Chicken Livers or Veal?


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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai
June 6th 2012
Published: June 6th 2012
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Burj Kalifa Burj Kalifa Burj Kalifa

Near the Business Bay metro stop
I got a good solid 7 hours of sleep last night, but that means I woke up at 2:30am and never went back to bed. I read another Sookie Stackhouse book and before I knew it, it was 6am. I decided to keep the maid out of my room untiil tomorrow (thursday) so I can relax in my own way, but have new sheets and a nice clean room to return to when I come back from my last day of work of my first week. Can you believe it? I'm almost through my first week!

I decided today was another big breakfast day because yesterday I hardly ate anything! But when I got my plate and scouted out the buffet, nothing struck my fancy. In fact, I was a bit revolted. My main hot meal options were chicken livers or a veal omelette. Bleh!!! I am almost always willing to try anything... but not at 7 in the morning. So, I got a danish, olives, cucumbers, labneh, a gross little pancake, oh and mashed potatoes of course! I actually had a second helping of the mashed potatoes because not only were they the best thing on my plate, they were really really good!

For the second day in a row, I had to switch taxis because the first one didn't know where he was going. I was determined to check on getting a license so I wouldn't have to deal with this crap, but alas, I need a visa first. I did decide to take a taxi to work in the morning and then the Fugro shuttle home in the evening. More on that in a bit.

One of my favorite things at work is the fact that this older Indian man, Singh, brings me my drinks throughout the day - he knows what I like and when. So, in the morning he brings me two cups of tea and a water. Then a tea following lunch and more water. I thought he did this for everyone, but Samar said he must like me. Haha. He's quite sweet.

My head boss sat me down and discussed his vision for our group this morning. It appears I will be one of the more senior engineers (Yikes!!! and whaaaa?). However, with the basic geology of the area, the lack of seismic codes, and the basic engineering principles, I think I'll be just fine. Actually, I was quite excited with some of the projects he mentioned. The Qatar metro was brought up again, only it seems I would have to move to Doha. A pity, but it would be an AMAZING project! Another project is a resort on one of the islands of the Palm. I realized during this meeting (to myself), that the fact that my name is considered masculine outside of the US may work to my advantage with clients. If they knew I was a woman, they may try to take advantage of me or disrespect me. I'm a silver lining kind of girl, I guess!

Our group went to lunch today as another girl joined our team - she just graduated and is hitting the ground running. She also really reminds me of a mini-Jamie. She grew up in the area, while the rest are all Lebanese. So, we went to a Lebanese restaurant, which is actually near my hotel. Good food, but I probably should have let them order for me! Apparently, I ordered a dish that is considered to be more Indian. It was very good, chicken and rice (and my first
Moi!Moi!Moi!

(I am very very very tired)
meat in days). It also made me realize that I definitely want to take Arabian language lessons. Even if I don't become a speaker, I would like to be able to pick up words here and there. I would actually like to become conversationally fluent, but Arabic is a language unlike any I've ever tried, so we'll see.

Work was much more rewarding today. I had to wait for lab results to do anything else for my report, so I worked on some inclinometer plots for Ventura. Later in the day, we were given kind of an emergency project where I had to provide slides for my boss to present. The project involved some crazy cracks at a brand spanking new facility. Apparenty the previous geotech did not account for expansive soils and when the owners started to irrigate, all heck broke loose!!! The pictures were pretty good; and finally, some excitement in the geotech middle eastern world.

At lunch, I found out that we DO NOT HAVE TIMESHEETS! I can't believe it. I really just cannot believe it. You mean I don't have to document my 15-minute increments of work and count but not count the time I spent doing that? All I have to do is work during the day and go home??? So weird... They said no overtime, but I never really got overtime before anyway.

The shuttle back was interesting. Hey, it's free. It took me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go, but right to the metro station at Business Bay. It was the longest I'd ridden on the metro, but in a way it was relaxing. I didn't have to drive. No crazy taxi drivers. And much cheaper.

Just one more day of work!!!

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6th June 2012

i am soooo jealous that you don't have to complete timesheets! that must feel AMAZING!!! i'm having fun reading about your new home and life. We miss you here! Can't wait to read about what you do with your time off this weekend!
7th June 2012

timesheet
I miss you too!!! Very much! I hope all is well. Yeah, they were arguing today about whether scanning your thumb was wrong or not as a way to check in. (They do not do this anymore) At first I thought it was wrong, but when they said no timesheets, I was like, hey that's not so bad. They just want to make sure you are working your time! I hope they don't start doing it again, but I'll take that over timesheets any day. It's not like I have field work and plan to be in and out of the office. Another good thing is that we have all our own equipment and lab: so even though I do not come up with the proposals, I'm thinking: no breakdown of costs for labor, lab costs or subcontractors - easy!!!
8th June 2012

suggested words to learn
hey girl, glad to hear things are coming along! learning a language is diff! when i was in china i learned numbers, direction like left, right, straight, a basic marker where i lived (KFC) to get me close to home and please and thank you. it was all that i needed on my own. there was lots of pointing too! that basic bit was amazing cuz people continuously tried to rip us off!!! so when i knew how much something was and they wanted more, i could tell them theyre full of shite!!! love the stories!!!

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