Wednesday, 26 December 2007


The annual nightmare of what to do for Christmas struck again. It's great to get a break from work, but every year it's the same panic, plan and , generally, anticlimax as you feel like you have to have a good time because surely everyone else is. This year it was even more last minute than normal. I arranged to go to some friends' house for dinner almost the day before Christmas Eve and while there rang a hotel to book for Christmas lunch the next day.
Christmas Eve was quiet - just 4 of us - very civilised and grown up. The shopping beforehand was slightly less civilised when we couldn't find risotto rice, but it was a very pleasant evening. After dinner I went out with another friend and we met our good friends Jim (Beam) and Jack (Daniels). The after party we went to seemed like such a good idea at the time.
The "mega buffet" sounded good and it wasn't too expensive so it all seemed like such a good idea the night before. That was before the copious amounts of alcohol and the random after party that lasted until 5am. Getting out of bed felt like the worst idea in the world when my alarm went off at 11am. But I managed it - just! Karin wasn't quite so lucky and had to throw up on the way to lunch. Not a great start perhaps.
But the buffet was one of the most random experiences ever. First, it was in a massive ballroom so the atmosphere was more like a school canteen than a nice festive lunch. Next were the mainly Asian waiting staff with Santa hats trying to look busy. Then there was the Colombian band playing Latino music. But the piece de resistance was definitely the Philippino Santa and his band of out of tune carollers. They seemed to stay on the stage for an eternity and in my hungover state I was incapable of getting away!
All in all a very random day.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Driving licence

I'm not quite sure why you have to convert your UK licence to an Emirati one when there is no test involved and the eye test can hardly be called that either. It must just be another one of those money making scams the government has of taking your dosh without you actually paying tax. Oh well, I am legal now so my dad had better watch his car key!

Friday, 7 December 2007

Justin Timberlake

Is he bringing sexy back? Oh yes!
So, as an antidote to all the cultural things I've been doing laely I had to go to the Justin Timberlake concert. When I bought the tickets ages ago I thought I'd easily be able to find a couple of people to go with, but what with friends already having plans or not wanting to spend money on seeing the Trousersnake (shocking, I know!), I started to think I was going to be going alone. Fortunately I managed to persuade Mohamad (a guy I have been seeing lately) to come with me. Oh yes, and I sold the other 2 tickets I had for a slight profit which bought us MacDonalds afterwards ;)
Well, on to the concert. It was fab! I can't claim to be a JT fan but I recognised a lot of the stuff he sang and he even did a cover of a great INXS track. The most impressive thing about it was his musical talent. He played piano, guitar, some strange keyboard/guitar hybrid and even performed a drum solo. He was on stage constantly for about 2 hours and danced his little socks off the whole time. The only negative for me was the amount of sweat visible from about 5 minutes into the whole show. I mean he could easily have solved the problem by taking his clothes off. I'm sure nobody would have minded!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Just so you don't think I'm uncultured...this was my bit of culture for the week, thanks to free tickets from Karin. Of course the offer of the free food and drink after the show might have been a contributing factor to me deciding to go. Even though I did have to wear a 'long' dress!

Monday, 3 December 2007

National Day

It was the 36th National Day of UAE this week which meant a holiday from work. Woohoo! I made the most of the time off by getting out of Abu Dhabi with its crowds of boy racers trying to hoot their horns the loudest and do the most impressive donuts in their cars. Instead I went to Al Ain.
The original plan was to camp, but as the temperature there is quite a bit lower than Abu Dhabi and the fact that we didn't have the proper camping equipment, we decided to rough it in a hotel ;)
Al Ain is quite different to the capital. You can tell that it has been looked after (mainly because it was the original home town of the late Sheikh Zayed) and the wide, tree-lined streets make a nice change. It has a much more sleepy feel to it and the expanses of green also make it feel like you could be in a different country.
We visited the zoo, which was interesting. I think we arrived at just the right time as by the time we were leaving it was starting to get packed with gangs of labourers on their day off. I almost felt like I should have been in one of the cages what with the amount of staring that was going on!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Rugby 7s

After weeks of whingeing and moaning that I couldn't get a ticket to the Dubai 7s tournament, I finally got one off my dad for the Friday session. He actuallt got two and as my mum decided she didn't want to go and sit among leary men getting drunk all day, I gave the other ticket to my friend, Karin, who is used to such behaviour!
It actually wasn't bad at all. We got our own DHL rumble sticks, mini coolbags full of wine and a seat close to the halfway line. I had to explain the rules of the game to Karin but she quickly picked it up and was banging her rumbles sticks together at all the right moments.
We didn't stay for the full day but what we saw was entertaining and I will definitely try and get back there next year for the whole tournament.