Archive for August, 2010

An interesting warning sign and other thoughts

Posted in abu dhabi, Eating, Energy drinks, Ramadan, Warning signs, Work with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by Amanda

The warning sign

I went directly to a store near my apartment this afternoon after work as I needed chocolate very badly. I had been thinking about chocolate throughout my long six-hour work day (the vending machines at work were emptied prior to Ramadan). Sadly, I am not being sarcastic here. Six hours now really does feel like a long day! I have absolutely no idea how I’ll be able cope with full work days in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, just before entering the store I was momentarily distracted by a new warning sign on the store’s door. This gave me an opportunity to use the new camera I bought yesterday though I bought it because it is waterproof etc. (Alison, don’t worry it’s not an Olympus). While I know that energy drinks aren’t exactly health food I don’t know that they were so bad as to warrant such a big warning at the store’s entrance. I doesn’t really matter to me as I don’t drink energy drinks and I’m not in any of the warning groups but I still thought it was an interesting and surprising sign.

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“New” pop can tabs!

Posted in abu dhabi, Middle East, Pop can tabs with tags , , on August 28, 2010 by Amanda

Old vs. new

I’ll preface this by saying that I realize that I sometimes get overly excited about really minor things. It seems that the pop cans here are gradually changing from the pull-off tab to the kind of tab that doesn’t get pulled off the can. I think this is a fantastic development that is long overdue! I have been told that a long time ago that we had the pull-off type of tabs in Canada but that is clearly before my memory. I’ve only ever seen the pull-off type of pop can tabs in the Middle East. But at last it seems that we are finally getting the type of pop can tabs here that I consider to be normal! The “normal” type are just so much more convenient. The pull-off tabs don’t always come off all the way easily and they’re rather sharp and then there is the problem of where to put them if you’re nowhere near a garbage can (recycling here is almost non-existent).

Sidewalk update

Posted in abu dhabi, Apartment, Parking, Sidewalks with tags , , , on August 27, 2010 by Amanda

The work on the sidewalks near my apartment is going very slowly, to say the least. When I arrived back from my vacation I would have thought it would be done by now but I am now thinking this will not be done anytime soon! I’m sure the reduced Ramadan working hours are having an impact but still I can’t believe how long this is taking. Though they’ve completed a small section of sidewalk right behind my building the rest is a bigger mess than ever! I really wish they would only tear up a small section at a time and then finish it promptly but instead they dig things up and then leave them forever. Parking has become a bit of a problem as a bunch of spots of covered with bricks and debris. As a lot of people still seem to be on vacation, I can find parking spots but it is really difficult to tell until I’m about to turn into one if it is a full spot of half filled with stuff! Anyway, here are a few pictures:

The finished section!


A not so usable parking spot.


The rather disgusting part.

An interesting shopping experience

Posted in abu dhabi, Club Apparel, Phone, Rewards program, Shopping, Technology with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by Amanda

This morning I went to redeem some vouchers I received from my credit card. I really, really love shopping when I’m not using my own money! As is pretty typical, I received these vouchers by courier rather than through the mail but this time I didn’t have any real issues with the courier.

Anyway, I was asked if I wanted I join the store’s reward program and I said yes. This is where things became interesting. I was asked to dial an 800 number and when I did so it sounded like when you dial a fax number. The saleswoman then told me to put my phone on a machine that looked much like a credit/debit card machine. After I entered and reentered and password and an enrollment form printed out that had my phone number on the top and I then filled out the rest. The program is called Club Apparel and when I did a little research upon returning home I found that it is at a bunch of stores here and has been around since May and you use your phone for all transactions instead of needing to have an actual card. It seems much more convenient and it be interesting to sell other programs start using phones instead cards.

Daytime shopping during Ramadan

Posted in Dubai, Eating, Ramadan, Restaurants, Shopping with tags , , , , on August 20, 2010 by Amanda

Shopping during the day during Ramadan is definitely not the same as it is normally. The plus side is that the malls are very quiet. However, you can’t eat and drink.

I was pretty tired last night and figured I’d just spend today being lazy (reading, sleeping etc.) but I felt like doing something when I woke up after a full night’s sleep (only my fourth in the last two weeks). I decided to head to Dubai to going shopping. In Dubai, they just extend the opening hours during Ramadan; here, they close during the middle of the day and don’t open early in the day on Fridays at all. Plus, the malls in Dubai are so much better anyway.

I ate a large breakfast and figured I’d be okay to go without eating until dinner. Yet by about 2:30 I was getting really, really hungry. While a few places in the food court were open, they were only for takeout. While I’m getting pretty used to using washroom stalls for drinking purposes, I really couldn’t stomach the idea of eating a whole meal in a bathroom stall. So I headed over to a nearby hotel and found two open restaurants. I had previously heard that such restaurants had covered windows but this place just had small dividers outside the entrance; maybe it was because the restaurants were downstairs by themselves and there would be no reason to go down there if you weren’t going to eat?

I had carried a bottle of water in my purse and used it several times during the day and later decided to be a bottle of Diet Pepsi. I had some of it to drink and was careful to make sure it was tightly shut but I later noticed by purse felt wet and then saw small drops coming out. I hurried to a washroom but, of course, it wasn’t that close. Luckily, nothing got more than a little wet and it is I think of got rid of most the stickiness. From now on, I’ll be drinking the entire bottle at once!

On the way back to Abu Dhabi, I stopped at Cafe Ceramique and picked up my alien.