Tag Archives: deleted entry

Burqalicious deleted diary entry. “The Crush”

25 Feb

Before the mighty edit of Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries (did I mention I have a book out?! ;-)) I wrote quite a bit about Stacey’s “friend”, Haaris. Unfortunately I had to cut him out, not because this big hulk of man was boring, but because there were just too many other things to cover. Luckily I have the old manuscript here, so here’s a Friday treat: another deleted diary entry I call “The Crush”. Hope you like it! xx

“Stacey has of late, found herself in a bit of an awkward situation. In an attempt to stop the dreaded Dubai Stone attaching itself to her person, she decided to take up kickboxing, which is allegedly an enjoyable affair hosted by a very nice man from Iraq, called Haaris.

Haaris is huge. Width ways. He looks a little bit like a squished version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime; a little bit shorter, but with the same muscular frame that makes you want to beg: “Please, can you just ask me one more time if I want some tickets to the gun show?” as you whip out your mobile phone for a photo to show your gran. He’s very healthy and he never drinks. And when he stands up, he looks a little bit like a baboon about to beat his chest; always straight, always seeming taller than he actually is.

He sometimes does commercials. We’re not exactly sure what kind of commercials, as we’ve never seen any, but it’s something he seems very proud of and he’s too scary for us to ask him any further questions about it. He’s also been a bodyguard for various celebrities in a host of different countries, so as you can imagine, he’s the kind of guy who unwittingly commands a certain type of respect.

The other night after class, Haaris invited Stacey back to his place to “drink chai” and seeing as they’ve become friends and she didn’t have much else going on, she agreed. He then asked, over the top of his teacup, if he could kiss her. Stacey was quite understandably shocked. She had no idea prior to this abrupt request that Haaris felt this way about her. She looked down at her chai feeling rather uncomfortable, before stumbling something along the lines of “Er… no… we’re just friends!”

Unfortunately, over the course of the past few weeks, Haaris has taken it upon himself to fall completely in love with Stacey. Yes, our very own brown-haired beauty has officially bent, stretched and high-kicked her way into his heart.  But whilst she respects him greatly for his lovely personality and all of his past and present ventures, Stacey, sadly, is just not that into him.

Haaris was clearly mortified to learn of this. Stacey watched as he put his teacup down slowly on the table. His eyebrows knitted together in the middle of his bronzed brow. He then raised his head in a defiant manner and announced: “We cannot be friends. I don’t have any female friends. That is impossible.”

Stacey wasn’t sure if this also meant she couldn’t take part in his kickboxing classes anymore, which would have been a shame as she quite enjoys them. She wasn’t too sure what to think at all as she sloped out feeling rather guilty, and caught a cab. But thankfully, just before the next class rolled around, Haaris called her up and offered to drive her there, straight from her office. She gratefully accepted his offer, glad that they were still on speaking terms, only the traffic was so bad that they sat stationary for over an hour in awkward silence, missed the class and stood up an entire group of people.

Things clearly weren’t looking good. Realising that he’d already tried and failed the take-her-home-and-try-to-snog-her approach, Haaris gave up, turned around and drove her home, which irritatingly for both of them took another 40 minutes or so, thanks to even more traffic.

But it seems dodging a chai fuelled kiss and being forced to endure hours of silent car torture wasn’t enough for our Stacey. Determined to prove him wrong having been informed that he doesn’t have any female friends, she decided she wanted to go and support Haaris in his doorman duties, at a club in the Grand Hyatt Hotel. He’d been telling her to come along for ages, but she’d just never found the time or inclination. Now however, she had something to prove. She could be his friend, godammit.

And so it was that M&M and I found ourselves accompanying her to one of the weirdest establishments in Dubai; a nightclub on two levels, full of Polish, Indians and Filipinos, pumping out trance music. A good few hookers also found it a prime time to shake their thang all around us on the dance floor and as it happened, Haaris only had time for one orange juice before having to resume his door duties, leaving us all stuck there out of politeness. “You enjoy!” he called, turning his back on our torture.

All’s well that ends well, though. We definitely saw a smile on his face once we’d all summoned the confidence to walk past him and out into the safety of the night. We endured three hours of trance. It was a hefty price to pay but we’re pretty sure he’s forgiven Stacey for rejecting him.”


Burqalicious – Deleted Diary Entry…

22 Jan

Seeing as the original manuscript for Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries was over 125,000 words long (what? I’m a rambler!) I had to cut a significant amount out before it became the glossy book about to hit shelves around Australia. So I’ve decided to post a few extra bits here for your perusal. There might also be a few more on the eBook version when it comes out, which WON’T be on this blog, but more news about that later.

So here’s the first deleted diary entry, which I call ‘The Incredible Journey’. I hope you like it! This one’s from fairly early on in my adventure.

