Thursday, May 23, 2013
So priorities are, (after the 3 week recovery from jet lag) in no particular order, to find a job within 1.5 months, to find a home to rent, to stash away some money for a house deposit in the distant future and to take care of Woman. Not extremely challenging but every now and then, one encounters varying degrees of bipolarity with characters (friends/ family/ well-wishers/ strangers) shifting from genial to patronizing in seconds . For example:
X (smiling): So what is it like, to be a house husband/ man of leisure/ to chill at home?
GT (going into defensive martial arts mental crouch): Uh huh, not too bad.
X (smiling): All that free time! Lots of catching up on TV/ reading/ friends/ Facebook?
GT (rattlesnake in the monkey shadow pose): Yeah, sometimes
X (sunshiney smile suddenly becomes Serious Double Wrinkle Of Concern): And what happened to your interviews/ job search/ resumes? I saw some options in The Guardian/ The Times/ The Metro/ The Daily Mail yesterday... did you? Should I send it to you? Always good to make a start somewhere, no?
GT: (mental backflip from edge of the flat universe into dangerous unknown) So how is YOUR job coming along?
I do exaggerate but you get the point.
Woman, meantime, is going through her set of issues which include confused direct reports who launch into panic attacks and do nothing or everything, traveling to many countries that her position requires her to cover, the annoyance of having Man at home fluttering around doing too much or too little, and of course, the near perpetual cloud. Ah, me wee poor lass. Occasionally the claws peek out, like when I was checking train timings for her to reach a 9am meeting and she says what flirty text are you typing now. And comes over for a look. At such moments, one must set aside the momentary loud shriek-claws-come-out-I-am-Wolverine urge, remember that she is going through a tough phase and respond with something benign like "Hon, to make it to your meeting tomorrow, you'll have to catch the 7.32 or 7.48 " and wait until she cuddles up and says sorry. Or doesn't. But it's all fine when she buys you two fab T-shirts in the middle of an intense trip and shares updates about L'Sprocket from Italy or Switzerland or Uganda or wherever she is at the moment and gets into a rant about the sugar levels in "every bloody cereal". Until then, deep breaths, mutter "this too shall pass" and keep moving.
Such, the life of a house-husband/ man of leisure/ chiller at home.
PS: Did I mention being educated and entertained by no less than Sarah Bakewell on Montaigne, Alexander McCall Smith on Scottish poetry and Modern Family on the apparent meaninglessness of American family life... all at the same time. I could roll over and die in pleasure from such incessant intellectual tickling but I have a job to find.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Ah, this lovely era of globalization when such things are possible.
Well, well, at least we're now clear about who'll be guzzling down beer on Thursdays and who'll be sipping Pepsis at 2am.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Traces the story of Frank and Katrin. Frank is a high-flier who violates every possible rule of management consulting and client confidentiality... he also dreams of writing a book. Katrin of course is the polar opposite who follows every rule there ever was or ever will be and therefore is the role model for all of us, new bakras at the firm.
Audio signoff at the end of course: "Now Frank has all the time in the world to write the book he wants". Oooooooooooohhhhh... nasty is us.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
- "It is not very safe to use taxi drivers in XX location, so we have our own fleet. Some of
the locals don't like the idea of using consultants, so can be hostile, so please use our
own fleet always".
- "The logistics team doesn't do night club reservations"
- "All the support teams have blacklists for you guys; believe me, you'll know it when you're
- Bank a/c opening process:
GT: But I don't want a Super Duper Platinum credit card with $300K limit.
Bank rep: Sorry sir, but it is an all inclusive package. You can choose not to use it.And
please sign this...
GT: Sign a blank cheque in favour of "Stinking Rich Bank" LLC?!
Bank rep: That is standard process; not to worry, we won't encash it (chuckle).
GT: Chuckle?! When do I get it back?
Bank rep: When you close accounts and settle matters.
GT: Settle matters?!Bank rep: Not to worry,sir, standard process"
5. Fellow joinee peeks into support team area and says to Lady #1: Hey, you look like that
GT: (thinks) WTF?!?! Will he get slapped? Reprimanded? Shouted at? Stunned silences?
Lady #2 in support team: Which one?
Lady #3: Wait, wait, let me guess....
Lady #1: (Blush) I know who you're reminded of... it is XYZ.
GT: (silently) Ahem, ahem.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Was received at airport by The Fairmont chauffeur in 7 series Beemer with car gliding in as we walked out. Woman and self much impressed.
Hotel is all right if a bit dated. All lights and smoke and mirrors. Got weary of the super duper breakfast spread, the extensive menu and the concierge service in all of 24 hours.
