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.