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Cat-woman and the solo living plan - By Rebecca Wicks

It’s been a fun-filled year dodging cranes, hoping against hope for a pavement, eyeing the surrounding building site for a glimpse of that promised convenience store� but after, oh, about three minutes of head-scratching contemplation, ‘P’ and I have decided to move out of TECOM.

I feel as though I just reached adulthood. Not only are we leaving the home we built together in an area that’s still being built, we are going our separate ways. I’ve decided to live on my own, as I found a cute little studio apartment in the marina� right opposite the Yacht Club in fact. Get me! I never thought this could happen; that I should be so lucky, but rents have come down so much that I no longer have to live in a hole, surrounded by diggers and men in blue overalls staring in through my windows. It’s a miracle. I’m having to pinch myself.

Of course, in retrospect I’ve paid a price higher than the cost of my new rent for a year � I’ve had to watch a lot of my friends leave, or listen to them talk about leaving. It seems Dubai has taken its toll, and whilst some of us are reveling in a city we can now afford, it’s not without its drawbacks. I can live in a studio in the marina, but I can’t have all my friends round to enjoy it with me. I can catch a cab in 5 minutes and know that I’ll be somewhere within the hour, but who will meet me at the other end? That kinda sucks.

But still, I’m looking on the bright side. It’ll be such a luxury to be able to walk everywhere. And I have Waitrose on my doorstep, which will make mum happy because now she knows I might buy food and cook, instead of ordering it in. (I said “might”). The pool is great, and there’s even a jaccuzi. You know you’ve stepped up in Dubai when your place has a jaccuzi.

The idea of living alone always scared me. Of course, there are the good parts, like being able to walk around in mis-matching underwear. Like, playing my ‘Wicked’ soundtrack on full volume, prancing about pretending to be the witch in Oz, whilst letting the teacups pile up in the corner like my own ceramic version of the Emerald City. I’ll do everything from my bed, because I can, and because there isn’t anywhere else to do it from. I’ll have the full 42 inches at my disposal, whenever I please, in whichever direction I choose � every flat needs a big TV. But I am slightly worried that once the luxury wears off I’ll be lonely. I might buy a cat to keep me company. And then I might like it� and buy another one. And then it will have kittens and I won’t have the heart to get rid of them. And the place will smell of litter-trays and Whiskas so no one will come over anymore, and before I know it, I’m “Becky the cat-woman who used to be quite cool, but now is just a little bit weird and doesn’t have any friends”.

There are a lot of annoyances about moving in alone � like having to pay the full deposit, having to stump up the full whack for TV and Internet, having to clean the floors... or search for someone else to do it on the cheap (maids are cashing in on clean-ups lately). Rent’s come down but it might actually wind up costing more than sharing with ‘P’. I’m trying not to think about it. I’m also trying not to think about how I’m going to fit everything I own into a studio flat. I’ve only been here two years but I’ve practically got enough stuff to fill a villa. Unless I start to let things go I’ll be storing shoes in the oven and t-shirts on hooks on every wall � well hey, it might look “arty?”

Hmmm. I think I’m going to set up a stall with ‘F’ at the Safa Park flea market � there’s one on the first Saturday of every month. Tell your friends. There must be someone out there who wants some hot, white cowboy boots I purchased on a whim from a groovy little store on Broadway, NYC? Surprisingly, I haven’t found much use for them here. While we’re at it, does anyone want a red rug from IKEA? It’s only got a couple of wine and pie stains on it and with a power vacuum you could even rid it of all my hair.

Sigh. Leaving TECOM, and ‘P’ is the end of an era alright, but with any luck the next year will be just as good. As long as no one knocks on the door as I’m naked, singing at the top of my lungs, and offers me a cat.

Posted: 16 April 2009

Hi Rebecca,
Firstly let me say I love your columns and read them every week - keep them coming!

However, I think I slightly disagree with you on the latest article, "Confessions of a Tech-Widow". In today's world there a milion ways of staying in touch with people or with certain aspects of your life. I really doubt your boyfriend is reading anything but work related stuff on his Blackberry. This means he's really focussed on what his career is doing right now. There are people who will not be as deligent in what is happening in their work life and in my experience they are the ones that don't succeed and that are satisfied with not progressing their careers. In the past it was who came to the office first or who left last. In this day and age we can be connected anywhere - even in bed. I'll hasard a guess that your boyfriend is successful and his success means that the life you have with him is quite fulfilling. OK there are times that he shouldn't read his mails, dinner with you, in company, when he should be focussed on you and you alone, and you should speak to him about that. However, checking what's happened in his work world first thing in the morning or any other time of day is not a crime.

I think you should cut him some slack and not make him feel guilty for trying to better himself. In fact Rebecca the new Blackberry has a google function that allows you to see exactly where it is. If you buy one and get him to enable his you can keep a track of his every move just to make sure he's not in some seedy internet cafe when he promised he was out playing football!! See everyone's a winner!

Keep up the great writing,

Chris (addicted to my blackberry too)

Posted: Mon, 01 Apr 2009

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Who is Rebecca Wicks? Read about her.
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