abu dhabi sunshine

life, times...and opinions from Abu Dhabi

Saturday, December 31, 2005

forecasting issues

Do any of you really truly believe in Murphy's law?
I am seriously beginning to.

We've had 364 days of sunshine, and today, because we decide to go camping on an island for new year's eve, there are impossible winds and chances of rain...!!!

See generally we don't bother to check the weather forecast..."sun sun and more sun" tends to get a bit boring. But this year, mother nature wants to mess with our plans.

This leaves us scrambling for a last minute plan, with 20 or so people waiting in the wings, and food for an army!!

Let's see what we manage to come up with.
hope you have a blast, rain or shine, snow or wind.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

festive season after-thoughts

Merry Christmas everyone! I've been away from the words lately, both personally and professionally. Truth is, I'm feeling a little uninspired lately, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on.

I'm having one of those weeks where I'm a little down, a little lonely, a little tired...just generally uninspired. I've been working hard to keep things in perspective, but I guess feeling a little down is part of life, no matter that the world is in chaos.

Christmas with the family was nice and quiet, Santa was generous this year. On Christmas day I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold, and the thought of going back to work the next day was just wearing me out.

I haven't left Abu Dhabi since August, and I'm starting to feel constricted. I'm getting annoyed with people, losing my temper with strangers, and just not thrilled about work. I don't like to feel edgy like that, I tend to make dumb decisions when I'm in this state. I wish I could tell the real reason for feeling this way about work and this city, but I fear I may offend too many people out here. And believe me, I am not proud of my feelings on this one.

I've also just watched Bridget Jones' Diary for the millionth time tonight, and while it usually cheers me up, it kinda got me down today. There's a big wedding going on in town tonight, and the thought of love and marriage is on my mind.

I'm by no means actively searching for love, as the memory of my last relationship is still sour. I wouldn't have the energy to deal with anyone right now. But I can't help but thinking further ahead, and whether I will ever find my very own Mr. Darcy. I thought the last guy was different, and that even through our breakup, we'd still remain 'friends', but the way things ended get uglier in my mind with each passing day.

Why is it that you can have a good job, a roof over your head, a loving family and friends, have just gotten a killer pair of boots for Christmas, and still feel like crap? I know I'm not the only one feeling this way, but I really wonder how happy a person can ever be? I have a friend who's always said we need to sue Disney and other movie makers for making us believe in the "prince-charming-happily-ever-after" ideal for emotional damage. What is it that makes us believe we can have it all?? A job, family, friends, boots, a house, and a perfect man...That's a shitload to achieve. Some people in the world barely have a pair of flip-flops to walk around in, and here I am expecting the whole package to come together, just because I'm fed with "women who have it all" day after day.

Argh, fuck it...hopefully this phase I'm in will pass really quickly. I'm trying real hard to keep things in perspective, but the mind does wander...a little too often.

Maybe I'll put on my boots and show them off tomorrow, think it'll make me feel better? Ha! How superficial would that be?

Tell me, how do you guys snap out of such 'phases'?

Friday, December 23, 2005

cotton candy sky

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

greeting card bureaucracy

Did you know..
that this country is so uptight...
that you need to get permission from a managing director...

to get a photo...

greeting cards in a card shop

yes...not pictures of the CEO or of employees...

of fucking greeting cards

I am beginning to lose all hope in this country and its bureaucracy.

sky blue

I know I've complained a lot lately.

So to redeem myself, I wanted to show you the view from my bedroom window.

When the weather is this gorgeous, it makes me happy to see this. Enjoy! (and be jealous)

Monday, December 19, 2005

apples & cucumbers

Oh the joys of working in an environment where apples and cucumbers mix together, to create a highly unpleasant result sometimes.

I (the apple) tend to keep to myself in the presence of cucumbers. When people are older and clearly of a very different mindset, I remain polite, and that's pretty much it. I do that because I know how much they can get on my nerves.

But what happens when the cucumber unpleasantly tries to meddle with the apple?

Around mid-morning yesterday, I stepped out to the balcony of our office villa to have a smoke with my fellow apple colleague. The 200-kilo cucumber stepped out to have a smoke as well, and looks at me and says: You smoke too? Isn't that shameful ('3eib' in arabic)?

Why of course, with me being a female apple, according to the male cucumber, it is sinful for me to smoke.

I shrugged off the dumb comment, but then the humongous cucumber turned to my fellow male apple and said: "We don't work in a very respectful office do we?"

Although I was boiling inside at the of such a sexist, backwards and retarded comment, I finished my cig, ignored the gigantic cucumber, and went back to my work.

Seriously man, will I ever get to work with like-minded people who understand that smoking is bad for all of us, and won't make it any worse whether it's a man or a woman puffing away?

