Archive for July, 2010

I’m back in Canada!

Posted in Canada, delay, Etihad, Frustration, Home, Travel, Vacation, Weather with tags , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by Amanda

I did eventually arrive at the Toronto airport early this morning, about ten hours later than originally expected. I had a lot more annoyances with Etihad and I sent them a complaint email about everything that went wrong. It totalled over 1500 words so there was much to say. Hopefully I will get a reasonable response. I am now trying to forget about this whole ordeal and enjoy my vacation!

In much more positive news, I am surprisingly awake today and the weather here is pretty nice. I haven’t done too much yet but I think I’l have a Harvey’s veggie burger this evening!

I’m so annoyed!

Posted in abu dhabi, Apartment, delay, Etihad, Frustration, Home, Power outage with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by Amanda

I should be feeling excited about going home tomorrow but instead I just feel really annoyed.

My flight tomorrow was originally scheduled to leave at 10:10am tomorrow morning which I thought was a really good time as I could just wake up around my normal time and head straight for the airport. I looked on my flight’s status this morning and it said it had been rescheduled to 12:25pm which didn’t annoy me too much as it wasn’t that much of a delay and it would allow me to sleep in a little. However, when I looked again a little later (probably because I can be obsessive-compulsive about some things) it now said it was rescheduled until 5:40pm. At that point I was not impressed! I hardly think a 7.5 hour delay is insignificant and it seemed so strange to be decided so much in advance and there certainly aren’t any weather issues here or in Toronto. So, I called Etihad and asked why they kept rescheduling the flight. I was told that it was still supposed to depart at 12:25 and that their website was wrong. A couple of hours later, I received a call from Etihad telling me that the flight really was rescheduled until 5:40. I asked why and was told it was for “operational reasons.” Could they possibly be anymore vague? I think passengers should be given the reason for such a long delay! Maybe I’d be a bit more understanding if there was a good reason but I’m guessing there isn’t a good reason. I was assured that the flight will definitely leave at 5:40 tomorrow but I am more than a little skeptical though Etihad’s website is still saying 5:40 is the departure time. Now I’m left with much of a day to fill somehow and I really don’ think I’ll be able to concentrate on anything.

But the whole flight situation wasn’t the only thing that annoyed me today! I walked into my building and pressed the button for the elevator but nothing happened. It then dawned on me that it was pretty dark in there and the power must be out again! This is the fourth time (that I know of!) that the power has been out in the last month. Even though I knew it would be pointless I was really frustrated and decided to call the electricity company but the power came on while I was waiting on hold.

I really need a bit of a break from this place and I’m just so annoyed that my departure has been delayed!

I’ll be home in just a few days!

Posted in Canada, Home, Travel, Vacation with tags , , , on July 11, 2010 by Amanda

On Thursday morning I’ll be boarding a 14 hour and 10 minute flight home. This will be the longest nonstop flight I’ve ever taken (my previous record was 10 or 11 hours from Vancouver to Seoul and back) but I figure it should be a lot better than taken two 7+ hour flights. So, now I just need to survive three more days of work; today went surprisingly quickly so I am trying to remain hopeful that these remaining days won’t drag too much. Anyhow, I’ve been thinking of the things I’m most looking forward to about being home.

  • Being invisible. While the rest of my list isn’t in ranked order, this is definitely number one! I still get so irritated sometimes by how much I’m stared at here.
  • Seeing my family. I’ll even see my sister for a few days and I haven’t seen her since April 2009!
  • Harvey’s veggie burgers
  • Much better driving and parking conditions
  • The selection of cake decorating supplies
  • Cheaper clothes & books
  • Better television options
  • Good places to walk & hike
  • And of course, not having to work for three weeks!
  • Cafe Ceramique & Mercato Mall

    Posted in Cafe Ceramique, Cake, Dubai, Mercato Mall, Painting, Shopping, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by Amanda

    I went to Dubai to attend a vegetarian brunch (and, of course, to go shopping afterwards). It seems like more people stay in Dubai than Abu Dhabi during the summer and thus, there actually still a lot of things going on there. The brunch was at Cafe Ceramique which had a special vegetarian menu for us. It is a really unique restaurant because you can paint pottery as well as eat there. I really liked it there and would definitely go eat and paint there again!

    Inside Cafe Ceramique.

    While most people chose to draw on tiles and paint them I picked an alien as my drawing skills are below kindergarten-level and it seemed a much more appropriate option for me. I actually need to go back at some point to collect the alien I painted. Luckily, you have two months to pick things up! You have to wait at least seven days because they need to spend time in the kiln. With my upcoming vacation I definitely won’t be back in Dubai for over a month.

    My painted alien.

    Afterwards, I looked around the nearby Mercato Mall which I hadn’t been to before. Its theme is the Italian Renaissance and it takes the theme seriously. While it is a fairly small mall it is still very nice. Walking around the mall got me wondering if I’ll be able to stand the very plain malls back home.

    A corner of the outside of the mall.


    See, I said they take the theme seriously!


    Another interior picture of the mall.

    The Giant Cake Sale, which (note to self!) is apparently an annual event, was happening at the mall today. I’ve never seen anything like it before! It was just an amazing sight and I really do love cake even though I’ve been much too lazy to make any myself lately (but if I’m not too jetlagged I will make one for my Mom’s birthday). Anyway there were apparently over 2,200 cakes but it looked like more. The cakes were on sale for only 30 dirhams and made by the Jumeirah Hotels so I’m sure that’s a fraction of the real price and the proceeds went to charity. Needless to say, despite currently being the fattest I’ve been in eight years I bought a cake. I am vowing to eat it slowly and so far I’ve had only one smallish piece.

    The Giant Cake Sale!

    Breakfast at the Emirates Palace

    Posted in abu dhabi, Emirates Palace, Work with tags , , on July 7, 2010 by Amanda

    I’ve driven by the Emirates Palace many times and it is definitely impressive from afar but until this morning I hadn’t actually inside this hotel which is definitely the fanciest hotel in Abu Dhabi and must be one of the nicest in the entire world. The interior definitely wasn’t a disappointment! The hotel seemed pretty empty though there was definitely no shortage of staff around. Since it is so huge there were probably actually more people there than it appeared.

    Inside the hotel.


    Another picture of the inside.


    A picture of a picture of the outside of the hotel.

    Anyway, I was there for a work-related breakfast. The breakfast was very good and all the juices had a piece of the fruit on the glass to identify them. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that before for orange juice but I definitely hadn’t seen that with watermelon and pineapple juice before! I did eventually get a little bit annoyed with the overly attentive staff repeatedly asking if I wanted coffee or tea. I learned a few things I hadn’t previously known about RFID which I found interesting but I’m sure no one reading this blog really cares about that!

    After breakfast we had a guided tour of the Islamic embroidery exhibit which was very interesting.

    Outside the exhibit.

    On the way out of the hotel, I noticed the famous gold vending machine. A sign said that you can only currently use cash and pointed out that an ATM was available nearby. I guess a lot of what is for sale costs more than most people would carry in cash!

    The gold vending machine.