abu dhabi sunshine

life, times...and opinions from Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

a crush?

You know, looking at my posts, I realise I am quite schizophrenic in my writing. One day I'm ditzy, wanting to look like Britney, the next I'm all emotional about a serious issue. I assure you, I am not clinically schizophrenic...(I hope not at least!)

I've been in a really shitty mood the past few days; work stuff. I don't even want to get into it, but it's really bringing me down. I want out, but I don't think that's a possibility right now.

On the upside, I think I have a crush. This is quite momentous, considering it's my first crush since my break-up in August. (Unless you consider a completely fleeting and insane crush on a married hot-hot-hottie, whose baby I used as a mean to gaze into his goooorgeous eyes. He's gone now, so it's safe again:p)

You know, some great scientific minds (ie: the Sex and the City ladies) once said it takes half the time of your relationship to get over the guy. Considering my relationship lasted a year, I should be over this guy in February. Except I think I got over him -fully- over a month back, so yay me!

Back to my crush. It's completely weird. The guy lives in my building. We met in the elevator once, when he (or his friend?) asked me where I got my "Livestrong" and "Make Poverty History" bands. From their accents, I immediately guessed they were Canadians. A piece of my second home, right here in my building!

Anyway, we bumped into each other a couple of times afterwards, exchanged business cards, and he called me once to ask if I could cover their hockey team. Since I am not a sports reporter, and had not yet began my crush at the time, I told him I'd put him in touch with the sports reporter. I emailed him back one day to give him the sports reporter's number, he emailed back saying thanks and "hope to see you again."

Isn't it dumb how girls can read so much into 5 little words? I think that's what triggered the crush.

Anyway, after that email, nothing for a while. Then I saw him walk into the building Saturday morning and surprisingly found myself speeding up the pace to catch the same elevator. We talked, hi hi, bla bla, then he said "See you (insert my name here)"...Well, at least he remembers my name!

This is all very surprising to me because I'm not quite attracted to him, and I don't even know him. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I can safely say that having a crush is a nice feeling, even if nothing comes out of it.

I keep considering getting in touch with him for whatever reason, but given that I've been stealing my friend's copy of "He's Just Not That Into You" while lazying around on the beach, I keep telling myself: he has my number, email, workplace and home address! If he wants to get in touch with me, he can!

Although, when I saw him Saturday morning, it was 9 am, and I was walking into the building, going back home from an early morning interview. Maybe he thought I had spent the night out? At a guy's place??

Hmmm. I know, I'm crazy. But why would I be walking INTO the building at 9 am if I live there?

We girls love to find excuses.

Any suggestions from you wise people?

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Palestine tears me apart. So much in fact, that I wish I didn't care to begin with.
My first reaction to Hamas' victory was one of disbelief. But after the initial gasp came discussions with family, friends, co-workers. And my feelings for Palestine were even further ripped apart. I thought I had a sound opinion on what was happening to my country, but I don't think I know anymore.

Hamas wins the election, and I see a big red flag. After all, they are the 'terrorists', responsible for the suicide bombings that I've always condemned. Their covered faces never failed to make an impression on me, and the image of the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in his wheelchair always sent a shiver down my spine. I guess I became part of the gullible public for a while; all I could see was their evil.

The suicide bombings carried out by various Palestinian groups always make me angry. But I've thought long and hard about the plight of the Palestinians, and how maybe many of us would be driven to such acts if pushed long and hard enough. For what seems to be an eternity, the Palestinians have been bullied, killed and humiliated by the Israelis; any sane person can rationalise and 'understand' why they want to go out there and kill the civilian enemy, and leave the mortal world behind.

The religious beliefs behind the suicide bombings infuriate me. Why is it that religion condemns suicide, yet opens up the gates of heaven to a suicide bomber? And what's more, when did Palestine become a Muslim country?

Many a time I participated in rallies and demonstrations in Montreal, whether for the war on Iraq, or for whatever the Palestinian/Israeli issue of the time was. Amongst other chants, the thousands of people gathered would always end up chanting: Palestine is Muslim, Jerusalem is for Muslims. I got so angry every time I heard those words. I thought the Palestinians, Muslim, Christian or atheist, were all united for the cause of their country. Who made it Muslim??

Hamas being in power worries me. Known for their extreme religious beliefs, what will then happen to the Christians of Palestine? Already a minority, seems like we're going to disappear forever if Hamas has its way.

Not to offend anyone, but religion is the source of all evil in Palestine. Jews, Muslims and Christians want to claim it as their own, but it seems we forget that once upon a time, they all cohabited. Why can't they do that now?

I fear Hamas' victory will only strengthen the Israeli right-wingers, and that Netenyahu -aptly dubbed the only man who can make Sharon look like a dove- will come back to power. It seems the timing of Sharon's illness and Hamas' victory is creating a bad momentum for things to just plunge back into disaster.

