Saturday, December 10, 2011

UAE National Day - 2011

Last Friday, December 2 was the celebration of the United Arab Emirates 40th anniversary as a country. The government and its people went all out for the celebration. Cars were elaborately decorated, entire houses were draped with enormous flags, buildings were specially illuminated in the country's colors, signs were put up all over town, helicopters and planes flew over the city with flags and colored smoke, and people took to the streets waving flags and showing their pride for the UAE. The events concluded with the most amazing stage show we've ever seen and covered the country's history over the last 40 years. It reportedly cost over $10 million dollars to produce and included hundreds of performers, lasers and lights, fireworks, pyrotechnics, and a 360 degree stage that appeared to rotate with the projected images and music.













Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Bob's Abu Dhabi Adventure

Brian's father spent last week visiting us in Abu Dhabi. We kept him pretty busy with brunches, concerts, Formula 1, tours of the city, jet skiing, kayaking, a desert safari, and trips to Ferrari World, the Grand Mosque, and Dubai. He said that seeing Paul McCartney in concert was one of his favorite experiences, but that brunch with our friends Sally and Vera was the highlight of his trip. I wonder why?











Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You know you've been living too long in the Arabian Gulf when:

 
You're not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat.

You think everyone's first name is Al.

When phrases like 'potato peeler', 'dish washer', and 'fly killer' are no longer household items but are actually job titles.

You need a sweater when it cools down to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

You expect everyone (over 4 years old) to own a mobile phone.

Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the maid.

You believe that speed limits are only advisory.
 
You believe that the definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the time the light turns green and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn.

You can't buy anything without asking for a discount.

You expect all stores to stay open till midnight.

You make left turns from the far right lane.

You send friends a map instead of your address.

You think it perfectly normal to have a picnic in the middle of a roundabout at 11pm.

You have a moon phase predictor on your computer.

You accept that there is no point in asking why you are not allowed to do something.

When you expect queues to be 1 person deep and 40 people wide.

When you can tell the time by listening to the local mosque.

When you think it’s a good night if there are fewer than 10 men for every woman in a bar.

When you start to say "Insha'allah" when you actually mean "No chance!"

When you overtake a police car at 130 km/h. And don’t worry about it.

When a problem with your car AC or horn is more serious to you than a problem with the brakes.

You think the uncut version of "Little House on the Prairie" is provocative.

You expect the confirmation on your airline ticket to read "insha'allah".

You do not expect to eat dinner before 10:30 pm.

Your ideal vacation is anywhere you can eat pork.

You know which end of a shawarma to unwrap first.

You consider it normal for the same section of the road to be dug up three times by contractors in the space of a few weeks.

You get used to using the cold tap to get hot water during the summer.

You drive out of the Emirates and into Oman to get cheaper gas even though gas only costs $1.80 per gallon.

You get in heated arguments about your favourite Sheikh, Emir or King.

You think it is perfectly normal that your neighbour has 2 Ferraris and a Hummer and never goes to work.

You did the calculations and you could have that Ferrari except your water bill just got raised again.

You think that a box of Kleenex belongs on every dinner table.

You think water only comes in bottles.

The Dubai Fountain

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Formula 1 - Etihad Airways Grand Prix Weekend

Last weekend was the Formula 1 race in Abu Dhabi. Every night, F1 ticket holders get access to great concerts at the adjacent Yas Arena. This year it was Britney Spears (Friday), Incubus and The Cult (Saturday) and Paul McCartney (Sunday). Our friends Steven and Sally once again hooked us up with concert upgrades to the Fan Pit. Sir Paul was definitely the favorite and can still rock a great show.

Brian's Father was in Abu Dhabi for a visit and it was his first F1 race too. Lewis Hamilton with McClaren-Mercedes won the race after Sebastian Vettel with Red Bull Racing and the 2011 F1 champion had a tire blow out in the first lap. Unbelievable experience. Next year we hope that Gregg and Dana Laiben can join us for race weekend (hint hint).





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