Still in Sharjah
While walking through the huge shopping mall in Sharjah, I did not even blink not even I stopped to gaze at anything. Now when I think of it I feel I was hypnotized for in my nature I love clothes, shoes, make up like any other girl still I was not into that at all.
Dropping my mother at the hotel I went out, bought newspapers for I know from internet that what ever you want to find you’ll find it in their newspapers. Job Ads, accommodation Ads and anything else. My search for an internet café did not last long and I found one in another hotel then another hidden one behind our hotel. I spent most of the day there, scanning the Ads in the newspaper and putting my standard cover letter which I used to change bits and pieces of it to match the Ads requirements and attaching my resume. Got back to hotel and took my mother out to buy dinner and walk for a while. I felt sad for my mother. I was in the middle of something but she had to take all that anxiety of being a total stranger in a foreign country with her crazy daughter. It was a foreign country that did not look like any Arab country I have been in before.
After dinner and some rest I started working on finding accommodation in Dubai from the newspapers’ Ads. Most people there rent their flats or villas for a bunch of different people since Dubai is a business capital and expatriates travel to UAE from all over the world to work and live there. Huge numbers of expatriates live alone in one room in a flat or villa shared with other expats.
I had quite a hard time trying to find a place to live in in Dubai considering the difficulty in getting to Dubai with all the traffic jam I heard about. Every time I called a number from the newspapers I had dismay when I found out the Indian families prefer Indian people to rent for, Pakistani people were the same . Most of them could hardly speak English. Others did not want to rent to a single woman with her mother (I wonder had I been alone what would have had happened!!). No one seemed to want Arabs!! I could not find an accommodation and that allowed frustration to crawl into my soul.
I was thinking of the worst thing that could happen, no accom. in Dubai. Ok, let me work on finding means of transportation even if it took me hours to get there.
Even though I decided not to call my friend who already helped me with the visa guy at first for I did not want to trouble him, I did eventually. Feeling so embarrassed to ask him for another favor he noticed and reassured me that he considered me as his little sister and he recommended a couple of Pakistani cab drivers to get me where ever I want . He gave more credit to one of them saying the other one is a bit of a womanizer but in case there was no other choice I should go for that one.
That day pretty much ended with no achievements of what so ever.
It was Friday. I was feeling real bad. No accommodation in Dubai, spending my money on this hotel I was staying in and except for the other run I made on the accommodation Ads in the newspapers which ended pretty much like the day before, I did not have anything else to do. I decided to call a friend of mine who lived in Dubai for the last 4 years. I was hesitant. He was my first male colleague that I made friends with at college. We had a great friendship that even our families got together at the end and I used to go out with his sisters to theaters and restaurants, back then of course we had such life in Baghdad, yet when he moved to UAE I noticed the changes. My mother encouraged me to contact him but I was afraid he would disappoint me. Finally I convinced my self to at least say hello on the phone. It was quite funny when he shouted in surprise Ya Allah when he knew who was on the other end of the line. The way he received me after saying my name was amazing that made me feel stupid I thought of him negatively in the first place.
Half an hour later he entered the lobby and after over than three years we met again. He was always the brother I never had at college days and once I saw him I felt he was still the same brother I knew.
He took us to Dubai to an Iraqi Masgoof restaurant. I forgot its name for I was still floating with my own problems of accommodation, finding a job, expenses …etc.
We had lunch with his sister ,her family and his other sister who was visiting them from Baghdad. I hardly ate.
I started receiving phone calls regarding the accommodation while we were sitting at the restaurant since I had I left a couple of Ads and sent a few emails regarding this matter earlier.
My friend offered me rides to go check the two residences in Dubai. Both were for females and both were far away from the city. Same problem!! Oh also there was no furniture not even a curtain on the huge bed room windows. I did not want to furnish a room for the 3 weeks I was staying there. After all, three weeks plus mines were all what I had as an official leave from my company in Iraq.
My friend insisted on taking us on a tour to Ibn Battota mall. Amazing mall but I was not in the mood. No need to mention that my mother and I felt even more miserable after that. People around us seemed quite settled without any pains, buying clothes , taking pictures and having fun while I was thinking of my father and sister who we left back in Baghdad. “Dad must be sitting in front of T.V watching news while the generator must be working, who did operate it going out in the dark? My sister must be studying in her bed room upstairs, or did she get all her stuff downstairs to stay with dad, are they safe now? Any bombs?”. That kind of thoughts.
We got back to the hotel real late and while we were in the car, I was watching the streets of Dubai all the way reaching to Sharjah, the lights, the buildings, the cars, the life. My heart was sinking deeper feeling that I did not belong anywhere in this world.