Friday, October 28, 2011

I have not been posting

I lost my dog to bone cancer.

My dog was my roots.

My world crashed.

No idea what to do but to wait until my mind refocuses and makes a decision.

When will that be?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sung to the tune of queen (not mine but think is hilarious)

Is this the check point?
Is this just Wadi B?
Caught in a sand slide,
No escape from the GCC.
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see...

It's Emirates Airline, they need some sympathy, Because the pilots come, pilots go, little high, little low,
Any way the sand blows doesn't really matter to me, UAE.

Neighbour..., just killed a lamb, Put him underneath his coat, pulled a knife across his throat,
Bugger, lunch had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all away.
Bugger, oo,oooh, didn't mean to work so late,

And I'll be here again this time tomorrow, Carry on, carry on, as if appointments really matter.

Tuesday, my visa run,
Got a taxi just in time, now I'm standing in the line.
Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and get the stamp.
Bugger, oo,ooh, I don't want to queue, I sometimes wish I'd never come here at all.

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
P.R.O., P.R.O., will you do this stuff for me?
Medical and eye test, then I've got the blood test, me. Cappuccino.
(Cappuccino). Cappuccino. (Cappuccino), Cappuccino Pajero

I'm just a sponsor and nobody loves me.
He's just a sponsor from a poor family, He's got two Mercs, and a white GMC

Visa come, Visa go, will you let me go.
Inshallah! No, we will not let you go.
(Let him go!) Inshallah! We will not let you go.
(Let him go!) Inshallah! We will not let you go.
(Let me go.) Will not let you go.
(Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) No, no, no, no, no,
no, no.

Alhumdalillah, Bismillah, Humdallillah, let me go.
The Eat and Drink has a chicken put aside for me, for me, for me...........
So you think Mirdif's villas are well worth a try?
So you think Spinney's prices are really quite high?

Oh, Janey, can't do this to me
Janey, Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here.

Nothing really matters, in the UAE,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters, to me.

Any way the sand blows.......

Unknown artist

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shopping in the UAE

Maybe it is the american in me and I like the corporate world just raping us... but I like walking into Target and grabbing anything and everything and walking up to a register knowing the price. I can not get used to having to ask how much and then the price war begins. I am no good at it. If someone says 200 dirhams, and I know it should be 100 dirhams, I just pay the 200 dirhams. I went to a fish store in Abu Dhabi (those who know me know I am in LOVE with anything marine related). I asked how much and they guy told me a price. I decided if I wanted to purchase it and did. The guy looked guilty taking my money. I went along with a local frend and when we walked out, he said that the man was ashamed to have taken that money from me and my local friend asked why I didnt offer him less. I know when I walk out of the store, they probly think 'dumb american' or 'dumb westerner' but I think in my head, and in my way, I get my revenge. I just wont ever come back. Is it really making any type of statement?? They dont get that translation of never seeing a customer again, as this is such a transient envirnoment they dont care if you do or don't come back. So who is really out ?? Me because I dont go back or the shop keeper who only got one big sale, instead of continuous business.

And I then when on the marine aquarium society and posted a review of his store... including the price gouging :) This may be a transient envirnoment for most things, but the marine hobbiest is not. ;)

And there is always just ordering it from netgrocer, amazon, target, or whatever other american retailer who I wont have to bother bartering with :) Everything else.... just send the local :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

American Vehicles in the Middle East

I do not have a choice in the vehicle that I drive. The company I work for gives me a key and says, this is the vehicle you are going to drive. No input from us workers who actually are here, driving these vehicles. For some reason, our lovely ME administrator (I will try to be nice when discussing our admin but it will be difficult) finally got around to changing out our ford focus death traps to small suvs last year that I guess was suppose to have happened years before. We have now been driving ford escapes since ?? June or July or last year. We drive a lot. We drive them hard. We drive thru pretty damn hot weather. Everyone I talk to, says american cars are not built for the middle east and will not hold up.

Our escapes are coming up on around 70,000 km and it seems.... they were right :( 

All of them kind of 'catch' when changing through the gears now. And 'our' vehicle (the one I car share and drive the most) wouldnt come out of first gear yesterday. The brought a replacement and it is in for service. I anxiously await news on her... especially because I just got her tinted not a few weeks ago.

You do not see vehicles that are over 100,000 km here often. Everyone says once they reach that, they are throw away cars???? Which is crazy to me. My dodge truck and my vw GTI in the usa both have well over 130,000 MILES on them. So like three times the amount of km that this escape has. They were driven a lot, hard, and in pretty damn hot weather too. Only difference is no sand flying around in the air. Is it the sand that wreaks havoc on vehicles here???

The vehicle of choice in the middle east is the toyota (well once you get past the uppidy locals who want BMWs, Jaguars, Mercedes, Range Rovers, etc). Are american cars really just not up to par for the middle east?

I feel like this blog is all over but my mind seems to be all over lately. And even though this is off subject, I would like to apologize for not sticking with and blogging regularly about my adventures. I have been doing quite a bit lately and really should have been blogging and reflecting on these things. I will do better in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Horribly Semi Homemade Sandra Lee Show - You couldnt make this up!

Totally not Dubai related. I do not even know if you can get this show on the tv network here in Dubai???  Anyhow, on to the non Dubai post :)

So my coworker is a foodie. She loves making stuff and trying new recipes. We have a Wed ritual now to watch her show every week. I think this is the best half hour of my week! If you have not seen this show, you have to watch it! Download it, ti-vo it, or whatever you do to be able to watch it... Just do it!!

Where these recipes come from... I have no idea! Today for instance, she made a 'cocktail' that was four (yes, I just said FOUR!!!!) bottles of wine and a few cups of brandy, dumped into a slow cooker. Who uses wine as the mixer???? And she dumped precooked chicken and cut up turkey lunch meat into this throw up mixture of veggies and premade soup to then transfer into an over for 2 1/2 hours!!!!! You really couldn't make this stuff up if you tried. And the tablescapes! You just have to watch it. The best one yet was when she used rims on the table. RIMS :)

Soooooo if you need a good laugh, get to downloading a show or two. You will be glad you did!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Changes are a coming in the middle east...

Egypt is free! It isnt always going to be so wonderful and they have a long road ahead, but watching the video coming out of egypt, I can not help but to be overjoyed for this moment for them!

Good job on freezing that douches assets!!!!!! 40 to 70 billion his family has!!! His country struggles to survive and he has at least 40 billion???? How can a person do that to their own country?? He should be ashamed of himself.

Good riddance to Murbarak and I hope that the usa government does not stop continueing giving 'aid' because a government is put in place that may be anti-israel. The 'aid' was suppose to be aid..... and now that egyptians will actually receive some of that aid instead of lining the presidents families pockets, that money would be highly appreciated for actually building the infrastructure and education system for the country and taking care of the people.

But for this moment, lets all just celebrate with Egyptians in their freedom that they have fought and won! And keep in mind those that have given their lives for this to happen, those that were willing to take on a government that was willingn to terrorize their own citizens, those that have beat bitten and betrayed... It was not an easy victory, nor has it really only been this 19 day fight...  and many a person had their hands in this to make it happen.

Egypt has set the tone... Take to the internet people!!!!

Rally, come together, make the changes you want for your country! Just look at Egypt.... anything is possible!

Can you ever really explain Dysthymia to someone?

It seems to my friends no.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Benihana in Dubai

So I went out with a friend to Benihana here in Dubai last week. It is in a hotel, as all chains seem to be either in a hotel or in a mall.

