Thursday, 20 September 2007

Open prostitution

Ramadan has been going on for a few days now and unlike other Muslim states ('liberal' Dubai for one), bars are still open for the hordes of expats who want to carry on drinking throughout the holiest of holy months (me included). One change that does take place though, is that no music is allowed to be played within said bars. I'm not quite sure why music is more of problem than the consumption of alcohol, but who am I to question the wisdom of our illustrious leaders?
Anyway, finding a bar with some atmosphere is a little more difficult this month, except for those places showing the rugby world cup. On the hunt for an interesting place to have a beer with friends, I stumbled across a place that could definitely be described as just that. Having lived in Bahrain, I'm aware that prostitution goes on in this part of the world. I've even seen it firsthand. But I was lost for words at the openness and amount of prostitution going on in Blitz. I was the only woman out of about 20 who was not on the game. There was a sofa near the front door where about 10 girls of different ages and nationalities (mainly Asian) were lined up waiting for business. And the clients? The majority European.
The funniest thing was when I looked up the description of the place in Time Out: a mix of nationalities and a good band were the only things mentioned.

Thursday, 13 September 2007


This is my 3rd Ramadan in the Middle East but the first where the state has organised a fireworks display for the beginning of the holy month.
Despite the very lax advertising (between a group of 10, 3 people had seen the event advertised once), the Corniche was full of people eagerly waiting for the display to start. Again, the time was not well publicised so the main spectacle to start with was the mass of people trying to get to the vending machine next to the walkway so they could empty it of water and sweets full of E numbers.
When the show finally started, it was spectacular. I dread to think how much it would have cost - the fireworks seemed to go on forever. And with each new type, there was a new gasp of awe. And the 3 sites were in perfect unison, making it even more impressive.

This is my favourite. They looked like palm trees - cool! I hope you get the general idea from my amateur photography ;)

And then you can see the ones to match the colours of the flag. Impressive camera work, I know!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Random parties

My expat life has seen a few random parties so far. Last night I went to one with more Swedes than I have ever seen in one place before (not having been to Sweden, obviously!). Coincidentally, perhaps, it was also the first time I've met someone who has a bottle of Jagermeister in their cabinet too.

There is always the awkwardness at the beginning, especially when you haven't actually been invited, but this usually gives way to drunken story telling and maybe even a bit of 'Arab man dancing'!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The complaint :(

Well, I'm not loving it so far! 2 lessons in and I had my first complaint. I can't remember the last time a student complained about my teaching. To be fair, they didn't actually complain about my teaching this time. Apparently I'm not being nice and friendly enough to them. Now, where did I put those kid gloves? Oh, that's right. I never owned a pair!

The wonders of A/C

I've been here 2 weeks and I still have a runny nose from living with constant air conditioning. Imagine what I'm going to be like after 2 months; I might not have any fluids left in my body :0

Monday, 3 September 2007

Students...the same the world over

Ah...even though it's only been a few weeks since I last taught, I'd forgotten how hideous that first class is. Especially when you have really motivated people and others who don't give a sh*t.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Couchsurfing will find a way

Apparently, the religious or cultural sensibilities of UAE might be in danger if the couchsurfing website is allowed. I'm not quite sure how that works when they allow Hospitality Club, but who am I to question these kinds of decision?
Of course, the ban hasn't stopped me meeting up with local surfers both here in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai.