quite impressive. How can you not have a good time when everyone around you is smiling!

You don’t do much in a resort but be lazy and that’s exactly what we did. Time moves so slow when you are doing nothing but staring into the horizon. We ate, drank, laughed and soaked in a lot of sun. I am sure everyone who goes to the resort goes through a depression when having to come back. So we checked out and stayed at the beach till evening before heading back completely rejuvenated and relaxed to Dubai.

For those wondering of my plight of beach wear. There is an amazing thing called swimming shorts (awesome ones available at Billabong) which is perfect for women like me.

I couldn’t have asked for more in my happy month. A perfect, short getaway I strongly recommend for anyone living in the UAE.

Here are some pictures from our visit.

The drive - When the mountains start

Just staring into the sea.... calm and serene

The view from the room - All rooms have a view like this

Beach chair

Sun and Shade :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebrating February #1 - One piece, two piece … F@#$ whatever!!!

My happy month is here. I am a February baby and I absolutely love everything about this month. Apart from the fact that this month meant the most number of birthday cakes when I was growing up, I love this month for the hope of spring that it brings along.

February in Dubai doesn’t bring a hope for spring but the scare of terrible summer. However the weather in February is perfect for an outdoor brunch or sipping wine on a patio overlooking the beach. It’s the time when you make the most of the weather, plan last minute holidays and try to hold on to whatever cold wind you can capture in one breath.

To honor my happy month I am going to write a few posts about the things on my mind this month. Stay tuned :-) Here is the first in the series -

One piece, two piece … F@#$ whatever!!!

Amazing weather, a crazy month and lots of stress has made us plan a teeny weeny weekend getaway next week. The getaway demands the purchase of a certain item which has made me going nuts now. I had some time ago written about my angst in finding the right pair of jeans (read here, here and here), thankfully I did find them after months of searching and trying out probably thousands of pairs. I haven’t had to go through that torture again, thankfully. This time however it’s the fight between me and the bikini.

I have owned some really pretty swimming attire since I was a child and that’s all thanks to the very sweet aunties and uncles who would travel abroad and bring back gifts for us poor souls who never went further than Nepal (and one foot into Pakistan, thanks to some army connections)

Anyhow, the last pretty one got eaten up by Coffee (May her soul rest in peace) in my attempt to save it from her it got torn badly. So that’s when the fight begun and is now a full fledged battle.

What does a normal Indian (read Punjabi) woman naturally blessed with thunder thighs (which we politely refer to as – ‘khate peete ghar ki nishani’) do when she has to find a decent yet nice looking swimming attire. Now you might tell me there is a choice in the market of the funny suits that come with frills and skirts at the bottom and I will give you a very dirty look. No normal bred swimmer would wear something that resembles a cross between a bad cheerleader uniform and a little girl’s birthday dress in LYCRA.

So I search and I search and all I see around me are skimpy little two piece thingis seeing which I wonder – who the hell really fits into these minuscule pieces of cloth? Being blessed with thunderous baseball bats is one thing but the beauty of the Indian woman doesn’t stop there and also settles in the lovely love handles that ummmm kind of look only nice when you wear a saree and pretend to be all sexy and coy at the same time.

Anyway, you take them in the trial room, struggle to fit in… look right, left, front and back, cringe at the thought of added cellulite since the last time you were in a trial room, make a sad face and fantasize about a morning when you would wake up and all that fat would have been mysteriously been sliced off in the night and you would be the new Kareena Kapoor.

You are so depressed after the trial room that you pick up a few shoes (that always fit right) and drown your sorrows in a nice big blueberry muffin (not always low fat)

I fail to understand when more than 70 percept of the population in this country is Asian how come not one piece of swim wear is apt for the Indian / Asian woman (one piece, nice cut, makes you look good and thin :P ?) I have searched almost all malls and walked endlessly till my feet are dead yet all in vain. The eternal search for the perfect swim wear remains unfulfilled. This is not Baywatch and I am not a Pamela Anderson, still is it a crime to ask for this?!!

So, until I find you, my perfect swim attire,

The average, stout and short Punjabi woman.


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