This country plays host to too many different people, something I've mentionned being uncomfortable with before. Mentalities are so different out here. I understand they are everywhere, but it's so palpable out here because we are in such close quarters.

I have many a comment to make, particularly to extremist cucumbers, but I keep to myself, knowing that it is none of my fucking business. Should I tell the massive cucumber that I don't like him praying in the office, that his phlegm-filled sneezing grosses me out to the very core, or that he needs to lose 100 kilos?


(In case you're keeping count, that's Idiot #2 in my office. Will keep you posted as to how many more reveal their true colours.)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

no no no no

no no no no noooooooo


Man, just last night I was saying how great it was to have a job where your boss is in another city. Just as if to punish me for my moment of happiness, I am now asked to work under the "boss" (hahahahahah, I'm sorry, it's laughable) out here in Abu Dhabi. That person was mentionned a couple of times in previous blogs, him and his dumbass Egyptian organisational and managerial "skills" (ahahahahahahahah).

I am a mere employee...but damn does this guy have nothing going for him. Are you not supposed to respect the people you work for/with?
The minute he walks in to the office I want smash his long head against the wall, the minute he speaks I want to pull out my own eardrums, the minute he starts to brown-nose I want to put his own nose up his own ass. ARGH!

Yes, lots of bad vibes on my behalf, but he's just useless.


I wonder if anyone is ever really fully satisfied with the people they work for. Probably not, would be too easy, but damn, how to deal with someone who you cannot respect? Why are these people put in a position of 'power' to start with?

why why why why whyyyyyyyyy

I know, I'm particularly whiny today, sorry.
One last time.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

abu dhabi prostitute!!

I'm a little disturbed.

See, through the wonders of
www.statcounter.com, I can monitor traffic on my blog. Except this time, I may have gotten more than I gambled for.

Statcounter also refers you to visitor paths, whereby you can tell how someone ended up on your blog.
Here is one person's referring link:
search.yahoo.com/search?p=abu dhabi prostitute&prssweb=Search&ei=UTF-8&fr=FP-tab-web-t&fl=0&x=wrt


How did my blog end up in a yahoo search result for "abu dhabi prostitute"??? (see above, slightly blurry, screen shot, search result #10)

I may have to word my blogs a little better...


Monday, December 12, 2005


The bombs are at it again in Lebanon, just like they are in almost every other place in the world these days.

Another 'journalist' dies in the game that is dirty politics. I use the quotes around the word journalist only because to label a journalist pro or against a cause seems to defy the whole point.

But how fitting that this happens today, when today's local media reports on Robert Fisk's book signing in Dubai.

I've had the pleasure of hearing two of Robert Fisk's lectures in Montreal, and then finally meeting him at a journalist's convention some 3 years back. He is a little man, typically British, a cold man... I almost had a hard time believing all the incredible years of reporting from the Middle East had come out of him, such a tiny man (yes, his size did strike me.)

When anti-Syrian Al Nahar 'journalist' Samir Kassir was killed in June, I read one of Fisk's columns, about how death is right around the corner for many journalists. His words struck me, as they always do. You tend to wonder if it's all worth it, for these people to die for such causes.

Someone I know once asked Fisk how he could still sleep at night after witnessing the horrors of war day in and day out, and Fisk apparently just responded with a distant stare. I also remember one CBC war correspondent telling the group of wannabe journalists me and my class were that it was no longer the sight of dead bodies that bothered him, but the stench.

Fisk added to that floating thought in my head months later. While showing photos of the 1982 Sabra & Shatila massacre which he had snapped himself, he uttered words that remain with me today: "Dead bodies aren't a romantic sight the way you see them in movies." The photos were stomach churning, and I could only imagine the stench coming out of those bodies that had been lying there for days before journalists were even allowed onto the scene.

Is it really worth it? The CBC war correspondent (then freshly back from the US-Afghanistan war) asked each one of us then-students: if you could leave everything behind right now and go to a war zone, would you?

I wanted to be brave, even if it was a lie. But the words could not come out of my mouth. I couldn't imagine putting my life at risk for a cause that was not mine. But as citizens of the world, which cause is ours and which is not?

I've gone into a very different side of journalism over the years, the kind my idol Robert Fisk might even mock. And I don't blame him.

I don't put Kassir and Gibran Tueni in the same league as Fisk. As far as I'm concerned, their kinds of journalism are worlds apart. Kassir and Tueni were both Lebanese men in the midst of Lebanon's turmoil. Fisk is an outsider, putting his life at risk for other people's truths.

Is it bravery? Is it the love for a job? Is it the adrenaline rush? Is it crazy?

