Archive for September, 2010

An abrupt ending

Posted in abu dhabi, Decision making, Frustration, Leaving, Travel, Vacation, Work with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by Amanda

This is a really difficult post for me to write and I was tempted just to abandon this whole blog but I figure I might feel a little better if I write about it. My time is Abu Dhabi will be coming to an abrupt end soon. I was told that my contract was terminated for “structural” reasons which seems to mean that I’m the cheapest person to get rid of. They waited until to the very last day of my one year probation period to do this. Thus, they only have to pay me for three months salary in lieu of notice instead of the six months it would be if they’d waited any longer. I have enough money saved that’ll I’ll be okay for quite a while anyway but it is still seems so unfair!
I am supposed to be out of my apartment on October 27 which will be extremely problematic as I’ll be in Nepal from October 8 to 24. Human resources has said they’ll try to get me an extension; hopefully, that will happen. I have so much stuff that I want to sell! I am really wishing that I had decided to rent instead of buying another car when I got rid of my first car. My car is my only possession of any real value and things would just be so much easier if I didn’t own it. I was told my everyone when I bought it that it is a car with good resale value so I really hope that is true.
At this point, I don’t think I’ll come straight home. I think I’ll spend a couple months travelling around Southeast Asia (for weather and price reasons) and then come home. I hope I’ll be able to cope with winter weather.
I am really wishing that I’d never decided to come here! The big draw for me was the amount of vacation time I received over here. The job that I left back home was permanent and stable. I think I probably should have realized that long-term that is probably more important that travelling all the time. Once again, it is clear that I am completely incapable of making good decisions. Maybe someone else should be making them for me. But who?

A premature visit

Posted in abu dhabi, Parking, Shopping with tags , , on September 20, 2010 by Amanda

I visited the new Souk at the Central Market yesterday. While this place has been “open” since July, my visit was clearly very premature. I’m sure it will be a nice place to visit when more stores are open and but at this point there is very little open.

Inside the Souk

Sign for the washrooms

Parking, however, is very much available. According to the sign at the entrance to the parking garage there are over 13,000 spots. That is almost as many as Dubai Mall has! Even though only much of the parking garage isn’t open yet, there are plenty of spots to choose from and some of the spots are a bit strange. It is nice that there built more than enough parking but as it isn’t the cheapest (though I don’t think it is that expensive) I really doubt much of it will ever be used.

One of the unique parking spots

At this point there appear to be very few visitors but the place has a lot of staff. For instance, there were two men at both the entrance and exits of the parking to put deal with putting the paper ticket into and out of the machine! I took me only a few minutes to realize that I was interested in any of the handful of open stores and since I wasn’t in the mood for ice cream my visit was rather short.

The date in the elevator was clearly very wrong!

Camping in Oman

Posted in Camping, Eid, Hiking, Jebel Shams, Nizwa, Oman, Sohar, Tanuf, Travel, Vacation, Weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2010 by Amanda

For my Eid break, I went camping in Oman. This was my first visit to Oman even though it is quite close. I, of course, only saw a relatively small part of the country but what I saw I really liked so I’m sure I’ll be back again. This post will be relatively brief as I’m really not feeling like writing a lot but I want to write something before I forget.

I found that Oman is in many respects very different from the UAE. There is so much more history in Oman; there are lots of ruins and old buildings. There are plenty of nice places there but they aren’t insanely extravagant as they sometimes are here. Oman has many mountains and consequently has a lot of great places to hike. This trip was with a hiking group I belong to so we did a fair amount of hiking. In the rural parts of Oman there are many, many more goats than people! Most of the people in the areas I visited (which included Jebel Shams, Tanuf, Nizwa, Fanja, and Sohar) are actually Omani which is quite the opposite of most parts of the UAE and the Omani people were incredibly friendly and helpful. Oman appears to have few tourists and most of the few tourists seem to come from Abu Dhabi.

Jebel Shams

Tanuf ruins

A small village


A mosque in Sohar

Two of the three nights were definitely somewhat hotter than ideal for camping (which, naturally, is expected at this time of year) but the other night actually almost felt cold as we were at relatively high altitude near Jebel Shams.

To the top of Jebel Hafeet and more

Posted in Al Ain, Animals, Camels, Hiking, Jebel Hafeet with tags , , , , on September 4, 2010 by Amanda

I went to Al Ain again yesterday. Things were somewhat disorganized for my liking but I did get to see some things that I hadn’t seen before (and, of course, some things I had seen before).

Entering Al Ain.

I went to the livestock market there for the first time. I saw some young camels (and some goats and sheep). I convinced myself, unlike some other people, that the animals were not going to die anytime soon. Anyway, there didn’t look to be all that many buyers around the place.

Me with a young camel.

Goat on the loose!

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly climbing to the top of Jebel Hafeet. It wasn’t too strenous of a hike but I found the top bit rather tricky (likely because I had stupidly decided that wearing sandals would be sufficient) with all the loose rocks. But the view from the top was definitely worth the climb!

View from the top of Jebel Hafeet.

Another view from the top.