December 15, 2010

I run around like the white-rabbit from Alice in whatchamacallit looking all officious and muttering about how I'm always late. It's like I'm fighting a losing battle against time every single day aaj kal. There's too much to do, and no time to do it and at the end of the day little things like buying groceries (my house has been devoid of milk for many days now) or toiletries (to fend of the impending toothpaste shortage) end up being sacrificed at the altar of having dinner-with-friends post gym. As much as I love it (and I'm beginning to suspect I'm somewhat addicted to the exercise) I must admit it completely throws off my life routine. My average day - for those interested in such things - looks something like this:

6:45am: Alarm goes off, put it on snooze, go back to sleep.

6:55am: Snooze goes off, open eyes, gather comforter around me, mutter a little about bloody-mornings-and-such - go back to sleep.

7:10am: Snooze goes off again, debate on the merits of throwing cell phone out of the window, realize window is too far away. Wonder why maid is not here yet. Decide it makes sense to sleep a little more until maid comes.

7:20am: Wonder where the bloody maid is. Wake up a little, wish it wasn't too cold.

7:25am: Bell rings, open door for maid. Wonder if it's worth it to yell at her for coming in late again. Decide it's not worth it. Ask her to make chai instead.

7:30am: Make a mental note - for the nth time - that plumber has to be called to fix the shower-head. Also wonder if its worth the effort given that I'm planning to move in a few months. Remind self that few months of lousy showers is going to make Xeb a very cranky person. Re-resolve to call plumber to fix shower.

7:45am: Emerge from the bathroom to a mug of steaming chai and a cup of oatmeal (stupid diet). Enjoy both, check email. Make checklist of urgent things to be done at office. Check facebook. Think of status update. Realize its too early for status updates. Finish chai. Go back inside to blow dry hair.

7:55am: Worry about falling hair. Resolve to USE the hair care products once has invested in. Wonder when to make time for fancy-protein-treatment at Nirvana (Marriot-wala, I don't like the other one very much).

8:05am: Finish obligatory round of make-up. Delight in new lipstick color - cherry red, very flashy! :P

8:10am: Look for things to take to office. Find laptop cover (after some effort) and pack laptop bag. Make sure charger is inside to avoid future disasters. Find phone cover (after some effort), check for phone charger (to avoid inevitable HTC-death). Look around for other important things: wallet, assorted paperwork, contact lenses (just-in-case) etc.

8:20am: Message my minion. Tell her am leaving house and heading towards spot in road where I pick her up.

8:25am: Hunt for house keys. Then hunt for car keys.

8:30am: Walk out of apartment. Remember some vitally important thing that has been left behind. Run back unto the house to find it. Walk out again.

8:35am: Stand outside car in basement parking wondering if I've remembered to lock the door properly. Sternly ask self to stop being paranoid. Remind self of the many-many times I have returned upstairs only to find the door responsibly locked. Console self that Dorothy is not in Karachi anymore, and hopefully apartment will be secure in my absence.

8:40am: Begin white-rabbit chanting, by this time I most assuredly am late-late-late.

8:42am: Listen to Khalid. Smile.

8:46am: Wish Khalid's taste in music was as entertaining as his monologue. Remind self that one can't have everything. Toggle radio channels to find more interesting musical choices.

8:57am: Pick up minion from assigned spot.

9:10am: Make way out of Islamabad, up the mountains towards the back of beyond (where my office is). Admire the scenery. Deplore the unfortunate necessity of having lovely morning drive spoiled by irritating van drivers. Consider the merits of banning public transport (in the shape of overloaded suzuki-pick-ups) altogether. Realize its not really very practical. Decide to suffer through it and play the martyr for want of better options.

9:20am: Enter Barakaho. Enjoy the randomness of peri-urban life. Realize that battered roads and long-awful drive aside, you really enjoy passing through the crowded marketplace. What it lacks for in amenities, this place more than makes up for in character.

