I’m not a man for new year’s resolutions. In my opinion, they’re knee-jerk reactions to the first hangover of the year that everyone soon forgets once they’ve recovered. Think about it: how many people do you meet who are still penny-pinching in November because of some pledge they made in January? Exactly. Once life resumes as normal, resolutions go out of the window. Besides, my line of work isn’t really conducive to my typical resolution – what good is a food editor who resolves to eat less?
No, resolutions just aren’t my bag. Instead, I like to think of new year as a time of reflection; a time to look back to see just how far I’ve come. What makes new year all the more poignant for me is that it was around this time two years ago that I decided to leave rainy, rural England for the hot metropolis of Dubai. It feels like only yesterday that I was striding around my bedroom in the UK, extolling my virtues as an editor to my future boss wearing nothing but my underpants (it was a phone interview). After a second interview I was offered the job and, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, as I queued in the freezing cold for a taxi with nothing but a doner kebab for warmth, I decided to accept.
I write this nearly two years to the day of my partially-clothed first interview, and I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve got dressed, made a home for myself thousands of miles away, learned that brunch isn’t necessarily a light mid-morning meal, made friends, said goodbye to friends, explored a city, a culture and a region that I previously knew nothing about. I’m a little bit fatter, older and (I daresay) none the wiser, but if my past two years in Dubai are anything to go by, I’m in good stead for 2012.
No, I’m not a man for new year’s resolutions – or at least that’s what I tell people. But when I think about it, I can’t help but feel that I’m where I am today because of my decision to come to Dubai, a decision I made in a taxi rank in the first few hours of 2009 – perhaps the most revolutionary resolution I have ever made.
Oliver Robinson is our Eating Out editor. He wrote this column while wearing just his pants, and had to be escorted from the office.