Sunday, June 16, 2013


What a crazy four days! I arrived on Wednesday after a horrendous 24 hours - three of which were spent in Dubai airport. I think I slept for about four hours of that time - on the first leg of the journey there was a spare seat between me and the other passenger, an older woman. But she simply claimed it as hers and then proceeded to sleep the entire flight, encroaching slowly on my meagre space. When she did that, I'd shuffle around until she was forced to retreat. By the time we got to Dubai I itched to slap her.

So, in a state of total exhaustion, I arrived at the Cite Internationale des Arts, where I was warmly welcomed by the staff and shown to my studio. It's actually a fair bit larger than I had imagined - and reminiscent of a 70s Brisbane flat in some ways. I think it's the green lino. I imagine it would be quite cold in winter, although there's a heater thing on the wall. And I imagine it will be hot in summer - it's already misleadingly warmer than the outside because it's on the third floor.

The tiny kitchen has an electric hotplate with two plates, a fridge and a sink. A deep sink, just like the one in Amour. Opposite the kitchen is a little broom cupboard which houses the interesting things other residents have left behind - including art materials.

I haven't actually bothered to cook yet - the first night I discovered the Rue de Rivoli and bought goats cheese, bread, fruit, a tiny chicken, tea and milk. The next day I supplemented that with some salad greens, ham and yoghurt (which comes in little glass pots). By then I'd also discovered the coffee pot, so I gratefully bought coffee.

It's expensive having tea and coffee out - you may as well have wine. Today I had a pot of peppermint green tea and it cost 6.20. The wine was probably cheaper and the beer cheaper again.

I'm so pleased I arrived in the afternoon which gave me time to get myself sorted. As it was I got completely lost - something I've been doing a lot - and spent about an hour wandering around trying to find the studios. That was probably quite a good thing after so much time spent in an airplane. The frustrating element was that I kept seeing signs for l'Hotel de Ville - but it turns out there is a Place d'Hotel de Ville and a Rue d'Hotel de Ville and an actual l'Hotel de Ville. All of which I would have figured out had I managed to take my map with me when I left. (Although I have repeatedly got lost and had a map. Clearly I do not hold my mouth in the correct position when I consult it.)

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