3- 11 Porter - 'Surround Me With Your Love (Mental Overdrive Remix)' (2003)
So what do you do when you've got a bit of down time but your new handful of colleagues are busy? Go to the Holiday Inn Express bar of course. I don't normally like to drink on my own but these last few weeks, its been like a place of familiarity and solace in an otherwise unknown and slightly chaotic world. It is far from cheap but they do have a happy hour running from 1800-2130 where you can get 25% off. Even this brings a bottle of wine to the painful price of £24. Believe me its better than by the glass! What I like about it though is the staff are non judgemental and friendly. I usually get a "welcome back!" or "a bottle is cheaper". They already know what I'm like!
You meet your fair share of characters in here too. On my first night alone, I was minding my own business tapping away on my laptop when I saw a guy do a double take whilst looking at me and stagger my way. I carried on but he came right up to me, all in my personal space and slurred "did we meet last night"? Here we go I thought, but I politely told him we'd never met and kept my eyes on the laptop. He went back to the bar and after a while the noise levels began to rise with someone else he had latched onto. About an hour later he came back from the loo, did a double take again and came over, this time sitting next to me. He leaned in and said "so what happened last night?" Again I told him we had never met but this time I said it in a "piss off mate" tone! It worked but really made me chuckle, what on earth did happen last night and with whom!?
On a couple other occasions I met some really interesting a people. It was getting on to the end of the night so I was a bit tipsy and as usual quite happy keeping myself to myself on my phone. Sitting at the bar is something I stay away from but here, the bar staff keep me company and are quick on the refills. I am always aware of who is down from me at the bar and eavesdrop on the conversations for my own amusement. There was a jordy guy who was an oil rigger back from Kuwait who was just given a new job here in Dubai. He'd started off from a small rig in the North Sea or somewhere with 12 guys to a whole man made Island with 6000! His wife was not interested in moving over to Dubai with the kids which was a shame for him. Whilst explaining to him why I was here, a guy on the other side of me piped up as he heard I was headhunted for a job at the airport. He explained he was a French Canadian who headhunted for pilots to work in China. He travels the world and meets all sorts of random people in bars whilst having his cognac after a hard day at work. Sadly I had work in the morning so I had to make a sharp exit.
The last guy I thought was a cool character was an Egyptian army retiree who had been frequenting the bar for over 3 years according to the staff. He was a bit eccentric with very expressive hands and full of stories like when he used to live in Paris and how he literally picked up a lady from the Champs Elysee's just by asking nicely. It was about 50 years ago though so maybe he was a bit of a looker then? He bought me a drink despite me already having one and he said it was because I took the time to talk to him. Nice bloke I thought!
Well the down side to this place is the music, they only have about 3 cds on a loop. One is Bob Marley which is more than acceptable, the other 2 are very obscure and repetitive remix albums probably trying their best to be from the next Cafe Del Mar. However, there is one song that I made the effort to Shazam. It really is a good song from a band called 3- 11 Porter, a Nordic electronica 3 piece who I will probably never hear from again. This track, particularly this remix, made it onto Hotel Costes Vol 6 and proved such a hit they put it on the Best of and Box set. A worthy backdrop to any bar in my book, even if it is just a Holiday Inn at Dubai Airport.
By Shell HunterCatch up with more tracks from my Saturday Night Jukebox posts here or playlist below, full of Guilty Pleasures, everyone's got one!
3- 11 Porter - Surround Me With Your Love
4/ 5Oleh Shell Hunter