A pink taxi

A pink taxi

June 30, 2012

A Celebration of Dubai

I celebrate my city. I greet it daily. I express my gladness to live in Dubai. I point its wonders to my children. I write about it on my blog and I share my enthusiasm on twitter.

After numerous laudatory tweets, a follower then interjected: @pinktaxiblogger ...any thoughts on the almost transitory nature of residing in dubai? Link to a blog post wud be fab! #insight

A rare occasion for me to write a blog-answer!

People flock to Dubai from all corners and they don't stay for long. Yet I am part of a foreign community that has grown its roots here. My youngest likes to notice that I am "one year older than the Emirates" and I explain laughingly that Dubai was always here, even before the making of the UAE. Yet, his references are not far fetched because we came to this land "on our Mayflower": four generations of a same family have lived on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Persian is now an disused adjective: I am well aware of this, yet I employ it to convey the historical roots of my family.

My daughter asked me where she would live in the future and I responded:"where your heart desires, where your fate takes you." We come from such an intricate melange, that we don't belong anywhere. We move on, in search of education and life-opportunities.

Is permanence what we are looking for? Do we instinctively want to live in the same place as our grandparents did? Aren't we content to be scattered around the world, visiting and even living in cities according to seasons? Will we not profit from global experiences?

Dubai is the city of the future, where people come to work and play, and live and grow along the way. The lifestyle is dynamic and the experience is enriching. It appears to be a city in constant flux, always reaching out for the most modern. Each and everyone one of us living here participates in the grand scheme of things. Does it matter that we come from different countries rather than emigrate here permanently?

In the same way we do stunts in universities, for the shortest time of our lives, we carry the knowledge and the experience from our alma matter and we pride with the very special belonging to that university.

June 26, 2012

Living My Blog

I had a two year liaison with my blog. An intense one.

I used to write daily. Frantically. Obsessively. Constantly. Rapidly. Instinctively. Passionately.

Then the blips and the blops of life slowed me down. I wrote less frequently. The inspiration dissipated. Had I not written about every single facet in my life? Had I not observed every single detail? Had I not confessed every single memory?

The blog remains a constant in my life. I will always feed the furnace with my ideas, my insight, my funny experiences, my quirky emotions. Life is to be lived. Fully.

The writing itch or the itch to live. They don't contradict each other. They flow together. Yet living more or less intensely will not affect my inspiration. On very busy periods of my life, in activity-full seasons, I can write daily, squeezing time, stealing from my sleep to write. On long breezy relaxing days, I can write frantically, as if under the pressure of time, yet really pressed by the musing. Then come the busy days when I do prefer to read instead of writing, or the emptier days when I prefer to watch a movie, interact with another person, instead of retreating behind the screen and keyboard.

My favourite posts are usually the humorous, anecdotal ones; I also prefer the ones that express the serenity of my days because I am "addicted to a certain kind of happiness". I try to distill its essence in my writing, to convey it through my descriptions, to colour the vibrancy of the moment.

Impulsive writing is my favourite. I shout my message over the rooftops,self promoting 'my song' on twitter and from word of mouth. However , my writing sometimes requires the slight push that will get me started.

I put my newspaper down, my children's text books, the novel, or the twitter account and I express myself....hello, readers!

June 13, 2012

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I lead a double life.

I attend a pilates studio, where I remove my colourful sneakers at the door and walk in graciously, to a silent room, where concentration and meditation are de rigueur. I have been doing this for 7 years now. The movements and the effort are second nature now. Still, perfection remains an unattainable goal. Still, I work on body improvement, chisel, chisel, chisel, chisel.

At Club Stretch, pilates is a science. It is taught in an orthodox way and the various adjustments through the years have come because the purest version is yet at hand. I have learned to listen, to breath, to edit the drama, to abandon the smallest body language rituals, otherwise called tics.

Every class follows a rigorous choreography. Every transition is supposed to flow. Yet every class remains different because I have learned a detail, focused more deeply on an area of my spine or my core; added my arms and legs as other factors in the exercise.

Sometimes I am reminded that I am not at the gym. The place that has bulked my otherwise elongated muscles. It is frequently after the pilates class that I done my colourful sneakers and run to work out, to train.

When I walk into Evolve, which is at a stone throw from the pilates studio, I am focusing on my mood. I remind myself that I am here to express my energy, to test my strength, to "heal my wounds."

At the gym, music replaces silence. Drama facilitates performance. Here, limits are tested and boundaries are crossed. Time is against you, instead of being in harmony with you. At the gym, you are swimming against the current.

Sometimes I am reminded that "this isn't pilates!"Yet, I solicit my core strength, I hold my balance, I brace my spine. I am aware of the principles of pilates at the gym, in the same way as I focus on my muscular strength in the studio.
I belong to both worlds, caught between a rock and a hard place.

