The Staring Game

Published: June 26th 2012
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On the way to the job site yesterday, Eric said: "I'm sorry in advance about the staring - these guys are not used to seeing a girl out here." I've mentioned the staring problem before, right? I'm a little used to it working on job sites in California; many times I am the only girl out there too, but it is never that noticeable unless you are on a big site with dozens or hundreds of men. I remember, working out at Riverpark, that I had worked with this one guy on the vibration compaction. Then one day, I was drilling down in a pit, and he was driving a scraper - he would drive around the pit and honk and wave at me. It was funny more than anything, and there always seemed to be that one guy out there.... Some guys are really good about it and love to joke with you, or get you to smile or laugh at them. Some guys hate having a woman on site, especially one who is there to tell them what to do. Fortunately, with this project, I was just assisting Eric, so I did little talking. The main guys out there were all very cool and I hope to work with them again in the future. The workers on the road were doing a great job, but yes, they would just STARE...

So, anyway, last night for dinner, I met Eric at the restaurant in the main part of the hotel. There was a buffet so we went in, ordered a beer, and helped ourselves. There were a lot of choices and almost everything was very good (the things that weren't good were just things that I don't like). My first dish consisted of chicken and apple salad, mushroom and beef salad, some weird cheese I didn't like, arabian bread with hummus, grilled vegetables cold, rice, and some indian fish dish that was really really good. My second dish consisted of more cold grilled vegetables, this time with a pesto sauce, arabian bread with labneh and muthabel (I strongly prefer hummus), a spring roll, and some crab dish wish had good flavor but was hard to get the crab meat. For dessert - pineapple and a mango mousse thing. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for our bill: 138AED just for the dinner, and 178 total (about $50 each).

After dinner, I wanted to take my opportunity to dip my feet in to the Indian Ocean. It was so pleasant out. Humid and warm, but perfect. I sat on one of the lounge chairs on the beach for a few minutes and looked at the stars. I was also able to watch the activities of the people eating at the restaurant on the beach. One couple had a table just steps from the ocean, lit by these flourescent balls of light. I walked to the water and put my feet in - it felt great! Not too hot, not too cold... Man, I wish I could stay for a few more days...

I did not get a lot of sleep that night - either people coming in from the bar or people leaving early for the airport with their kids and rolling suitcases that banged on every seam in the linoleum floor outside my room. I met Eric for breakfast. I thought I ate enough but I was hungry an hour later. I just had some egg and vegetable baked thingy, fruit (pineapple, oranges, kiwi), and.. huh. I am sure I had something else! The work we finished this morning. It started to get hot around 10 am and after that we would do one cut before taking a break, each time. It was just too much, especially for Eric, who walked up each slope.

When we left, we took a different road than on the way in, the older road. We stopped for lunch at a cute little place that he said may have been affected by the new highway. Such a shame. We each got a chicken sandwich (with fries, of course!), and I got a pineapple smoothie thing. I had already told him I would pay for lunch so I was looking for my money unsuccessfully, when I finally looked at the bill: 22.50 AED!!! Say what??? I had three tens at hand and gave it right away - less then $10 for the two of us and my sandwich and drink were pretty darn good!

Later, we stopped at a fruit stand. He called Joevet to confirm the cost of mangos before getting out. He told me the guys are very very pushy here, and he was not kidding! There were about 6 different sellers and they each had their own stands, which I don't think I totally realized. So they were each trying to get us to buy from their stand. Eric ordered mangos from one guy while I continued walking. This older man offered me a slice of mango to try. It's a little sweeter than I like, but I wanted some new fruits besides apples and nectarines, so I asked how much. 1 kilo for 7AED (about $2). That turned out to be two very large mangos so I said yes. Eric got three and a pineapple for 20AED - we're both pretty sure he got ripped off. The guy initially said 15, but we were done by then.

It seemed to be a long drive back and it was not the end... I got into the office and apparently all heck broke lose on one of my jobs. Our drillers worked it out, but because I do not have a cell from the company, the client could not contact me and was getting so upset that I was not returning his emails. When I sat at my computer, I saw that he had only emailed me 3 hours before and he was not happy even so. The drillers were able to take care of it, which they should have as it was their responsibility anyway, but this was a taste of what I can expect for my time here and that will not be pleasant. It is amazing the unrealistic expectations people have here.

And to end on topic, Silpa and I raced to the metro as we heard it pulling in as we walked in the door. We were able to jump on as soon as the doors were closing AND we each got a seat. We could not sit right next to each other immediately, but a little boy was shy and went to sit with his parents, opening a spot between silpa and a guy next to her, but I was comfy (I had all my bags from my trip). As it was, I got to see the guy sitting next to her stare at her for a good 3 minutes before turning his gaze on me. I mean, not even a subtle staring- full turn of the head eyes right on your face. It is a very weird feeling that I will just have to get used to!

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26th June 2012

Awesome truck!! Glad you had a good birthday, the Indian Ocean Resort sounds blissful! Maybe if you get a few days off you can go back! :)
26th June 2012

A request
Take a group photo at fugro UAE!

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