The horror of war leaves no one untouched. Bless those who run right into the eye of the storm.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Here are two of the cards I received for my bday this year. One from dad, one from bro and sis.
As they sit on my desk while I attempt to get some work done, I start to wonder...
Are they trying to tell me something? Both characters are a little esthetically-challenged.

Is this a tell-tale sign of the way I look at 25?

Friday, December 09, 2005


So here it is...the big 2-5.
Happy birthday to me.

I do feel older, and not just because it's my birthday. I miss a night's sleep and need a week to recover, I procrastinate about work and feel guilty, I look for my strengths and tend to zero in on the weaknesses, I see the people that surround me but only feel for those who are worth it, I look at my lady lumps and see gravity taking its toll, I see love and wonder if it will happen.

25 kinda scares me, although I look forward to my 30s. I tend to make my resolutions on my birthday, not on new year's day. Not sure what they will be this year, and who knows if I'll ever stick to them.

Someone told me today how lucky I am to have the friends and family I have. I am. The usual rough times are there, sometimes too often, but if you've got one person who truly loves you, it should be enough. I've got more than that, and that's more than enough (or so I'm in the process of convinving myself.)

The big 2-5 is also turning me into a sappy blogger, so I'll stop!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

sabotage and blog-crush

I've just been sabotaged by my own blog!

Is there no trust left in the world?!


I was attempting to beautify a previous post (the beach) by adding a picture, the picture is now there, but my words have been lost in the wide web of the world. noooooooo!

I'm so confused, computers are not my thing.

I'm sad.

On a happier note, keefieboy has graced me with his first comment. I have a couple of what I call blog-crushes, which happen due to great wit and writing. keefieboy is one of them!


Marhaba Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

say Hello

So here it is, the one year anniversary of my return to Abu Dhabi. I won't go on about missing Montreal again or you will hate my blog, but just as if to remind me of the date, I see this in today's paper.

My colleague Stanley had told me about his trip to Toronto a couple of weeks ago and how much he loved it, a conversation that again got me nostalgic and possibly prompted my "I miss Montreal" blog. But the thing I loved about Stanley's article was the way he portrayed the people of Canada, and how in such a big country, it's unlikely that you'll feel alone.

I've never been the most smiley of people with strangers, nor have I ever really struck up conversations with random people, nor was I the type to say hello in the elevator. All I could manage was a smile. That was until I moved to Montreal, and almost everybody said hello in the elevator, smiled, and of course, talked about the weather.

I'm not saying the people of the UAE are unfriendly, on the contrary, I cherish my Arab heritage and culture for its warmth. But in this society of a zillion nationalities, creepy and non-creepy people who you don't necessarily relate to, with people's problems ranging from unpayed wages to a broken nail, being friendly is not the easiest of things.

A smile can be misconstrued for flirting, and a simple 'hello' may be mistaken for a sexual advance. I hate to say it, but Abu Dhabi has made me a less friendly person, because I worry about the repercussions of my actions. If the colour of my hair seems to send the wrong message to people, I can't imagine what a "Hi, great weather today" might do.

I hate to generalise, I really do. I kind of blame the attitude here on a blend of cultures that doesn't seem to really work out. Sure, the UAE is known for its 'openess' to nationalities, but the truth is, the inequalities are enormous and I believe they lead to awkwardeness between people.

My point doesn't seem to make sense when you think of the various social classes present everywhere in the world, namely Canada, but I can wholeheartedly say that I never felt society's inequalities so strongly in Montreal. Why was I never afraid of smiling at a homeless man on the streets of downtown Montreal, but I worry about saying hello to a business man out here?

Inequality? Inbred attitudes? Blond hair? Misconception on my behalf?

Friday, December 02, 2005

quarter-life emotional crisis

I don't think I have anything in particular to say today, but I just feel like writing!

You'd think someone who writes for a living may be sick of writing, or not really miss it. But I do! Even though I'm dreading going into work tomorrow morning while half of the country will be tanning on the beaches, feasting on barbecues, or just attempting to hook up with a guy I probably don't even want to be with.

But I mention it, because it is bugging me!
I wonder if we really ever get over the boyfriends who've really loved us (not the rest).

Matters of the heart are a tricky, tricky thing. You just never know when those dormant feelings will resurface, or when posessiveness will strike. He is no longer my property, nor has he been for years. I wonder what re-ignites some 'feelings'.

Is it a recent break-up? The creepy crawly fear that comes with age that you might never find someone to be with? My 25th birthday is looming, and never have I been more aware of my age or my emotional status. I know, I'm young...but I also live in Abu Dhabi, the wrong place for single women.

So here's the question:
go in for the fight? or leave it up to fate?