Published: June 21st 2012June 21st 2012
It came in a big bread wrap with all these delicious treats inside
Even though it was only a 4-day work week, it was a long one. Especially the last two days.
Today I went on my first site visit with Karim. We visited the site for the resort hotel they are making. We "only" have one of our rigs out there at that time (I've never worked with multiple!) and they had just begun work on the second hole. Mud drilling - I can't help it. I cringe everytime I see it! But I think it is mostly because we don't have it too often on my US projects; it's used in sandy materials below the water table which definitely describes one of the palm islands! The proposed hotel is located in the crescent of the giant palm that makes Dubai famous. I was interested to see any differences between the rigs and techniques. Seemed about the same to me! Except I didn't see them using rings for the split-spoon sampler and they manually drop a hammer to drive the samples (this is often used on limited access rigs which was what was onsite; I'm not sure if they have truck mounted rigs with automatic hammers). On Sunday or Monday we should
at Arz Lebanon - yum!
have four crews working simultaneously (boreholes and CPT's). It was neat to get out of the office and into the field again. Though I definitely don't mind not having to work in the heat!!!
My second site visit was at the natural gas plant. Very restrictive area so no pictures and I don't feel comfortable discussing it. The guys I met with were a trip - one was South African and seemed like a nervous kind of guy which I loved, and the other was a Kiwi-Brit who was entertaining. My job today was to mostly put their mind at ease about our task which I think I did. Oh and promise to provide a preliminary report by late next week! Ha!
Anyway, enough about work - my weekend has arrived!
Last night, I decided to see if my mom was online to chat on facebook. She joined purely to able to follow my life while I am away and she likes it. :) Yes, we were able to chat and apparently we can video chat! I did not know facebook had this! It is partnered with skype, so now I just need a mike and camera
The workers shuttle I ride to the metro every evening.
and we can basically skype. Which is good because skype is blocked here. So, I was able to see her while we chatted and Dad and Aunt Carol sat in front of the camera for a few minutes as well. It was good to be able to talk with them. :)
Today was Khaled's last day - oh yeah! I totally forgot to mention my adventure. Karim drove me to the first site. The second I took a cab from the office to the metro which took HALF AN HOUR!!! Just silly. Then the metro took another 25-30 minutes to get to the stop I needed - Ibn Battuta. Silpa had mentioned this mall to me but it is almost at the end of the line (towards Abu Dhabi) so I haven't made it yet. Oh, but I will. Maybe this weekend! It looked really cool; later she told me there is a Chinese court, an Egyptian court, and an Indian court and the architectures all seem to fit this pattern. Plus, the ride in basically the middle of the desert was pretty cool. So, on one side you have this insanely large mall and across the highway you have all the power plants and such. Such a contrast. Aside from the power plants, the mall and adjacent hotel reminded me of that one place on the way to Vegas - Primm? Anyway, I was able to get a taxi right away to take me to the gas plant (for once he knew EXACTLY where to go) and I asked him to pick me up in an hour. He said the call to prayer was at 12:40 and he would come after. I knew I was cutting it close with the lunch for Khaled, but I didn't know how long the meeting and site visit would be, but I also didn't want it to extend too long. He came back, I took the metro back (after waiting 10 minutes since they reduce the trains during non-rush hour), and had a crazy cab ride with an entertaining driver to Arz Lebanon. "Right?" "Yes." "Right?" "Yes." "You are sure?" "Yes" "Right?" "YES!!!!" I walked in late, but everyone was just taking their time. The food was delicious of course, which of course didn't have anything to do with the fact that I was STARVING after all that running around on a granola bar! I will miss Khaled though. Unforunately, I didn't get to talk with him much today. :(
This evening on the shuttle, a girl who does not usually ride was sitting behind me. There are a lot of Filipinos on the bus everyday (and that work in our office- the Filipino Mafia!), so they all talk to each other in their own language, but today they were just really happy, and excited and constantly laughing. It just sounded so pure that I couldn't help but smile too. Suddenly, one of the girls grips my arm and says "You understand???" I smiled and said no. She laughed and said, "Good, because it was naaaughty!", which made me laugh harder. The new girl was trouble!
So, the driving - people have been making comments about my sense of direction. I assure you, this is not the case. (Jamal take notes) Taxi drivers are a) nuts, b) completely ignorant of where many places are and c) unsympathetic if they don't know - they just tell you to try someone else. There are kind of roads here with names, especially the main ones, but no one uses road names to explain directions. So I cannot say "Turn right on Umm Sequim, left on 14b st, and left on 26b st." This has zero meaning. Instead I have to say each morning "Al Quoz Industrial Area 2." "Huh??" "Do you know where Emirate Printing Press is?" "Huh?" "How about Grand City Mall?" "Oh yes! Grand City Mall!" Grand City mall is not really near my work (and not really a mall), but from there I can just point and say "U-turn, right, right, left." Quite entertaining, now that I have the hang of it. One of my earlier drivers told me Grand City Mall was the magic place to mention; the last couple of days it has been "Which one? Big or small? Old or new?" wtf.
Not much else to tell. Work is starting to get insanely hectic, but I like it as it makes the day go by so much faster. Plus, I love knowing that when I leave at 5:30, I'm done!!! None of this clients calling me after hours, or emailing me plans that HAVE to be looked at by morning or invoices that have to be done by 10am tomorrow. Nope, it is such a relief.... I am resting tonight and depending on what is going on this weekend, I may just take a ride down to Ibn Battuta mall... Good night y'all!