Monday, May 12, 2008

Dinner With Daryl

It has been a busy week of comings and goings at Villa 29, Frond E. We said farewell to Lynda. We said farewell to Deidre. We said farewell to FX and Kathy. My farewell to Ashley and Dave was a temporary farewell as they will be returning to the villa for a few days. Ashley will fly back to Canada following a few days at the villa, but Dave and I are heading to Turkey and Greece. We have booked a paragliding flight in Turkey for my birthday! After saying adieu to Dave in Greece, I will fly to Zurich for a one week tour of Switzerland and then meet up with Catherine in the UK. We will fly immediately to Ireland for a few days and then return to England for a few days.
The gang went on a desert safari. I won't userp their report, letting Mr. Colin tell you about it, but it was quite an adventure. In usual Middle Eastern style, the adventure started before they even left the villa. The driver arrived about 45 minutes early. Jason informed of us his arrival and the gang rushed to get ready. As they ran outside to load into the white 4X4, they noticed the driver lying on our entertainment room floor. It was a bit creepy. He remained there for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Wild Wadi was amazing. I did most of the 'rides' except the Jumeirah Skeirah which is a plume that drops you at 80 km/h. Major wedgies! I will do it next time when I go with the next group of visitors to the villa. I also passed on the two surfing/body boarding rides.
Today for the first time I did a beach walk around Frond E. I left the villa, rounded the tip of the frond and walked along the north side. It was lovely. The view of Atlantis was amazing.
There are actually two cement plants on the crescent which shelters the fronds from the Arabian Gulf. These will be dismantled and are just there during the construction phase. There was a also a large ferry boat docked at the Atlantis. I suspect this is being used to transport some sort of industrial products for the construction phase, or perhaps even to house the workers?
A few nights ago we invited a friend of Kathy's over for a a BBQ. Daryl lives on the Palm, in the Shoreline Apartments on the trunk of The Palm.
He works for the Swedish telecommunications company, Sony Erikson, and has been here a year. It was fascinating to here an expat's view of Dubai, the UAE, and life here along with all its quirks.
I won't publish on the Net for all to know what he is paying in rent, but it is quite exhorbidant. Although he noted that it would be about what he pays in taxes in the UK. Rents here are very high and going higher. Every day there are letters to the Editor in the Gulf News about the increasing cost of living here. Daryl noted that the local Emiratis that work in government just received a 70% pay increase. Nice for some!
We chatted about the ridiculous drivers here in the Middle East. Daryl noted married Emirati women need a letter of permission from their husbands saying that they are allowed to drive. He said that even expat women need the same from their husbands!
FX and Kathy told of the harrowing drive back from their diving expedition in Oman. They caught a ride back with two Moroccan workers they met on the dive. Following a couple cans of beers, they sped up to 190 km/h back to Dubai. Drinking and driving is about the worst thing you can do here and there is zero tolerance. None of this .08 like back home. Any hint of drugs and alcohol in your system and you will be jailed, fined like you have never been fined, and probably deported. You would hope for deportation over jail.
Every day there are stories in the newspaper about drinking and driving. One Indian man was fined, jailed, and then deported for opening his car door in a parking lot and dinging the car next to him. He had alcohol in his system. If you injur or kill anyone while drink driving, forget it. The usual jail or deportation, but you must pay 'blood money' to the injured or family of the deceased. One man was made to pay 200,000 dhm ($60,000 CDN) to the family of a woman he killed. To an Asian worker, this is an absolute fortune. They remain in jail until they come up with the money.
Today we are lazing about the villa. A day off. We visited the Mosque and Souks yesterday and I helped Colin negotiate a favourable price on a souvenir. Can't go into details as recipient of said souvenir may be reading.
Kelly and Katie are going to tea at the Burj Al Arab this afternoon and I will get dropped off at the Mall of the Emirates to do a grocery shop in anticipation of the next group's arrival.
Bye for now and hello to all from all of us in Dubai.

1 comment:

Fishing in Dubai said...

Wild Wadi Water Park is One of the most popular water parks in the Middle East