Dubai Religion

There are many forms of worship in Dubai; there is sun worship, designer handbag worship, fast car worship and bling worship, to name but a few.  Indeed beauty treatments/maintenance is practically a religion in itself.  Many Dubai divas (and divos!) regularly attend the many temples of beauty dotted around the emirate to worship the technicians who work their magic to make them look polished and sparkly, and ready to hit the hottest nightclubs, or at the very least be ready to compete on the school run catwalk.

I am not ashamed to admit that I had never had a pedicure before I lived in Dubai; the main reason being that I can’t stand having my feet touched by anyone.  Growing up when I would fight with my younger brother, he just needed to threaten to tickle my feet, and that was enough to send me running for the hills, forgetting why I was mad at him in the first place.  Besides, living in the moody climate of the UK, there were not very many opportunities to showcase pampered tootsies, so I didn’t see much point!

However, since living in Dubai and, when not working, I spend a lot of time in flip flops or Birkenstocks.  The sand, the sun, the dust leave one with no choice but to head to the nearest salon for foot maintenance.  Over time, it has gotten easier to surrender my trusty feet to a complete stranger to treat them with the care they so deserve however, recently I have been, rather negligent in attending to their regular upkeep.

Some women are so organised about this kind of thing that they book their next salon session when they are paying for their most recent session.  True followers of their religion, they show a dedication and committment to maintenance that I can only dream of.  My level of commitment and dedication to foot maintenance would be better compared to that of a near lapsed catholic who struggles to attend mass every Sunday. Booking the appointment to go to the salon for a pedicure puts me in a good frame of mind.  But, when the day comes, I look for an excuse not to go.  One look at my tired feet changes my mind, and reluctantly slouch off to my pedicure appointment like an hormonal teen.  Less than an hour later I emerge from behind the closed, blacked out doors of the salon a new woman, feeling invigorated and positive.  As I walk to my car with my perfectly polished nails, I vow never to leave it more than 2 weeks between salon visits again…….

But true to form, I do leave it longer than 2 weeks before my next visit.  Indeed, I think it has been a few months (forgive me Father for I have not kept up with my maintenance schedule) since my last visit.  In my defence it is winter, and I have been, more often than not, wearing shoes.  With a feeling of ‘Groundhog Day’, I picked up the phone to book a pedicure at my local salon.  Before I got there, I realised the self imposed drought of ‘professional care’ left my poor trotters needing more than an outward spruce up.  A full spring clean would be required.  Bring on the callus treatment……

I know I said I had overcome my dislike of having my feet touched but for a pedi, it is bearable; almost like an injection, the ‘uncomfortable’ part is over in a few seconds.  When the technician told me the callus treatment would take 1 hour 15 minutes….I nearly ran out the door….but my betrayed feet rightfully stood firm, and wouldn’t move.

As I sank into the oversized plush, purple armchair, and closed my eyes I felt soothed,  and at one with my zen surroundings.  As I focused on the meditative tone of the music I felt as if I had been transported to South Asia where willowy ladies floated effortlessy from one client to the next, waving magic wands and making dreams of ‘redcarpet ready’ come true.  My blissful reverie was disturbed by a tug at my toes and a barely audible question.  I opened my eyes to see the complete antithesis of the figures in my imaginings.  The callus treatment technician looked more likely to a round in the sumo ring than to expertly, and imperceptibly, remove the lumps and bumps of hard skin which was beginning to form a ‘protective’ layer on my feet.  I took this as a sign of just how bad my feet were; they required a pair of strong, experienced hands which could triumph in the battle to vanquish my dry skin.  There and then I just wanted to hide behind the plump, purple cushions.

Half way through the treatment, I swear I saw this poor technician break into a sweat.  I think she even mumbled a few swear words….well, if I were in her shoes, that’s all I would have been mumbling.  Her cheeks began to glow a rosy hue as she gritted her teeth, and glared at my feet with a look of determination that said she would not be beaten.

Looking at my post-callus treatment/French pedicured feet, one would never guess the state of them just over an hour before.  I left feeling fab-roo whilst promising myself never to leave more than 2 weeks between appointments!

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