“To demonstrate how much my commute has changed from the arduous trek across London (Mile End to St James’ Park on the District Line), I thought I would photograph my route from home to work as it is right now. If you’d like to walk it with me, set your British alarm clocks for 5.45am and scroll down this page. It only takes four and a half minutes, but I think you’ll find it’s quite exciting.

Imagine I exit my apartment block and turn to my immediate left. I pass a building site, on which they are apparently erecting an apartment/office block in the shape of an egg. It looks fucking stupid on the roadside sketchings, if you ask me – who wants to live in an egg? No one wanted to live in the Gherkin and that’s actually cool in a vibrator shaped, cock sort of way. An egg’s just an egg. But anyway, carry on down the road and you come to:

Exhibit 1.
The Mound

I call it The Mound, because I’m not entirely sure what it is or where it came from. On either side of this gargantuan pile of soil and sand is a fully occupied, 12 year old building and a construction site with no signs of any digging having ever taken place. Like most things in Dubai, it might well have been imported because someone else, in a country far, far away, had a slightly bigger Mound, and they wanted to buy it and better it. If you look, you can see little people at work, erecting a fence. I’m not sure even they know what they’re doing it for. Perhaps they’re going to shift The Mound into their newly constructed compound when they’re done and call it something like “The Transition”, for art’s sake. I have no clue. It’s bloody unsightly though, isn’t it. If Charlie Dimmock walked past, she’d have a heart attack, and I don’t even know what my mum will do when she gets here in three weeks. She’s been known to pull weeds out of lawns that don’t even belong to her. She’d have a field day with that lot.

Carry on a little and we find: 

Exhibit 2.
The Mini-Mound

As you can see, this is a hole in the carefully slabbed sidewalk, which appears to be a mini version of The Mound. Now, knowing the rules Dubai’s planners seem to follow, this was dug purely as an example to the workers appointed to begin on The Mound. When you’re working on building “the biggest of everything” and you don’t speak English, and you haven’t had much of an education, you probably need things to be spelled out to you. I’m sure they’ll cover it up now that The Mound is as high as the building next to it, (perhaps no one instructed them to stop?) but it’s a hazardous pitfall in an already treacherous trek, none-the-less.

Directly to the left we come across my least favourite part of the journey:

Exhibit 3
The Scrapheap Challenge

This changes daily. Sometimes I can pass with ease and sometimes I am forced back onto the road as my size 10 frame is rendered too large to pass without severing a limb on whichever piece of disregarded trash has been submitted overnight. On this particular occasion, the wire mesh frame accommodates within its monstrous jaws a housing project for the homeless – a sort of, DIY-without-IKEA affair. These cardboard flats will not be here tomorrow, and neither will the bicycle… although it might take longer to shift the smashed up car in the foreground – a prime example of how Dubai’s dangerous roads forced me to live within walking distance of my office in the first place.

Straight ahead we march, towards 

Exhibit 4
The Sandy Stretch

As you can see, the council gave up on paths altogether here, no doubt a result of people relocating to the road in light of the aforementioned Scrapheap Challenge. Walking this in flip-flops takes a whole minute, and if I choose heels I can expect at least another two on top. There’s another mesh monster lying in wait at the end, but thankfully, this is never as foreboding as the first.

Exhibit 5
Chilli Alley

Here, we stumble upon the side entrance to Chilli’s – the American chain restaurant that graces the area daily with a spicy, meaty aroma. Stacey and I have never been in there. And judging by the forlorn looking chilli lying like a beaten carcass on its side right there, neither has anyone else, for quite some time. Whenever I pass it I thank God I’m not 18, in my first year of uni. Like the Middle Eastern trade off for a traffic cone, I would have had that sexy spice in my bedroom, weeks ago. On we go now….and we’re almost there when we hit:

Exhibit 6a
Garden of Eden

Almost as an afterthought – an apology for the previous four minute-long abuse of the eyeballs – somebody thought to introduce some greenery here. As you approach this sudden display of nature, it’s advisable to watch your footing. The sprinkler system works in such a way that walking the pavement either side varies between a voyage of dehydrated desert proportions, and an ocean you’d be forgiven for wanting to caution even Moses over. This patch of greenery also houses the odd surprise, as we can see here in:

Exhibit 6b
Dubai wildlife

Initially invisible, if you journey a little further into the Garden of Eden you’ll see a little kitty cat. That’s about as far as the wildlife goes I’m afraid. You might spot the odd oversized ant from time to time, but these generally crawl into a patch of light and perish on a sizzling paving stone. Very sad, really. There is a beautiful cactus here too, look, which I have to say I’ve only just noticed. Outside my old office, we had a Benjy’s and a Natwest Bank. Now we have a cactus. That’s kind of cool, I reckon.

And that’s it. Well I said it was only four and a half minutes. Turn to your immediate left and there you have the office car park. And what begins inside is not half as exciting as the journey there, if you ask me.”

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