9:30am: Say hello to Elegant Cow, a black-and-white bovine that sits majestically in front of Elegant Beauty Salon. We've been meeting each other in the hallways on the way to work every day for over a year now. In case you wonder, Elegant cow made it through Bakra-Eid. This year. We wish her best of luck for the next.

9:32am: Enter office feeling a little guilty at being late AGAIN. Resolve (for the nth time) to leave for work early tomorrow.

9:40am: Sit behind desk, take off coat, open laptop, download emails. Update meeting schedule, assign work to team, have meeting with boss, come back, assign more work to team, start working on urgent document, get interrupted by unnecessary phone call from client, talk to client, have another meeting with boss, return to desk, sent out hundred tiresome emails (follow-ups, darlings), return to urgent document, type three more sentences, get called in for another meeting.

1:00pm: Break for lunch. Sit in the garden, next to the river, and eat oranges in the sunlight. *happy-sigh*

2:15pm: back to meetings. back to work. management sucks. I need a break.

6:30pm: Decide enough is enough. Pack up for the day. Answer final emails. Put laptop in sleeve. Assign more work to team. Leave.

7:25pm: Arrive at gym for (almost) daily torture session. Re-consider liposuction. Announce surgical intentions to trainer. Threaten to quit. Do the exercise anyway.

8:15pm: Call the world. Find out what is up. Figure out dinner options. Consider the merits of cooking a meal. Decide on a restaurant instead.

11:00pm: Walk inside apartment, put down million bags next to door. Put house keys and car keys somewhere I am guaranteed to forget by tomorrow morning. Plop on bed, switch laptop on, check email. Debate about whether to answer work-emails or leave it until morning. Mutter about after-hours work. Answer the emails anyway. Talk to random people on facebook chat. Remind self that I hate facebook chat. Talk to random people anyway.

11:30pm: Debate the merits of going to bed. Remind self that I have to get up obnoxiously early for work tomorrow. Check some more email. Surf the internet for random interesting stuff. Get distracted by youtube.

12:30am: Re-debate the merits of going to bed. Get distracted by latest episode of something or the other (have I told you I have joined the ranks of the dirty-downloader? utorrent zindabad!).

1:30am: Struggle to stay awake. Give up. Sleep.


Deepak Iyer said...

"Stand outside car in basement parking wondering if I've remembered to lock the door properly. Sternly ask self to stop being paranoid. Remind self of the many-many times I have returned upstairs only to find the door responsibly locked."

You're not alone ..

NX said...

Ok so...

1: Get a bowl for your keys.

2: Change the lock, get one that locks when the door is closed.

3: How do you take your coat off after you sit down?

4: You make dinner plans after a 50min workout but don't shower, infact you don't shower till the next morning...your lack of hygene seriously concerns me!

kaywithoutatee said...

you eat oats for breakfast and oranges for lunch? I seriously envy your willpower!

P.S. How can u keep on eating oranges for 1.15 hours every day by the river?

Anonymous said...

Xeb, you cud have prayed fajr at 6:45 and even at 6:55!

Thotha said...

@Anon (grammar noobay), offered*.

Xeb, yo nigga, whaddup. Anyway you and i have some similar patterns, especially about the perennial postponement and procrastination.

But Damn, your office is at Barakaho. Total win. You don't work for a vendor who is serving military, do you? I don't recall a corporate in Barakahu. Just curious.

Ali said...

so you pass through shifa and hec every day :P

Xeb said...

D: :)

NX: Thank you for the helpful hints baby! :P

k: Perhaps I should have mentioned lunch also. But the oranges are the best part! :)

Anon: Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike evangelists?

T: Nope. No military for me. How come you're familiar with Barakaho?

A: Nope. I take the scenic (Margalla) route.

wildflower said...

arresting read! :D

Thoth said...

I lived in Islamabad for some time. So i know all the places. Besides anybody who ever drove to Murree knows about Barakaho.

But where you work is still quite a mystery for me.

Xeb said...

w: Thanks (I think) :)

T: I work in Barakaho down by the Korang river. It's a really pretty place.