I never claim to know the Palestinian plight, to feel what the Palestinians of the war feel, or to be wise enough to come up with a solution. But more than ever, I feel torn apart. I once interviewed a Palestinian activist in Montreal, and she uttered words that have stuck with me over the years. "Jerusalem is a metaphor for peace."

I guess she was referring to the golden days of Jerusalem, but her words created a utopian image in my mind, one that only blurrs with the passing of time. I may be wrong, but I feel like we've never been further away from that metaphor.

Here's hoping I'm wrong.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

i look like...

According to this website (http://www.myheritage.com/FP/Company/tryFaceRecognition.php?s=1&u=g0&lang=EN )
I look like Britney Spears, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, and Hillary Clinton amongst others.

Someone once told me I looked like Britney, and since I had a crush on this guy, I didn't know if it was an insult or a compliment.

But Charlize Theron? I WISH! That girl is bloody gorgeous...But I'm flattered by myheritage.com. Has anyone seen her movie Head in the Clouds, with her boyfriend, Stuart Townsend? They were so hot I wanted to hump both of them!

Natalie Portman is very wrong. I have nothing of her, but she is quite hot.

And Hillary Clinton? I mean ok yes, I have bad days like everyone else, but seriously, I don't look like her.

I'm surprised this website didn't come up with Laura Prepon as a lookalike. I've gotten strangers telling me: oh my god, you look like Donna from "That 70's show"! Hmmm. I like to think it's a compliment.

Try it out, it's funny. You need to register, but it's free. Although god knows where the pics go?! I hope my face doesn't end up on someone's plastic body on a seedy website.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

enough MJ

Enough already with MJ's crap.

I love MJ and his music, and have always been 'on his side'.

But he's gone too far, and Gulf authorities are doing fuck all about it. He's insulting their culture and no one seems to be batting an eyelid.

Such hypocrits, it kills me!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

buzz kill

The day seemed to start off ok. I was still in bed by 10 am, knowing that I had a phone interview scheduled at 1 pm, and a face-to-face interview at 4 pm. I took my time getting ready for work and was a little excited about an article of mine that was published today. So far, so good.

I took the elevator down and set out to catch a cab, and my street was pretty congested for some reason, not too common in AD at that time of day. I guess I was feeling particularly vain this morning; once in the cab, I took a little mirror out of my bag and put some lipstick on. I never wear lipstick.

Just as I had finished polishing my pout, I turned and saw a crowd gathered by the side walk, and right there in the middle of it, lying on the floor, a man. I think he was dead. Probably another pedestrian, victim of this country's crazed drivers. My heart skipped a beat and I muttered "Jesus", and the cab driver turned around and said to me: "mot", or "death" in Arabic.

I wanted to cry. The contrast between my vanity and this man's death just killed my unusual morning buzz.

I got to the office, picked up the paper, and first thing I see is this. Probably not too depressing considering I had just seen a dead man on the street, but still, I was really bothered by the news that the dead Dubai whale had been harpooned four times.

I didn't think my mood could get any worse, but it did when I got a really annoying email from the editor in chief, deciding on my behalf along with the rest of the company's suits what I should be doing. Seems our AD office isn't faring too well with Dubai's office standards, and rather than be smart about it, they decide to piss people off.

Anyway. Both my 1pm and 4 pm interviews didn't happen. The long distance phone interview guy did not pick up, even though I tried for one bloody hour. STEWART PEARCE, voice coach and well-being guru, if you're reading this, you wasted a good part of my day!

Interview number 2, I just did not have the heart to go along for. I tried to get the lady to speak to me on the phone, but little miss prissy wouldn't agree to a phone interview. As my editor put it: Fuck it. I did.

Hopefully I'll find a little comfort in fresh home-made chocolate cookies tonight. I think the starvation I referred to in yesterday's post is indeed psychological. Crap!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Heart Whales

Check this story out! Who knew? I certainly didn't know about ambergris.

I love whales. I went whale watching in Canada last year and have been mesmerised since.

And even though my brother thinks I'm retarded for being sad about the death of the whale in Dubai and the one in the river Thames, I truly was.



I'm waiting for some bread to defrost so I can have dinner; I'm starving. Seems to be the case all the time lately. Not sure if it's physical or psychological.

I'm waiting and thinking about my blog and how much I want to sit down and write about something. But I am all written out. I spent the whole day writing yesterday (for work), I've been playing bookworm (on yahoo) for a good part of the afternoon, and I've just finished studying another part of the GRE book, antonyms. Words are swirling around in my head, and I swear, I have a headache now.

