Life on the contract - first hit
15 October 2015
It appears that planes departing for Abu Dhabi aren't as crowded as you might expect. Perhaps today's circumstances would suggest a travel into a different direction, but I look around and I can say with peace, that there are some nutcases in this world left. Every fourth passenger is some friendly face, some goal, some story. For the first time I overslept the take-off. Maybe it was the exhaustion caused by the last few days and weeks. Maybe it was caused by the memory of the farewell at the airport. Or maybe I just got used to it. Probably I'm still not realising what it means to be a full fledged contractor and I'm not sure if I want to know. However, as far as I know, each day is the same. When the first adrenaline wears off, when you work on the material and the stress of being in a new place elapses, you are left with an unchanging scheme and it's certainly up to you if you turn it into something positvely concrete or into nothing.
The adventure is adventure, and work is work, but all these things make up a consistent space for me, in which I can primarily realise myself as a musician and enthusiast-traveler.
But wait a second, one might ask himself a question: as a part of what did Iwaniec go to the Emirates, and what exactly is she doing there? Because, as people who know me are already aware, things happen to me quite unexpectedly and not necessarily for reasons everyone can understand. My arrival here is a coincidence and confluence of chances. Or maybe it was altogether planned and with my permission it became the fact? Quick decisions, a few conversations, but primarily my inner desire made me find myself where I am now, it is in the United Arab Emirates, more precisely in Abu Dhabi. Some people say it is insanity, some say it is terrible, the others say they would've come as well, but they weren't able to. I think, it is what it is, what it is supposed to be. And each day I can feel I am in the right place, at the right time – you could probably polemize about this rightness of time though.
I came here because of the possibility of working here. The decision had to be made very quick, and so I did. Not having especially complex knowledge and broad information (with whom, what, where), I once again closed my apartment's door, packed the case, said goodbye to my loved ones and boarded the plane. Sink or swim.
It was an invitation like: pack your heels, hats, dressas, board a plane – tomorrow would be the best. We are waiting for you and the scene is waiting for you – it sounds like a dream, at least for me. All that glitters is not gold and you have to be aware of that unless you want to be surprised and devastated. First two months on the contract gave me a hard time. Both in terms of the frequency of job and the lifestyle that is way beyond livin out of a suitcase. Conditions in the hotel and food are good, have been good so far, but if you take into account the perspective of a longer stay, you need a great deal of adjusting skills.
In more detail (for those interested), when one agrees for the terms of the contract, one accepts a very specific way of life that requires one's great self-discipline and inner strength. Six-day mode of working is particulary difficult for a singer, because from every point of view there's no time for regenerating the aching throat. Because of that it is the best to completely avoid the infection with prophylaxis in a broad sense (I think I have a few potions worth knowing and applying for interested singers). The working hours also impose the necessity of organising the day differently from the daytime mode. Sleep time falls at early morning, by extension getting up postpones deplorably. Another thing – the abundance of food is available at any time, so as you can guess, my will is not always strong enough. The weather (35-45 degrees) and great humidity don't make for much activity. Actually they don't even make for going out from the hotel. Only the gym is an alternative worth exploring as often as possible. It is also worth knowing that staying in one place for several months makes us eat not much diverse food.
As a result, after three months I feel some lack of minerals and products that I usually eat home in so called meantime and they are unavailable here or getting them requires an effort.
The contract is something like a battlefield form which you can emerge the victor with head full of new experience and ideas or the loser – tired and dissatisfied. Of course, my choice fell on the first option, so I will do anything it takes to bring out as much as I can from the time spent here, focusing rather on my chances, not risks. And there is plenty of chances. Apart from sunrises and sunsets by the Persian Gulf you can also go to see the desert, which was overwhelming Abu Dhabi as recently as forty years ago. You can also indulge in breathing the exhaust at one of a kind F1 circuit. Walk among sumptuous architectural wonders, in the mean time experience exoticism of tastes, smells and culture at every level of life. Of course, in front of us there lie Dubai, water parks, mosques etc. It all depends on one's preferences and deterimnation.
Living in a hotel takes away all basic chores that in a way organise one's life. After a month I caught myself shuffling about those few things of mine from one place to another in search for a poor substitute of a cleanup or just bustling about like you do at home. Actually there isn't anything to bustle about – when you come back from the supper, it is already bedded, the bathroom is cleaned, the kitchen equipped. It's really a great thing, still it strips us of the activity we got used to. In search for a space I shuffle along to a nearby park and I sit down on a bench chugging and gasping, because the climate is verily tropical – additionally there is a lot of cars, exhaust and tall buildings, from behind them you can see the sky from time to time. Life here starts after the dusk, it is about 6 p.m. Then whole families accumulate at squares, benches, playgrounds and fitnes trails that were forlorn during the day.
Anytime I catch myself thinking that maybe I've had enough singing, aching legs and throat, I recall all those amazingly nice security guards, waiters, cleaners, who work seven days a week from 8 to 8 without batting an eye. Perhaps, there are some who would love to change that state of affairs, but none of them complains or tries to show displeasure.
It is an attitude worth admiring and following. However, free Monday is awaited by me mainly because it is an opportunity to go out from the city. To get away from the hotel . And thus, settling in the new Emirate reality, I took the first crack at visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. All details, boosts and experiences in an upcoming entry, meanwhile – I salute you with the hot Sun.
The Blue Bird.