Archive for October, 2009

Another Shopping Adventure

Posted in abu dhabi, Shopping with tags , on October 23, 2009 by Amanda

By now, I guess I should know that anything that sounds like it should be simple will be challenging! A new Carrefour (a large grocery store) opened fairly close by about a week ago and I decided this morning I would go shopping there.

I had to wait a while (probably ten minutes) for a decent taxi to come. I am sticking to the silver ones that use their metres and are considered to be better. My problems began when I told the driver where I wanted to go. He kept telling my that it wasn’t open and he went there yesterday and it wasn’t open. However, there were news stories last week about it being open and I have heard of people shopping there. After a while, I managed to convince him to take me there. I don’t know why he couldn’t have just said that he didn’t think it was open and take me there. Why should he care if I got there and it was closed? As we were approaching the store, he said that it was closed despite several large “Carrefour NOW OPEN” signs. The mall it is located in (Dalma Mall) won’t be finished for months but the Carrefour and a coffee shop are most definitely open.

Once I arrived, I had a surprisingly long walk through a parking garage to reach the mall. I also had to walk through part of the unfinished mall which was boiling hot (as in, warmer than the outdoors). On a positive note, I think that parking here is very doable. While it is a parking garage and the spots are terribly wide, there is adequate space to back out of the spots and more importantly, there aren’t any of those scary poles that these garages often have.

I had read that this Carrefour is larger than the other ones here but if that is the case it is only slightly larger. However, I was very impressed with the food selection. This is the first place I have found flavoured Philadelphia cream cheese, Reese’s peanut cups, original V8, and Jelly Bellys under the same roof. If only they had soy veggie burgers but I haven’t found them anywhere yet! As I went on a Friday morning, it was pretty quiet there and a very pleasant place to shop. The cashier was unbelievably quick at scanning the groceries and there was no the guy bagging them could even come close to keeping up.

I am looking forward to the whole mall being open as it is supposed to have over 500 stores. It will definitely be the closet real mall to me. I like the store but I don’t think taking taxis is a great idea at this present time; hopefully, I’ll have a car soon. I had to wait only about five minutes for a taxi here but it was a little stressful because there wasn’t any waiting there when I got outside (with some frozen items!) like there are at most grocery stores and malls and the traffic in this area is very light.

Meeting some people …

Posted in abu dhabi, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Corniche, Restaurants with tags , , , on October 17, 2009 by Amanda

Yesterday was definitely a good day. It started off well with me getting a taxi unbelievably easily (not that it has been that difficult other times). I literally walked out the front door of my building and before I was even halfway to the street a taxi had stopped for me. I guess the driver figured that I couldn’t possibly by walking towards the street for any other reason.

I met up with a few people from a Meetup group called New in Abu Dhabi. We had brunch at a hotel. All the hotels apparently have a big brunches on Fridays here and at some of them you need to make reservations weeks in advance. It is apparently pretty much impossible to go to a brunch here without a reservation. At this one we had a table in one restaurant but could take food from three different restaurants on three different floors. This brunch had little in the way of breakfast foods. There were lots of desserts which I took full advantage of! Anyway, other than a yogurt when I first woke up in the morning what I ate there was all I ate all day.

I then met up with a girl who is my age, who also just moved here, and actually lives very close to where I do. I won’t go into details but she has definitely had a much rougher time here than I have and is seriously considering just going back home to England. We walked along the Corniche. The beach there is still pretty much dug up but should be open soon as there are events planned there in the next couple of weeks (free movies and concerts associated with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix). We did wander around the area that is open and where they are having things to do with the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend. They had a bunch of cars and tents set up there but as neither understands or has any real interest in car racing it wasn’t that exciting. Still, it was nice to walk around somewhere that was actually intended for walking.

The open area along the Corniche.

The open area along the Corniche.

Me standing in front of a car.

Me standing in front of a car.


A small update + weird search engine terms

Posted in Blog, Search terms, Work with tags , , on October 16, 2009 by Amanda

Not much has happened here the last few days. I felt better for a couple of days but yesterday I felt very dazed and I think that the people I work with probably think that I am a complete moron.

Anyway, WordPress keeps track of the search engine terms people use to get to this blog. While many of them make a lot of sense, there have been a few that are pretty weird. These include:
* etihad stewardess amanda
* KingKoil sale dubai
* do abu dhabi flight attendant make lots
* how can I go to abu dhabi noone is there (this is my personal favourite, by the way)
* sleep on comfortable mattress blogspot

A not so cheery post

Posted in abu dhabi, Apartment, Confusion with tags , , on October 13, 2009 by Amanda

Yesterday was a pretty difficult day for me. I think it just dawned on me on how boring of area my apartment is in. While the initial positives of the place that I noted haven’t really changed, I’ve begun to notice some pretty significant negatives that I didn’t notice at first (the crappiness of the stores, the lack of anywhere decent to walk, the dreary scenery, the lack of normal people). Several people have suggested to me that I should ask about moving right into the city (which I think may not even be a possibility) and while there would be more to do there, I would have a fairly long commute to work and parking is scarce there (and I have not even attempted parallel parking since I had my last driving test years ago!). I do think a lot of the problem is that I don’t have a car at this point. I think once I have a car things may seem much better. If I am out here, I can choose to drive at less busy times and only park at malls (which do seem to always have some parking). At the end of the day, I did end up at Al Wahda mall which made me feel a lot better. I am feeling a whole lot better today than I did yesterday but I am still pretty confused about what I want.

My first visit to Dubai!

Posted in Dubai, Shopping, Work with tags , , on October 13, 2009 by Amanda

I saw Dubai for the first time on Saturday. I was there for a work conference, so I didn’t really see all that much of it. I was pleasantly surprised by the highway: it seemed safer and quieter than I had expected. I have definitely seen more scary drivers taking the QEW to Toronto and the volume of traffic there is certainly much heavier than here. I am sure that much of that had to do with being a Saturday as opposed to a weekday but I think I’d be much more comfortable driving on that highway than on the busy streets of central Abu Dhabi. The city seems pretty spread out. They have just started having a metro system there (some of the stations are complete yet). I think it would be pretty easy to drive to Ibn Battuta mall which is near the edge of the city and take the metro from there to explore the city.

Speaking of Ibn Battuta mall, I was able to stop there for about an hour on my way back home. It is a mall that is divided into seven areas visited by the explorer Ibn Battuta. It is a beautiful mall, though not that big compared to some of the other malls in that city. I walked around most of the mall, though I didn’t quite reach China. I found a Kitchen Aid mixer there but it was really expensive (over $600!). Therefore I will not be buying a Kitchen Aid mixer here! I am thinking of buying a Kenwood mixer (which is under $250). It looks powerful enough for my needs and I have heard from several people that it is a decent brand. I only bought three kitchen things at that mall. The weird thing was that they had big stickers on them that said “Buy 2 Get the Third Free.” And yet when I went to buy them the cashier had to go get his supervisor to approve the third one free!

Here are a couple pictures of the mall: