Dinner at Nacho’s

Went to a friends house last night for a wonderful Spanish dinner of pizza, beer and flan. Yes it was Spanish because the pizza had tuna, jamon serrano and alioli, and was from the one-and-only Telepizza; the beer was Cruzcampo, and the flan was home made with ‘pan de Calatrava’ [ I still have no clue what that is].

Topics talked about yesterday were very enlightening to say the least: how in Valencia you get paid Euro50 for donating sperm but you don’t get a room nor Play Boy – you need to use the bathroom [ FYI, women get paid Euro700 for donating their eggs]; how tonic water comes from India (?), how Wikipedia is the best invented encyclopedia and how apparently in India, there are boats in the ocean that have programmers and call-centres operating from there so that they do not have to bide by any laws. Really?

Anyway, amongst us there was a particularly interesting Mexicana who swims oceans for a living, and had just finished swimming the Strait of Gibraltar. How cool!

She swims in the ocean because there is a kick swimming in unknown natural territory, and the danger is something that stimulates her. If her left arm is tired and in pain, she knows how to block the pain with her mind and continue. Every morning from 7am-12noon she is training, then she goes to university as she is a law student. She is 31.

A very likable person, down to earth, bubbly but with a pleasant tone of maturity. However, for the kind of swimmer she is, [with all due respect], she is fat!

Ok not fat fat, but big – plump perhaps is a better word. How can that be? After 5 hours of training everyday? isn’t swimming supposed to be the best form of exercise as it claims to use every muscle of your body? It is supposed to build muscle and increase your metabolism, leaving you lean, firm and fit.

No doubt she must be fit, but lean and firm are adjectives you wouldn’t even think of when you saw her. I found this very bizarre and if I had had a wee bit more to drink, I would have asked her why she doesn’t look like Janet Evans.

Another thing I enjoy is the way people react when you say you live in Dubai. ‘What? Really? Woooowwwwwww’! is what I get most of the time. Perfect city, artificial islands in the sea, good money no tax, strange/stunning architecture, skiing in the desert, beach…Abha what else do you want? they ask me. DTCM – well done. Your whole multi-million dollar marketing plan seems to be shaking ground.

This is when comes the question: so why do you not want to live there? I could never answer this question without gabbing on about things like no culture, no personality, no soul, no freedom, artificial etc etc – never seemed a very convincing reply to most the people I chat to. But yesterday, all I said was that ‘it’s pijo’. This word which you could translate literally as something ”pretentious or overprivileged”, immediatley made sense to everyone and the discussion was over and done with. See people pijo are hated tremendously in Spain. They symbolise everything that goes wrong with having too much money. And that is precisely the problem with Dubai.

Someone please come and hit me over the head if something happens and I decide to live in Dubai again.


  1. About your mexicana swimmer… she can’t be too good at that. And maybe she needs to be a bit fat. You know, sea otters are not precisely slim. They need their… fat so they can stand low temperatures!!!
    BTW. I’d love to visit an Arab country.

  2. Give me no soul and no personality over tooooo much soul and too much personality any day.
    I know lots of people who would love to live in Dubai. Personally I would never leave Bbay cause you can be yourself here. I find that where ever there are small communities of Indians abroad, life is hell cause other people know your business even before you know it…

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