Last month, I spent 4 days in Dubai as I accompanied my husband for his Muay Thai fight at the State of Origin 2014 presented by White Collar Bouts (WCB).
WCB comprises fighters who have ‘day jobs’ but also indulge in amateur / semi-pro level fights in Muay Thai, boxing, kick-boxing, etc. A team of 7 fighters went to Dubai through the Fitness Fight Club in Bangalore (India) and my husband was one of them. All the fighters from India lost, except one. It was a deeply crushing experience and since it was my husband’s first time losing a fight, I immediately started to harbor not very good feelings towards Dubai. When things go wrong, one looks for something to blame. I blamed the city – an easy target.
As the disappointment settled, I grudgingly allowed myself to actually ‘see’ and experience Dubai. We stayed in the center of the rather imposing city, at Dusit Thani, and got to experience some of the best in Dubai in terms of shopping and entertainment – hopping nightlife (Q43), awesome restaurants (Ygjli Zaroob, Texas Roadhouse) and very nice people.
I must admit that it was the people that I liked best. I got to meet my husband’s cousin, Leanne who came all the way from Qatar to see his fight and her parents too. I also met her friend, Radhika. But the creatures I was truly enamored by are two beautiful birds that Leanne’s parents keep as pets in their lovely home, in Dubai – Stanley, a pretty green Budgie and Jack, a beautiful African Grey Parrot.
Did I love Dubai as a city? No. It’s too big, impersonal and glassy for my small-town mind. Did I love my experiences in Dubai. Yes! I learnt a huge lesson from my husband on how to lose with dignity, keep your head held high and how to use loss to fuel the hunger for future wins. And I learnt the importance of just being nice – being able to accept people for who they are and at a more basic level the importance of just being nice to people; even if one doesn’t really like them. This trip is hardly going to make a saint of me. But it has at the very least given me lots of food for thought.
Nice trip Dubai. Next time, make it a happier one.