Dec 4, 2011

Of Timezones and Time Travel.

Greetings from SSG HQ in Dubai.  I'm blogging live from the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La and it's not been all lounging and champagne, let me tell you.  I've been trying to come to grips with my new laptop.  5 years is a long time in MacBook land.  Buttons are gone, the multiple screen display is different, iPhoto is different.  It's just all ... different.  So fingers crossed I've adapted quickly enough and that this post gets to you coherently.

Let's start from the beginning, shall we?  I've only been here less than a day but I feel like I've been awake for a very, very long time.  Which I probably have, with the time differences and all.  I did have a super concentrated sleep last night though.  I feel pretty good but my body clock is still running on Sydney time.  I hope it gets in sync with Dubai today because I start conferencing tomorrow.

4am in the Emirates lounge....  it's never too early, people.

If you're going to be on a plane for 14 hours after getting to the airport at 4am, then suitable nutrition pre flight is key.

Dairy is always a good start.  Yoghurt and cheese flavoured rice crackers, for example.  Actually, I suppose the rice crackers are more dairy flavoured than actually dairy but you can't be too particular sometimes.

How did you know that I couldn't leave that bottle of Veuve alone?  

The actual plane trip was just as fabulous.  14 hours does fly by when your seat reclines fully and the friendly cabin crew never leave you without drinks, fresh fruit, cappuccinos, warmed nuts or smoked salmon for too long.  They say that 1 in the air is 3 on the ground, so I thank Emirates for those 3 bottles of Moet.

I was first in Dubai 4 years ago on the first leg of hour honeymoon in Paris.  So watching Midnight in Paris with a glass of Moet on a plane to Dubai had a special significance for me.  I was also reading Diane Keaton's memoir, Then Again.  How's that for 6 degrees of separation?  Diane Keaton - Woody Allen - Paris - honeymoon - Dubai - SSG.  

Circle of life symbolism aside, Midnight in Paris is an outstanding movie.  For me, it rates as Woody Allen's finest.  Owen Wilson's character Gil, goes to Paris with his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams) to join Inez's conservative and wealthy parents (who don't particularly like Gil).  Gil is a successful commercial screenplay writer but is working on a novel he feels is his life's call and will also give him professional credibility.  

Tensions start to build as Gil increasingly finds his 'bohemian' outlook on life jarring with his future in law's philosophy on life and also with Inez's glamorous friends who are experts on 'everything'.  To try and regain focus on his writing, Gil takes to the streets of  Paris for evening walks on his own.

Come midnight, the streets of Paris 2010 give way to Paris in the 1920s for Gil, and Gil alone.  He is picked up by a passing car to go to a party with Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald.   He meets Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein herself critique's Gil's novel.  As his 'real life' becomes increasing conflicted, Gil becomes drawn more and more deeply into this richly creative time in Parisian history.  He meets Picasso, Dali, Josephine Baker and many other prominent artistic figures of the day.  Gil does find love again at the end of the film - whether it is in the 1920s or in real time, I will leave you to find out for yourself.

Aside from the brilliant acting (Carla Bruni Sarkozy has a role) and the wonderful images of Paris, there were also some killer handbags as part of the cast....

I landed in Dubai early afternoon local time.  There was only one thing to do after checking in - getting to the nearest infinity pool for a bit of a splash.  Which happened to be on the 41st floor with views of gleaming sky scrapers over the horizon.

And a bit of a lie down, poolside on this deck chair to recover.

Before bravely plunging into the adjoining spa.

Look at the time, it's almost 5 in the morning already.  Thanks for keeping me company.


  1. Sounds wonderful. Very envious at the moment. Hope the good life continues.

  2. Looks like a fabulous start to your adventures. Keep up the awesome posts.

    K xx

  3. Oh wow. The high life you are living is fantastic. Glad you are well :) Thanks for blogging your adventures.

  4. Now that is the way to travel! The infinity pool sounds amazing!

  5. I've never been on a flight lie that, sounds wonderful. In fact, your whole stay so far sounds pretty good. Hope the work side of it goes well. x

  6. Wow! Emirates business class sounds like a dream. Can't wait to see more of your adventures.

  7. You sure are living the high life literally and metaphorically.
    I too am on a conference but its hardly glamourous. Its freezing cold in your city of Sydney and our conference venue is more tertiary tatt then Dubai chicness.
    Oh well.
    Delivered my first paper which was scary but well reeceived.
    Am off to lunch at Fratelli's Fresh so all up not a bad day.
    Kate Bx

  8. Yalla yoghurt is THE BEST!!! I often buy it from my local grocer, and I also get the choc mousse.

    I also want to see Midnight in Paris and may just do that for my birthday off work :)

  9. Kate B - congrats on the paper! So nerve wracking but a huge relief when it all is over.

    SSG xxx


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