I was so pooped from writing last night, but as soon as I went to bed, I had flashes of words back and forth in my imagination. I think I have a problem!

I just wanted to opine on the recent outpour of opinions on the showing of Brokeback Mountain in the UAE. I've read so many retarded letters to the editor concerning this issue, and it only deepens my fear of living in such a mentally backwards country.

Almost all of us know by now that Brokeback Mountain is the story of two gay cowboys. And that's as far as some people will go in describing it. I haven't seen the movie yet, obviously, but from what I've read and what I can imagine, it's a love story, and definitely more complex than boy-on-boy shagging. In fact, I believe there is only one 'graphic' scene throughout the movie.

Sure we live in Muslim country. But even worse, we live in a country who still calls homosexuality a disease, and a country that will deny having bred any homosexuals.

There are so many offensive tv shows, movies and the likes that show daily on local channels, yet no one will raise a finger or a voice about it. I read samuraisam's take on the deal yesterday; it was hilarious, and so so soooo true.

I don't think I can say it any better than him, so enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2006


So my resolution about blogging more regularly isn't going down too well. Oops!However, do take note that I am working on the other resolutions I made.

My friend M took the big step and bought herself the GMAT book and in the process bought me the GRE book. I call it my new boyfriend, as it seems I will be hanging out with reading comprehension and quantitative skills for a while. The book looked a little daunting, but M and I met up on Wednesday night to begin the G-Adventure. I took the diagnostic test, scored 18/30 on the verbal part (not bad but certainly abysmal for a "writer"), and scored a laughable 8/28 on the math part. HAHAHA. This coming from the person who scored 18/20 in math on my French Baccalaureat. HAHAHA.

I used to love math. Math was my stress reliever. You either get math, or you don't. I got it. And when philosophy, history and economics got the best of me, I'd open up a math book and give myself a boost. Nerdy, but effective. Now, I can barely remember how to multiply. My next G-Adventure session should be in a few days, I'm actually looking forward to it. Don't hate me, but I actually like studying..:)

I also dropped by Berlitz the other day to speak to an advisor about taking up German. Well, the lady seems to think I look like a person who can afford 5,000 AED every two months to learn a language. Strange, since I did make it a point to dress in raggedy jeans and flip-flops to downplay my overwhelming wealth. Crazy people...5000!!!??? Besides, the GRE will be taking up my time, I doubt I'll want to study every day of the week, I'm not THAT big a nerd.

I should be going to a Pilates class this evening, in order to keep in line with my resolutions. But I hate doing these things alone, it bores me. None of my friends can make it to Pilates today. ARGH! We'll see.

It's cold in Abu Dhabi today. I'm wearing two layers (that's enormous by our standards) and the windows are closed, but the sky is covered outside my window and I wish we'd get a few drops of rain so we can officially call this winter. But nature won't let up just yet.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

late resolutions

On my birthday, I mentionned that I tend to make my resolutions when I age rather than at the turn of the new year. I think I lied..:)

Maybe it was all this reflection time I've had since new year's; with the death of Sheikh Maktoum and the Eid Al Adha, we've basically been on holiday since January 1st. And the sheer boredom that is Abu Dhabi coupled with an intense feeling of wanting to do something more with my life has made me want to take on a billion resolutions at once.

1- Pursue a Master's degree. Sure sounds great, especially when the prospective locations are Australia, Vancouver, or my beloved Montreal. But I've got a teeny problem: I have no idea which field of study I want to get into. I have an undergrad in journalism and a certificate in PR, so a master's in journalism is quite possibly out of the question as I'd essentially be doing an undergrad all over again. An MBA is sooo not my thing, given that I'm the least business-oriented person on the planet. I guess I'd lean towards Political Science (but oh will I have no social life), English (sounds a little flat), or Creative Writing (I'm so not creative). Or, I could take on something totally out of my field and go for oceanography or anthropology...ooh, anthropology! was actually my initial desire for an undergrad...who knows?

2- Study German. At my high school, once you hit 8th grade, you could chose to study either German or Spanish. I opted for German, a language I had always loved, despite many calling it barbaric and unattractive. I followed classes for 3 years, but the sheer complexity of German grammar made me give up. I had more important things to deal with...boys, parties and all. How bright I was. So now I want to take it up again, except that the Goethe Institute in Abu Dhabi will only begin classes in April. Berlitz does offer courses, but at 3000 AED, I'm a bit worried about my dwindling bank account. Anyone know of any other centres out here?

3- Pilates. I practised Pilates for a year in Montreal and absolutely loved it. See I'm not what you'd call an athlete, but pilates is heaven sent for me: relaxing, low impact, and efficient! Except everytime I call up a healthclub, seems the instructor is out of town, sick, or classes are only in the morning (while I have to be at the office). Hmm...fingers crossed, I think I may have found a place where the instructor is in town, able-bodied, and understands the concept of work during the day. I live with the hope that Pilates will one day make me look like Kim Catrall (aka, Samantha from Sex and the City) when I'm 50+. Right! I'm in my 20's and barely look like that.