We arrived at the restaurant. Looked nice but there were tables everywhere. Odd I thought. I am used to benihanas in the states that most of the tables are surrounding a hibachi grill. ?? Chalk it up to Dubai. I do think there might have been a few hibachis in the back but do not know. The hostess asked if we would like to be seated out on the terrace. Nice I thought, of course. We walked outside to a little patio area that has NO VIEW WHAT SO EVER. We are on the JBR walk in dubai at a hotel and I guess I was expecting a terrace would give us a view. Chalk it up to a bad location in the hotel. All is well, we are about to get to eat japanes/sushi :)

We both knew we wanted rolls and some . A few dishes were brought out going to other tables. Pammy, my eating partner, pointed them out and asked what they were and that they looked so good (to the waitress!! keep this in mind). We told her we wanted to have an assortment. She was literally no help. At all. We are a multicultural pairing and believe we are very understanding of those who do not speak english as their first language. So, as we were getting no where with our waitress on suggestions, we said, ok, do the assorted sushi. Assorted!!!  And we ordered a combo that we get soup/salad/rice/veggies/chicken. All is well enough. I was very excited as Benihana is a place that I probly go to once a month or more in the states (it is an hour away from where I live plus there is a similar style local mom and pop that is five minutes away that is just as good if not better, as more authentic). Anyway, I am digressing but just trying to set up that I am a fan of this place and really wanted to like it.

Then out came our sushi. Our ASSORTED sushi. It was all nigiri sushi. Nothing else on the platter. We both looked at it, kind of astonished. 180 dirhams (I think that was the amount) and we have only nigiri which my friend doesnt exactly like and I am not all that crazy about half of the choices. I mean, honestly on an 'assorted' they have multiple octopus, eel, and other weird non staple types of fish... if it was a nigri assorted on the menu, which it wasnt listed as that at all!!

We we call our waitress over and said, "We ordered assorted." She said, "Oh yes, this is assorted. I explain to you would get this." We were like no. Pammy says you remember the rolls, and I said they looked so good and I wanted some like that. She was like yes. Long story, she could do nothing about it as they already made this and they will still charge for it. I have already heard the stories that these poor girls get paid literally peanuts and if an error occurs, they make them pay for it out of their salary. I knew right away, she was afraid of this and she pretty much said that. I asked for the manager as I figured she as a waitress could do nothing.

The manager comes. She just states the same thing. Already made and what was ordered. Explained to her we had specifically told we wanted rolls and pointed out other rolls. Then ordered assorted and expected assorted. We asked not to take back the whole amount but to remove part of it and bring us some roll. Her response. Yes, but must charge us for the assorted and the roll she brings out.


It was not like we walked in and just ordered this and then were trying to get something 'free'. I think it was a legitimate issue. ??? She said no, she could do nothing either. A manager can do nothing to make a 500 dirham bill/custom happy! She said then she would be charged. That is horrible. She blamed it on he hotel! ????

On with dinner. Told her to get us a roll and to bring the plate back without the nigri sushi we had pointed out that we were deffinatly not interested in. So of course the plate comes back out, exactly how it was, and the MANAGER puts it in front of us. I could only shake my head and hope that she just didnt understand english very well and that she really wasnt this incompetent. :( I can overlook the waitress who is getting paid peanuts but not a manager that is suppose to be overseeing a restaurant needs to be well versed in the very basic customer service issues. I took it off the platter and she brought a dish and took it away. Our roll arrived and overall the sushi was fresh and very good.

The rest of the meal went fine. The soup and salad is quite similar to the products in the usa benihana. The chicken and vegestables came out with the rice. I have to say, in comparison, this was about the most washed down version of japanese food as I would care to eat. The chicken itself was very good and tasteful but it was large chunks and the vegetables made up very little. Kind of the opposite of what I am used to. It was very westernized. The rice was nothing fancy and just was rice... I LOVE Benihanas rice in the states they make at the table. Maybe it was because we did not sit at the table?? Even if you sit at the bar in benihana, the rice they bring you is still the same as sitting at the hibachi though.

Oh well. They brought us our desert and that was odd and bit over the top fancy. Fried ice cream is never a good choice imho. The ice cream itself had a strange flavor once you peel'd off the fried outside. Would not recommend it.

The manager stated that the gm of some sort was there and would come and speak to us. We were there two hours, and that person never came. The bill arrived and we paid full price for everything, paid for the roll, the assorted sushi that wasnt assorted at all, and nothing special was given. I was dissapointed to say the least. We got up to leave and asked for the manager, to ask about/for the gms. She said she was not available but gave us a card with her email address. I said I left my email on the comment card.

