We have all had, at sometime or another, that feeling of deja vu. In this my last couple of weeks working in Dubai there have been a few prompted by a visitor who describes this as coming ‘full circle’.
I have one of my very best friends visiting me for a final time and the phrase ‘full circle’ keeps coming up in conversation. She was my very first visitor in the early 90’s coming to see me when I lived in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. It was a British Airways flight she came on then and it was again for this last flight with both arriving at the original terminal, Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport – ‘full circle’.
A trip to Dubai would not be complete without a visit to our very favourite shop in Karama. The memories of purchasing branded t-shirts and polo shirts in 1992 in the very same shop with the Iranian owners chatting away in Iranian/Glaswegian accents as the bargaining began was definitely a ‘full circle. The only changes being that it was bags she was buying and sadly one of the owners was no longer being around to take part in the bargaining. Even the mid-shopping shawarma and the subsequent trip to the quality ‘tat’ shop for the obligatory pashminas and the like was part of the original and the many following shopping trips.
The malls may be different, bigger and with more shops but the ritual day of shopping sustained by multiple coffee stops and food breaks was another key feature of the Dubai trip. At the time of her first trips to Dubai it would have been the Al Ghurair Centre, the only mall at the time. This time it was a walk to Dubai Mall which is so big it takes a day to get round. The purchases: bags and shoes, our addictions – ‘full circle’
Even the bottle of bubbles we cracked open at the end of my last Safa Year 6 Graduation diner was an echo from the past. It had been my graduation, the bottle had been acquired from the Glasgow Garden Festival that she had been a part of. It was later that summer in the flower section of her father’s garden centre that I saw an advert for a job in Abu Dhabi. As it turned out those first bubbles were not to our taste and a colourful range of cocktails were mixed to make it more palatable This bottle to mark the end of our Dubai adventures and this chapter in my life needed no additional contents – ‘full circle’.