4- Dance. All of my friends are die-hard salsa fans, yet I've never been into it. I love music and often blast the music and pretend I'm Britney in the comfort of my bedroom, but I'd like to do it more regularly. I had taken a couple of hip hop dance classes in Montreal, and while I looked like a complete idiot, it was so much fun. Once I got the choreography a little, I felt like I was in an Usher video. Good fun.

5- Keep all of the above resolutions. Ok, I know I said there were a zillion, but four seem enough.

Oh and 6- Blog a little more regularly :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

a shaky beginning

I'm not sure what to make of the start of the new year. On a personal level, things are just the same, nothing exciting, and it's beginning to irritate me. But on the global level, it seems things are anything but stable.

Collapse, that's the word for it. Ice rink collapse in Germany, building collapse in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Maktoum dying in Australia, Ariel Sharon clinging to life in Israel, floods in Indonesia, and the list goes on.

Just like many people out there, I've become desensitised to the news of the world, reading and seeing tragedies day in and day out and then moving on to bitching about my little life. But I'm in a phase right now where the news of the world is bringing me down, where I can't seem to find any hope in higher powers, if they do indeed exist.

Meanwhile, I live with a relative who is depressed and seems to have lost all hope in life, and all I want to do is figuratively give her a kick in the ass and tell her that her life isn't so bad compared to the tragedies of the world. I thought that the older we become, the less self-centered we become, and that we become more tuned in to the human condition. Not so in this case.

I wish the tragedies of the world could make me get up and do something about it rather than sit here and feel like crap about it, but there is still something holding me back. Maybe it's the feeling of being powerless to such enormous happenings, maybe it's fear, maybe it's that I don't really care enough. I don't know.

Being in the media, I was thinking the other day of how it would go if someone started up a paper filled with good news. Would the world accept such a thing, or are human beings just attracted to the tragedy of others? Don't you think we need a few pages a day to restore our faith in humanity?

With all the horrible things happening in the world, it's easy to forget that humanity also generates love and happiness, not just death and destruction. But I'd love to hear about those good things as much as I need to hear about the bad things, just to keep things balanced out. I personally can't remember the last bit of good news coming out of the media. Maybe someone can share?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

AD Sunshine VS. The Desert (0-2)

Happy New Year ya'll (as Britney would say).

As you read in my previous post, we scrambled to come up with plan B and it actually turned out quite nice. We ended up in the desert in Sweihan, at a farmer's old shack with a nice big tent out in the field. We drank drank drank way more than we should have before midnight, with me and my friend M even treating my brother and others to some quite amusing dancing involving a poll holding up a tent. Good fun. Midnight came around, and then people started dropping like flies, falling asleep in the tent, which was initially meant to be the party area. Oh well...some late-nighters, including yours truly, hung around by the bbq outside, having leftover food and sharing swigs out of the Johnny Walker bottle.

Good old Johnny, he kept me warm until about 4 am when I decided I'd hit the sack. I set up my sleeping bag in the tent and there began my battle with the desert. Although I live in the desert, I can quite honestly say I am not a desert kinda gal. I love camping, when it involves an island and my beloved ocean. But camping in the desert proved to be quite a nasty experience the first time around (in 96, when I got so bloody cold at night I started hallucinating and seeing camels walk by right in front of me...hmm, no I was not drunk.)

So this time as I said, I set up my sleeping bag and snuggled in with a pair of jeans, socks, 2 sweaters and a scarf around me. I was still cold. I pulled open another sleeping bag and covered myself, and still, I was shivering. I figured I'd go into one of the rooms in the old shack and put a wool blanket over me. My legs were still jerking uncontrollably. I've always heard that some kinds of cold weather you can feel in your bones, and this was exactly it. My bones were frozen, nothing would keep me warm. I asked my bro to hang out with me for a while, hoping the conversation would make me forget my frozen state, but it was just getting worse. We woke my sis up and decided to head home at 5 am with our friend Z. By then I was wearing my brother's bomber jacket and had a sleeping bag on my legs in the heated car, and only then did I begin to warm up. I passed out in the car and ended up home, showered and in my bed by 7 am.

Not exactly the new year's eve I had planned for...but oh well!

All this to say, the desert = never again. I had said that 10 years ago, and I say it again today. NO MORE!

I am an island girl, don't make me sleep in the midst of dunes under (gorgeous, I have to admit) starry skies.

What did ya'll end up doing? (don't ask, I've had Britney's "ya'll" in my head all day.)