June 9, 2012

Do You Believe in Fairy Tales?


My 8 year old daughter asked me the same question this morning while I read Little Mermaid to her at breakfast. "Do mermaids exist?" I answered in the affirmative, with a determined white lie. In Denmark, they believe in mermaids and they have made a statue of the little mermaid!

As I read the fairytale I knew so well, I noticed how rich the language was. Indeed it was literature I was reading to her: as classic as it gets. Fairytales are part of the French curriculum. They illustrate history, especially medieval history when knights,famines and kingdoms existed. They also build a common base for our imagination. We all trampoline on fairytales that bounce us in different trajectories, but we can all refer to the same stories.

In fact, we interpret fairytales in our own ways. When we are small, we take it literally. Later, we begin to use them as images for life. This is why we give "frogs" and "beasts" a chance for they may be hidden princes! This is also why we drop a shoe, a mere excuse for the suitor to come chasing. Sleeping beauty is an image for patience, "the time will come". And mermaids? Good encouragement for us to take up scuba diving.

SnowWhite and the Huntsman met my expectations as an entertaining film. I had seen Red Riding Hood and I was in for another gothic, dark, medieval and "vampiresque" fantastic film. In fact SnowWhite's role was played by the Bella of the Twilight with her characteristic new century attitude of virtuous, courageous and independent teenager. In this film too she gets caught in a love-triangle, an indication of how far interpretation can take you.

Yes, I believe in fairytales and I feel sorry for the very few who have been deprived of them during their childhood. Not believing in fairytales ends up catching up with you...

June 7, 2012


I got the leading role in the school play. I was the maid, Toinette, in Le Malade Imaginaire by Moliere. I was 12, on that memorable year of 1982.

When I prepared for auditions, when my mom listened to my lines she recommended: "exaggerate, be over dramatic, its a comedy!" I wasn't shy to follow her recommendation and I added a twist to the performance.

It so happened that the leading role was played by the adolescent I had elected as my first crush. Theatre practice was so fun! We recited eighteenth century French drama as an afternoon pass-time and practised weekly for the end of the year spectacle.

I never had stage fright. I barely felt the adrenaline of performance. The crowd was an assembly of cheerful and forthcoming people. I didn't consider them as challengers, merely as onlookers. Facing them, I conquered my timidity.

Acting, or playing a role, requires a talent of synthesis. Understanding the role, encapsulating it in a tone, a demeanour, body language. Acting also means understanding the role of the person within the story, her interaction with the other actors, in the context.

My children haven't had the opportunity to act in a play yet. I would encourage them to do so, so they can better understand the intricacies of playwriting, so that they learn how to role-play, how to perform.

Life is a performance. In the professional world, charisma is prized. In every other aspect of life, it is important not to be intimidated by the crowds, learn how to express yourself. Performance also requires concentration, focus and synthesis: all talents that are essential in sports, love and friendship.

I will always retain the sense of confidence that was tutored to me by my mother when I practised for the role of Toinette. She recommended emphasis, confidence and a certain twist. I have retained that as a lesson in life and I have her to thank for.

With love,


June 5, 2012

In the Lion's Pit

Two guys found me sitting on the ground with my offspring outside the Madonna concert entrance. They magically tied the very selective red bands around our wrists and those of our relatives. They were Madonna's own crew; we were elected to front row status, in the "golden triangle" between the stage and the bridge that gets her closer to her crowd of fans.

Perhaps they had guessed that I was the die-hard "wanna-be", in my pre-bought concert t-shirt, dragging my kin to a musical occasion of my lifetime. Memories they would cherish as their aunt had when she attended her first Madonna concert in Nice with us in 1987, at the age of 9, also perched on the shoulders of her uncle, very close to the stage, but not this close!

We were in the lion's den, in the Roman pit underlooking the whole show. The lioness performed small meters away from us (it is her birth sign, like that of my youngest's: they share the same birthday, some 48 years apart). What a performance!

Nothing equals Madonna's concerts: she has the best dancers and the special effects and costumes theatrialize the event. She wore Gaultier and Dolce Gabanna leather, suits, bicep revealing dresses. She played her latest, the hits we have been listening to for the last 6 months and she contemporized the oldies with a pinch of tear-jerking nostalgia.

Her energy remains her forte. Her choreography and her trend setting are her signatures. She serves us her show unadultered. She trespasses on the erotic; by now that gesture has become mainstream because she has always pushed the boundaries.

There is no message to her tour. Its MDNA: an addiction to her music, her persona, her ideals. She struts her fitness and her truth or dare. She doesn't linger on the "love you AbuDhabi", she cuts to the chase: she delivers her music and dance.