Monday, November 23, 2009
Yesterday an email from my friend Liberty in DIFC popped up at about 4 pm: "It's raining! You cannot imagine the hysteria this is causing in the office!"
Despite DIFC being about 5 mins from my office, the rain never materialised. This didn't stop the entire team running to the windows every five minutes to check.
It hasn't dampened (sorry) my mood though, despite having to stop off on the way home to by an umbrella (fail to plan, plan to fail). I haven't had to use it, yet. Watch this space.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
So it was with much excitement that I heard that DJ Yoda was in Dubai this weekend. If you haven’t seen him live before you’re missing a complete treat. I’ve loved him where I’ve seen him and his ‘How to Cut and Paste’ albums are a regular on my ipod. Now he’s started mixing music to video too, which is pretty spectacular. Especially in a huge open air club underneath the stars. My favourite part? When he mixed Inspector Gadget into Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Awesome.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
So, it finally happened: I rode the Dubai Metro!!!!! Yes, two months after it opened I got to see what all the fuss was about (well, what all my fuss was about anyway!) Why so long? Well here’s the thing – not all of the metro stations are open yet and they’re not massively convenient to my home or workplace. If I was going t make a trip I’d have to get a taxi to the nearest station and again at the other end. So I haven’t got round to it.
Yesterday the scene on leaving the airshow was nothing short of carnage. They’d clearly tried to sort some shuttle buses, but as they were all gridlocked outside, with no clear signage, it was going to be a complete gamble as to a) whether you would actually move in the next 24 hours b) your destination would be anywhere near where you were trying to get to.
The taxi queue resembled a refugee camp with frazzled suits – it was literally about 100 metres long. So that was quickly ruled out as an option.
So I and an intrepid colleague decided that the only option left was…the metro. This being Dubai the nearest station was a good 15 minute walk away, and involved walking on a 4 lane highway (we laugh in the face of pavements/sidewalks here!) grass verges (with sprinklers on – not a treat!) sandy trenches and gravel. It really was an adventure – and that was before we’d even arrived at the station.
So what’s it like? Here are my general observations:
Overall – it’s pretty sparkly. And as the Manchester metro is my last frame of reference it does look super-clean, super-slick. But then it is brand-spanking new.
The stations look a bit like airports – busy, bustling, well-lit, with coffee shops and cafes. Nice.
Why the need for the muzak in the carriages? It’s bad enough having to endure this in lifts/when on hold etc – no need in the metro, IMO.
It was packed! And not just with fellow airshow escapees, although there were a fair few of those. Joe Public has really embraced the metro, it seems.
It’s cheap – 90p for a 20 minute journey. I’m sure the equivalent in Manchester (Victoria to Bury) would be triple or quadruple that….
People are still excited to use it, as demonstrated by the fact that I wasn’t the only one taking photos of the journey!
Some people who clearly use the metro regularly have embraced the whole commuter attitude/stance – rushing to get off the train, leaning forward and exiting at high-speed. I’m sure if I had to use it every day I’d be the same but for me it was welcome respite from the grid-locked roads below (the Dubai metro is elevated above the highways) and just an overall interesting experience.
Oh and as I had hoped: you can neb right into people’s apartments. Brilliant. Not sure when I’ll be using it next, but for now, thanks metro!
As is usual in Dubai, whenever any big event takes place the city descends into gridlock chaos. I’m not sure why. The transport system, much as they are trying to improve it (ie with the new Metro – more on that later) still isn’t exactly joined up, meaning that people tend to rely on taxis. And with that many people trying to get to one place it’s never going to be easy.
Security was extremely tight, which is understandable at an airshow, but I really didn’t think that the jobsworth attitude of the men on the scanners was necessary ON THE WAY OUT. I had to present not one but two passes, my ticket, and my driving licence. Oh, and I had to confirm what my name was. Call me a cynic but could this over-zealous attitude be in any way related to the fact that I was pretty much the only Western female in the place? And definitely the only blonde. Ah well. My irritation was immediately soothed by bumping into the French fighter pilot team outside. Viva la France!
Monday, November 02, 2009
I don’t seem to have a free weekend until January – how did that happen? What with numerous overseas weekend visitors in the next month (you know who you are!), a music festival (more to follow), the small matter of my LUXURY ONCE IN A LIFETIME SAFARI TRIP (with our own private butler, just in case you’d forgotten that bit) then parents, then Cathy and New Year – where did the year go? I’m genuinely not complaining, you know me, I love being busy and like nothing more than a very full diary - especially when work is so unforgiving and all-consuming in the week. I’m not one for philosophy but there was a philosopher on Chris Evans this week who said: we worry about wasting time, wasting money, when the only thing that we should worry about wasting is our life.
I think I can safely say I’m wringing the absolute best out of every moment….
So imagine my delight when I popped into my local spa the other night to be sat next to none other than: Ginger’s mum! We had a lovely chat about dogs/Ginger/life with Ginger/Ginger’s routines…you get the picture. Yes, I am a saddo. But to be honest it’s so rare to meet anyone who has a canine mindset that we had a lot to cover. The spa girls found this whole thing fascinating – dogs aren’t top of the priority list in their home countries. Apparently taking Ginger for a walk is a challenge in itself as all the ex-pats are (naturally) all over her like a rash. Bless. As I pointed out: if you can resist Ginger, there’s a brick swinging where your heart should be…..