Life in the Emirates

Life in the Emirates
Dubai Clock Tower

Back at the office, Maria’s senior manager came over one day to the accounts department where I worked and openly asked if anyone was interested in an opening in Dubai. I wasn’t sure if that was a trick question, so did not answer. At the time Dubai was an opportune place to better financial prospects. I later went to her office and told her that I was interested. She grinned as though she already knew that. My guess was that Maria would have briefed her at some point. No one else came forward or cared. An interview was set up and I was selected for the job, with no contenders.

Going to Dubai - a new place and also the unknown meant that I had to quit my almost 10 year job and also leave behind my family and my dear Maria and also be alone in that part of the world. While my boss tried to persuade me to stay on, my mind was made up. I go by my gut and my gut said it would all work out. I also knew that, if it did not then plan B was in place, to be back and easily find another job with my years of experience. In fact my boss told me that if it did not work out he would be happy to take me back.

My family also hoped that I would not leave, but I was hopeful to earn a decent pay and support them in the financial struggles and also help to settle down with Maria. I see it as God's plan in our life.

In Dubai I was provided decent bachelor accommodation. I communicated with Maria and my family via post. It was one of the ways of communications apart from telex and phone calls, which were expensive. Direct dial calls were not in existence so you had to go through the operator with a wait time of 6 to 8 hours. I do remember sending Maria a telex, since her office desk was not far from the telex machine. We kept chatting/typing for nearly an hour and it cost me 30% of my salary but it was fun and we were amused. Cost of entertainment is not cheap.

We exchanged letters updates and sentiments sometimes touching and sometimes not so touching but with the absence our hearts grew closer. I longed to hear from Maria and she wrote several long letters, with all her sentiments and the lovey dovey stuff, but deferred posting. At times I would receive 3 letters in one envelope, with different dates and on arrival, my eyes scanned them in less than a minute and done. By the end of the day, my reply was ready for mailing. The beautiful and touching greeting cards which she sent me made me miss her even more. While I waited for the next deferred mailing, I read those letters over and over again which kept me going and also drew my attention to the points that I missed in my quick scan.

Since I worked at a travel agency, we had all these cut out cardboard displays of air hostesses from different airlines and they looked so real. I took a photo, with my hand on the shoulder of one of the displays and sent it to Maria just for fun. I heard later she was fuming and upset, wondering what next. I think she was worried for a day or two, till she along with her brother went to the Sheraton shopping mall and there they noticed the same cut out display. Her mum couldn't stop laughing and she later told me of Maria's first reaction. However, when I received Maria's letter on the subject she appeared cool and calm but I knew her well and could smell the smoke.

See picture below with my hand on her shoulder. It wasn't this picture, but similar and looked like an authentic photo.

Well that is just my idea of having fun but hope you enjoyed reading.

I look for your comments and feedback or maybe a similar experience.