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Published: October 17th 2012
Nothing much exciting this week, as usual. We had a small lunch on Friday with the coolest fugroians. Saturday was my Arabic class, followed by our weekly coed soccer game. Actually, the coed soccer game turned more into a hardcore practice for the girls. We ran and ran and ran some more (I hate it, but it is necessary as our fitness is far below the other teams). We played some good games and I have to say that I made an amazing goal. Now if only I can do that in the game tonight...
Work has been somewhat slow for me this week. Dealing with the same clients, one of whom has returned and seems to delight in being mean to me. Fortunately, I've faced much worse than him (thank you Malibu!). I spent some time reviewing and learning my new arabic words with my coworkers. MarHaba - hello! tasharafna - "Nice to meet you!" Baab = "door" One thing I do notice about Arabic written in our alphabet - spelling. Oh, Ben would fit right in here! You can literally drive down the highway and see the same thing written multiple ways. For instance I've seen both "Jebel
Ali" and "Jabal Ali" - this is a community between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Also, "Naad al Sheeba" and "Nad al Shiba" and "Naad al Shiba". But it has something to do with the way the vowels are pronounced and spelled. I can't say that I don't understand, but like everything in Dubai organization, there are many ways to do the same thing and all of them are right (or all wrong depending on who you talk to).
I've finally seen how people can get road rage so easily here. There are so many cars on the roads and the traffic lights are set up for one direction at a time only, so you easily get back up, especially on the left hand turns as there are so many one way streets, that people need to do U-turns all the time. Honestly, I can see why roundabouts do make sense here. People will cut you off with no shame - you can be waiting in line to turn left through two lights and someone will zip along and cut right in front of you without batting an eye. So, once you realize that there is nothing you can do
about it, well you just start doing it too!
There is also a lack of pride in your work. Not just in our office, but in the service industry and every job as a whole. You can wait and wait and wait for your food or your bill or whatever and when they realize you've been kept a long time, they go get it but very little apologizing or feigning surprise. It just is. People really just don't care - they work their hours and they go home. I am kind of jealous in a way, but also amazed because I just can't even imagine that mentality.
I've been having some difficulties cooking, which kind of depresses me as I love to cook. First of all, my days are so busy and I don't get home til at least 9 most nights, so there is no point during the week. Secondly, major issues with my oven. It does not have a rack is the hardest part! But I think the temperature is also a little off. Once, I can devote more time to practicing with it, maybe I can work out the kinks. I tried to make one
of my favorite meals the other day, chicken-rice-mushroom casserole, but it just didn't work. Chicken got burned, rice completely dried out, baking dish blackened. Bummer.
Last night, I joined my friend, Kim, and her friends for a ladies night. I didn't realize there were real "ladies' Nights" here in Dubai. I just thought she meant a girls night out! So, we met her in the lobby of the Grosvenor Hotel to have drinks at the Embassy. Even though I wore my best work dress, I was still completely underdressed! It was a VERY nice hotel and swanky lounge. I'll definitely have to update my wardrobe with skanky (I mean "fancy") clothes and heels. The best part - I was prepared to spend about 250AED, but all the ladies got three drink vouchers. You had to order off a specific menu but they had some good options. One of my vouchers covered a glass of red wine (nothing memorable but I've only met about 3 glasses of wine I would spit out) and a "Raspberry Kiss" which cost me two vouchers and was sweet but good. Next time, stick with the wine though.
Today, I had to go to
Always always a line at gas stations
there really are not that many places to go
the Municipality toe work on obtaining NOC's for some of our work. If you are in California, this is called "DigAlert" or "USA" - it is basically clearance for you to work/drill in a specific location, mostly by clearing any underground utilities that may be in the area. I thought I was just going to pick it up, and maybe meet with the inspector, but nope. They actually wanted me onsite for our two parks locations. So, after driving a half hour to the department, I had to drive another half an hour to Jumeirah Beach Park and then to Safa Park. I was very proud of myself for finding my way around without getting lost or even having to turn around once! The inspector was very nice and once we finally found the boreholes, he was pretty happy. The two parks look great and one of these days, I'll make it a point to visit each and every one of these beautiful city parks. Since it took me longer than I thought, I decided to get lunch and bring it back to the office so I could work, plus I needed to get gas. That was an adventure that I will not go into but let me just say that it wound up saving me ZERO time!
Finally, I returned to the office and met with my boss. It looks like I will be going to Qatar to work on a brand new project for about a month. I'm excited! I know, I know... They've been saying this since I got here. But maybe this time it will actually happen. I am just ready for something a little new and different.
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