So it seems appropriate that today's post is a fabric-y craft one, because I am here in Dubai for the first time in five years, and it's heaven.
First of all, I was waved through at passport control........ which means the niggling little fear I've been harbouring all this time that I might not be allowed back into the country because my old residential visa wasn't cancelled through the proper channels when I left last time, was unfounded. Yay.
My very good friend Ms Read and I used to trawl the fabric markets in Dubai on an all-too-regular basis. It was our pastime to go and pick up new material and take it straight to Mr Prakash, our tailor near Lamcy Plaza.
There was one shop Ms Read and I particularly liked - Deepak's, a wonderful place stocked and staffed in the Indian manner. That is, drinks on arrival, an attendant to shepherd you round the shop and pull out lots of lovely stuff for you, anther man to fold it all up once it was cut, and then a final man to tally the bill and take payment.
|On the left, cotton polkadots for daytime. On the right, crepe de chine polkadots for nighttime|
|I love the Arabic script on the middle selvedge - I'm going to make a feature out of that somehow|
I was sceptical. Five years between drinks and he remembers me? I graciously said Oh, that's very nice but I'm sure you don't.
And he looked at me again and he said "You ask my friend over there. When you came in the door I said to him, the madam has cut all her hair."
I gaped. He continued.
"You were taking them to Mr Prakash."
You could have knocked me down with a feather.
"I am remembering your name madam, and it is (insert my name here). Are you remembering my name?"
And I confess I wasn't remembering his name at all. My god, the man remembers me and now I feel embarrassed because I a) didn't believe him and b) don't remember his.
"Ah, but you were remembering my name when you were living here madam. I am Sunil. And I am remembering that before you left you came in and bought one great mountain of fabric to take home with you, many embroidered silks especially in the bright colours."
It's true. The man has a memory like an elephant (while I have one like a goldfish.) How happy and touched was I to feel remembered, and valued - no doubt because I used to spend so much money in there, so it's a friendship based firmly on commerce, but really, who cares? The man remembers me as a valuable customer, five years later!
My god I love Dubai, and especially Deepak's, and particularly Sunil.