2015 has given me so much that I don’t think I could even start to compile it altogether into words. When I’m old and grey (if I have a long enough life for that) I think 2015 will be the year that I will remember as the busiest, craziest and most importantly happiest year of my life.
On a personal level there were so many highs. I got married, moved away from home and came to live in a new country all at once. Life changed so much so quickly. Marriage in itself is the biggest change that can happen to a girl but I went and decided to add a few more changes to the mix and I am so proud of the fact that my husband and I have managed to make our dream come true together. Dubai was the best gift we could have given ourselves as a wedding present and it just keeps on giving.
Of course, in life in order to achieve something we have to give many things up. For us it was leaving our families behind and that has to be the biggest loss that we have both felt. To go from being with your family every single day of your life to then not all of a sudden, it hits you in strange and profound ways on a daily basis.
Sitting watching TV when the Azaan is recited outside I realise that my mum is no longer with me to tell me to stop being so disrespectful and turn that thing off and actually listen to the call for prayer at least if I’m not going to have the sense to actually pray. So, even though she’s not here. I turn that thing off.
Walking through the fresh produce section of Carrefour doing our weekly shopping, I gasp at the prices of grapes and remember how if we ever made the mistake of asking our dad to bring fruit home he would turn up with wholesale sized boxes of bananas and apples and then my mum would share the 9000 pears out amongst family and friends for the next seven days.
My sister? Well I think of her pretty much every time I do something she wouldn’t approve of. That is pretty much, every minute of the day? When I fill in my eyebrows for example, I just know that she wouldn’t let me out of the house with them looking so thick and would swiftly intervene and fix them for me. Or when I’m watching some stupid drama serial on Hum TV and think what on earth is even going on here, she isn’t there next to me screaming WHAT THE also.
One thing I often see in Dubai and love is seeing brothers doing things with their sisters. I see this mostly with Emirati people and it is honestly so lovely to see. I sound like an absolute creep but it’s usually at the cinema whilst waiting for our movie I often see young guys and girls with their sisters and I think to myself, why didn’t I do this more often with my brothers? There is such a culture here of families spending time together, doing normal things together that perhaps in the UK people just don’t have the time to do or I guess we just don’t make the time.
I think of my youngest brother every single time I write a blog post because if it wasn’t for his pictures all you guys would have gotten sick of me just waffling away. His pictures gave you a break from my never ending words and gave you brand new outfits to see every week. My other brother? Well I think of him every single time I walk to the metro or get a taxi here. We fought so much over my car and spent a good two years just bickering mainly about the car that every time I have to get on the metro I think to myself ‘you seem to get places now too without a car, so what was all that fighting for?’ But that’s human beings for you isn’t it. We always realise things once it’s too late.
My cousins, my nieces and nephews, my best friends, my Bari Ammi and even my beautiful Scotland. I miss it all so much and can’t wait to be back. But for now, I am so grateful to Allah for giving me the chance to actually experience living in a different part of this world that we live in. For me, this is the biggest chance for me to truly grow up without any support network around me other than my husband. Each other is all we have out here so it’s a good think we kind of like each other eh?
I know for many of you this year won’t have been what you expected it to be. You may have lost someone close to you this year. Perhaps you lost out on the job that you so badly wanted. Maybe you fell out with your best friend and things just aren’t the same now. You might have broken up with the person you love or they may have broken your heart. You might be reading my post right now going on about memories of fruit and veg and having the happiest year of my life and thinking oh please pack it in. But believe me, I’ve had years where things just kept getting worse and worse and it felt as though everything was going wrong at once. I pray that for all of you who have had a year that you would much rather forget about, 2016 brings you something new, exciting or even that light at the end of the tunnel.
So many of you loved this look that I put up on Instagram a couple of weeks ago so I thought I would blog it and tell you a little more about it. Since this post is partly about my move to Dubai, I thought it would be fitting to bring in some Emirati fashion in here! I bought this abaya for 170AED (around 31 pounds) from Naif Market in Deira. You can really haggle there but on that day I was in a rush and just bought this very quickly. I loved that it came with a belt that you can just tie at the back yourself because my upper body is so small I usually drown in abayas. There is nothing more comfortable than wearing an abaya and I feel if you wear them the right way, they can be very forgiving.
My abaya came with a shehla that had a slightly different shade of the gorgeous lilac colour of the abaya but I quite liked that. It kind of broke it up a little? I found some cream coloured trousers that I had and wore my trusty Office, camel coloured heels.
I wore this outfit on the day that we went to Sheikh Zayed Mosque so got these pictures in the most beautiful of surroundings. My brother took these and literally outdid himself.
I bought this abaya for my mum also and hope we can be twins when I go back home! I was thinking of getting it for my sister too so we could be triplets but I can already see her rolling her eyes and saying that’s pathetic.
Since being in Dubai I have seen the abaya being worn in so many trendy and fashionable ways that I feel we are so behind in the UK. Lots of girls are now wearing abayas full time even back home now but there is just such a lack of variety for what you can buy, especially for young girls. If you are in Dubai and want some different designs then I would suggest going to Naif in your oldest clothes, no make-up on and DO NOT speak English. Let me tell you a wee story.
The first time I went to buy this abaya for myself I went from home so wore a Khaadi kurta and whipped out my best Urdu shopping with family in the market and managed to get us some good deals. The abaya was given to me at 170AED. The second time I went back was to pick up the same abaya for my mum and I went there on the way back from our Ras Al Khaimah trip so had jeans on and a fedora on top of my head. When I picked the abaya up the man gave me the price of 300AED. I practically keeled over and said in my squeakiest Urdu that BROTHER I BOUGHT THIS FROM YOU LAST MONTH AND IT WAS 170 SO DON’T EVEN TRY AND GIVE ME THAT PRICE NOW. He looked like he had seen a ghost and started laughing and said oh I didn’t recognise you in your other clothes so gave you a British price. Now, if that doesn’t tell you that us British people are always given the worst prices abroad, I don’t know what will. Leave the glamour home one day and go there in your oldest clothes. Tie your husband’s mouth if you can because mine always ends up saying SAM LOOK AT THIS and I’m like I swear we were pretending to be from Pakistan here but just you go giving the game away in your English accent pal.
Tag me in your abaya looks – I would love to see them! I am so inspired to wear more of them here.
Right, I’d better go because we are going for a late dinner and then watch the infamous Dubai fireworks from our balcony. We are lucky enough to have the perfect view of Downtown so have opted to spend our first NYE together at home instead of partying the night away. Dubai is buzzing tonight so I hope if you’re out you have an amazing night. Dubai knows how to have a good time so I’m sure you will.
Before I sign off, I’d just like to say thank you to every single one of you who likes my Instagram posts, comments on my stuff, reads my blog and takes the time out to email me. I know sometimes I’m a wee cow and don’t reply but I’m sorry and I love you for taking the time out to actually read my nonsense and send me messages. This blog started off as something that I did just as a hobby and has turned into something that has allowed me to meet so many beautiful women from around the world both online and in person. Thank you ALL for being so amazing and making me feel like I at least make one person’s day with what I write. All the best for 2016 and Happy New Year. Make it a good one.
P.S. I have some really exciting stuff coming up in 2016 and can’t wait to share it with you all.