After refreshing ourselves, Woman and I had lunch. A very big lunch. A very salty lunch. (Dubai Restaurant Reminder #1: Ask for less salad dressing, half portion servings and low salt options. #2: Do not feel guilty about leaving behind food when portions are unwieldy).
Visited M and Baby A in their residence. They live in the Greens, a nice ‘family’ area with plenty of trees, a not so bad view and a decent gym. Baby A is a rock-star, gets friendly but doesn’t grant smiles easily. Quite curious about world at large. My beard in particular. M has put in a word with their concierge for apartments coming up in their building.
Went for a walk by small lake (all water bodies/ gardens in Dubai are artificial, so let’s not get all snotty about the provenance of ‘lake’ now), encountered lady in abaya who gave a smile and said ‘Salaam Aleykum’ but as G would have observed did not move out of the way. Apparently you move out of their way and not vice versa. GT’s cultural adventures… sigh. Sat down at a café and had a Love Juice while Woman had something else tastier. Ordered roast aubergine something. Super salty again. Also bitter. Quickly grab her drink to wash away taste. Ali messages, explaining what happens when certain parts of human anatomy are removed. Can always depend on him to stir up things after bad dinners.
Made mistake of peeking at Baby A who promptly started bawling. Despite Indian-doggy tested tummy tickle and Indian-baby tested coochy-coos, refuses to calm down. So take her and start dancing around. Hunky and bulky Mediterranean man with European girlfriend give strange looks. Woman and M start yakking away happily.
After 20 minutes of see-sawy dancing and walking around to different hums and twitches, Baby A falls asleep. So do my biceps. Manage to fob off sleeping bundle to Woman but bundle comes to life and bawls. Thankfully not in my hands now. Woman does some magic and Baby A goes back to sleepyland in 5 minutes flat. But M says to Woman, ‘Keep holding her. If you try to put her in the pram, she’ll wake up’. Woman says ‘She’s a bit heavy’. M insists, ‘Hold her, its only a short distance and you’ll be fine’. Woman laughs awkwardly. M reassures her, ‘You can do it’. Am I glad I managed to dump bundle onto Woman. Phew.
Back to M’s home and then after besos all round, back to hotel. Promptly fall asleep on arrival. Wake up groggily after 2 hours to say bye to Woman. Go to airport. Wondering what level of body contact would be appropriate. After a while, decide to screw all considerations. It’s bloody sad and sobby farewell, people. Somehow it’s manageable. No sobs, no cries, no loud ululations or lamentations. We manage a decent, dignified ‘see you soon’ with hugs and kisses and tightly grasped hands. Touchy feely score in region of 75%. Keep waving to Woman as she leaves. She unleashes a flying kiss. I return it. Then wonder if security will arrest me. Look around. Two bulky boys in uniform giving me dirty looks. Shivers, shivers. Decide to stick to exuberant and passionate waves, rather than kisses. Wave to her as she crosses security. Wave to her as she wanders towards Departures. And finally, Wave to her as she boards escalator. Such are the mores of global couples. Bah.
Back to hotel and pop in antibiotics and Paracetomol and allow oneself to be knocked out by chemicals, sadness and general fatigue. Welcome to Dubai.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Notice fresh-looking scar on ankle, ask her what it is, she says 'winged vampire with tiny wings' and makes motions like a sparrow chick flapping around and gives a series of squeals. A very underfed British vampire, perhaps.
In France, after a litre or two of beer, I insist on speaking French and she insists on replying in Sinhalese. The waiter, sensible man that he was, went with zee English language. I call out to a 6 year old goldilocks next to us and say "Elle est 'opeless". Goldilocks sniggers and hides in her dad's tummy.
She wakes up in the middle of the night with mosquito bites. I do praetorian guard duty, successfully extinguishing the lives of two mosquitosassins. She says she hears a third one buzzing around and goes to sleep. I stay wide awake in the darkness, hearing subliminal buzzes well into the dawn. At breakfast, she looks like she wants to say "why the zombie look?" but sticks to "you look tired". Good girl.
The French waitress at the cafe in vieux Lyon throws up her hands in horror and says "Encore?!" when I ask for my third pain-au-chocolat. I wonder what she'll do when I ask her for ice-cream later. Beaucoup-French-eye-popping sounds ensue 5 minutes later when I ask for 'deux scoops' , blatantly insensitive , IMHO, to the the grave needs of Indian vegetarians for every spare vegetarian protein molecule that can be found in Lyon.
Image from www.mochimochiland.com