There was a man who traveled across the Atlantic on a cruise ship but never ate in the dining room. Instead, he would go off in a corner and eat cheese and crackers he had brought with him. Near the end of the trip, another man asked him, “Why don’t you come into the banquet hall and eat with us?” the traveler’s face flushed with embarrassment. “Well, to tell you the truth, I had only enough money to buy the ticket.” The other passenger shook his head and said, “Sir, the meals were included in the price of the ticket!” - Joel Osteen
Many of us go through life with an uptight mentality when it comes to enjoying life’s abundance. The question remains: what is preventing us from experiencing a piece of Paradise right here on Earth as a way of luring us to the eternal abode filled with unconceivable delights?
Wanderlust is the elixir of life. How often have you watched the globetrekkers on the Travel Channel amazed at the bustling floating market in Bangkok, or delighting in a peach gelato while equally feasting on the marvelous views of Lake Como, or take the time to understand the process of making the most famous brands of chocolates and cheeses in factories residing against the backdrop of a sleepy Swiss town?
This season, I decided it’s time to live a little festively and join the year-long carnival of local delights. An Italian professor friend of mine recently invited me to a screening of an Italian film at the Dubai International Film Festival. I joined a flurry of film aficionados at the glittering venue amidst the oasis of Madinat Jumeirah. The film, Terrafirma, is directed by Emanuele Crialese and it recounts the story of a Sicilian family and how they deal with the illegal African immigrants who land on their island during the touristy summer months. The warmth offered to the immigrants, one of them delivered a child at their house, was a beautiful rendition of the universal goodness innate in people still. It was also a fresh move away from the superficial Hollywood movies.
If you want to fly to Paris for a couple of hours, the L’ateliers des Chefs in Dubai offers an array of culinary courses. I had the most fun in the mouth-watering Macarons and Chocolate classes.