Recently a number of people have asked me what has happened to my blog. I must admit I was quite surprised that people were still following it. I suppose I've been here for six months now, what was a big adventure has become a way of life and therefore goes undocumented. Anyway, here goes with a long overdue post:
The Dubai Rugby 7's were held in November. They have built a purpose built stadium about 30km outside Dubai in the middle of the desert for it. I think it's just to keet the drunken expats as far out of town as possible. It's a great party. A complete sell out and a two day binge in the sunshine. The World Cup Sevens are being held in a couple of weeks, lets hope for the same atmosphere. On the first day I bought myself a Scotland top to wear, only to discover that Scotland are absolutely hopeless at 7's. The next day I went out and bought myself a South African top. The main competition was eventually won by South Africa, so a good result for me.
It wasn't all about rugby. Here's a picture of my mate Gordon helping to create a DHL banger daisy chain which went right around the stadium:
December was a month filled with public and work holidays. Just the sort of month that I like. Unfortunately the Sheik cancelled New Year celebrations on New Years Eve in sympathy with the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. In the end most indoor parties went ahead and only the outdoor festivities and fireworks were stopped. As it turned out there was a heavy fog that came down in the evening and stayed around all night so the fireworks would have been wasted in any case.
I'd initially come to the Middle East thinking that it would be a pretty good place to ride out the recession that was starting to affect the UK. As it turns out, it's got here too. The timeframe has been incredible. In six months we have gone from a massive recruitment drive, to recruitment freeze and now sadly a number of lay-offs.
This may be the middle of the desert, but when it rains, it can pour. In January we had a massive thunderstorm. Because there is little road drainage, or the drains that are there are filled with sand, flooding is quite common. The road outside my apartment was about a half a metre under water. Cars were driving in it all the same. I saw a mini push a bow wave completely over a taxi coming in the opposite direction. Here are some pictures of the Burj Dubai taking a few lightning hits:
It this the worlds tallest lightning conductor?
Worlds most expensive beer?
Dubai is home to the worlds biggest of plenty of things, but recently I paid 45 Dhirams for a pint (500ml) of Stella Artois (that's 8.63 GBP; 125.59 ZAR or 12.25 USD). Is that the worlds most expensive beer? That's the same as it costs to fill my tank with petrol! I'd dread to know what they charge for a beer at The Burj Al Arab, our local 7 star hotel.