Before this stint in the Middle East, the longest I had ever been away from home was about 7 weeks, when I interned in Washington, DC. (Shoutout to everyone from BET’s main campus!) So one thing I was excited to experience was being away from home for a long time. Anything over 3 or 4 months, with no visits back home, is long to me.
Now it’s been 2 months since I left Toronto (flew out on November 27th), and I can honestly say the time is going by faster than I thought it would. Working 6 nights a week is probably one of the reasons why. In Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple one of the characters says “Time moves slowly, but passes quickly” and that is so true – sometimes I’m in the middle of a set thinking “How is it that only 16 minutes of this set have passed and there are still THREE MORE SETS to go before bedtime?!?”
And yet, when I look back through my photos and videos, I’m reminded that I’ve been making good use of the time here. So let’s get you caught up a bit …
Ah, the lovely White Orchid Lounge! This has been our show venue since we arrived and in less than a week we will be moving to a different stage here on the resort. I wish we could take all the White Orchid staff with us because they’re so fantastic … fingers crossed, we might get to bring one or two of them … and although I know I’ll miss the children who come dance to our music and the view from the balcony overlooking the pool, I’m looking forward to our new venue too. For one thing, my “commute” will be much shorter … instead of a 3-minute walk, it’ll be a 30-second elevator ride. #likeaboss
I’ve been getting off the resort and into the city a bit more, which is both nice and necessary. Almost once a week I find myself at the famous Dubai Mall … it’s humongous and one of my fave shopping centres so I have no complaints on that score! We’re currently in the midst of the Dubai Shopping Festival (yep, that’s a real thing – check the pic below) so between that, looking around in souks like the one where I got the pink wallet/clutch pictured above for less than ten dollars, and a visit to the Dubai Outlet Mall (now that’s a heavenly word combination), I’ve been snagging some great deals.
And I have to say, I feel like I’m settling in pretty well! Eating three times a day is awesome. The weather has had its ups and downs, but it looks like it’s starting to heat back up slowly but surely. Being 9 hours ahead of home makes it tricky to stay in touch as much as I’d like to, but Facebook has become my lifeline and I’m very grateful for Skype as well. I’ve met some awesome people, I’ve written 6 new songs in just over 8 weeks, I’m finding a balance between work and play, and I’m already very excited about the rest of 2014 and into 2015. Oh, and I’m slowly tanning. =)
Stay tuned for more updates and another Top Ten list coming your way! (The first Tuesday of every month.) Check out my YouTube channel for videos of the Dubai Marina, the dancing fountains at the Dubai Mall, a baby peacock, clips of our White Orchid performances, and – soon – my first completed video project since I got here. Much love …