I kind of did expect SOMETHING in the way of a response (I know, I really shouldnt expect it in Dubai!!). Received nothing. It has been a week. I will not be going back. I probly would have went back to try it again and hopefully try the hibachi but after that experience... no. So today I checked my email, thinking that I could just surprised and maybe it went to my trash bin in my email on accident or ??? No, nothing. I came to write a blog. I wrote it all up

And then if I didnt just find this

I wonder if the same person is over this one????

I sat and thought. Should I not post my blog of my experience... Ahh, hell with it. It was a horrible experience. I am not going to keep quiet.

So, drum roll...

Hitting the publish button :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


All the world watched Tunisia's government come to a crashing end... Now we sit in awe as a country that has a greater world presense is in protest of their government. It was peaceful and looked to be a calm. I was a bit shocked and amazed that for days, the protesters stayed peaceful and continued to peacefully protest and ask for changes. Then the pictures and videos started to stream in yesterday. The government seems to have outragously sent in government officials, including police that are in civillian clothes, to deliver violence to peaceful protesters. I woke up today to hear about deaths and see the pictures of so many people being hurt. Then the id cards of these 'pro' mubarek anti protestors. The news that random people were being stoppeed and offered money to change allegiance. :( Horrible. Murbarek, as well as other government officials, seems to be completely detached from his own country and the turmoil that the average citizen is going through. The country gets so much tourisim and so much aid, and still, the people have no money for food, the infrastructure in the country outside the tourist area is left in shambles, the internal education system for the average citizen is horrible, and the outlook of the country is atrocioius for someone who is just an average person.

I have not went to Cairo but inshalla, I shall go when it is peaceful once again, to show my support by giving my tourist dollars to Egypt and hope that the government will redistribute that wealth to build an internal infrastructure that will be beneficial for all of egypt and not just end up in the hands of a corrupt few who are enjoying a life that most people in egypt dont even understand how to wish for. Even though it seems the US governments main concern is to retain an ally in the middle east, I hope Murbarek steps aside and allows a government that the majority in Egypt can be happy with, that be anti israel or not... We should have no say in it, just as any other country shouldnt. If it is an anti-Israel government, then so be it.

I hope that no more blood should be shed of the average citizen. There are also protests going on in Yemen and Jordan. Only time will tell if there are to be major changes in those countries as well. It now seems to be majoritys time in Egypt to have a say in their future.  Now seems to mean NOW. Not Sept.

Weather in the world

Maybe it has always been like this. Maybe I just never paid attention to weather outside the usa as much as I do now?? I really dont think that is the case but ??? It seems every time I open my yahoo homepage, there is a headline of some tragedy that is weather related happening around the world. Australia hasn't even recovered from those horrible floods and is already being hit again. Blizzards with windchills of -25 and half the usa under snow. Areas of China facing the worst draught in 60 years. And the earthquakes seem to be coming more frequently all over the world. They say La Nina effects still are going to impact the world for another 3 or 4 months. If there ever was a time to praise the gods and ask for leniency, give praise to allah and ask for good health for all, to ask god for some relief from the cold and heat, grab your prayer beeds and offer prayer for peace to all.... the time would be now it seems. UAE may be enjoying good weather overall but there is so many people in the world that are experiencing so much difficulty. Keep in mind to give to those causes when you can and to not lose sight that giving even a little can help alot.

The weather in the uae is coming into the wet month(s). It doesnt rain a great deal but unfortunatly the infrastructure in the uae overall is not capable of handling any amount of rain, no matter how little. Even with small showers, the streets flood as they have unfortunatly built curbs on the sides of roads that block the water on the road systems. No underground sewage system to allow the water to flow to lower levels were built in. Those that are new need to realize the dangers of the roads in the uae and to not venture out unless absolutly necessary. If you see running water, do not enter. It only takes 2 inches of running water to be able to sweep away a vehicle. Roads that appear to be shallow amounts of water can be hiding a foot or more of standing water in the round abouts.

Hopefully in the future, as new roads are being built or old roads being tore up to be replaced, the engineers will build in some sort of flood planning. Be safe out there.