Thursday, 27 September 2007


Why does technology insist on being 2 steps forward and 1.99 steps back? It's soooooo frustrating sometimes. 'They' say (and we all know what an authority 'they' is) that problems with technology are as stress-inducing as divorce. I've never tried divorce, but I can attest to the absolute frustration and elevated blood pressure induced by FTP program glitches and various other technological mishaps. It's a wonder that my laptop hasn't been flung across the room to lie shattered into teensy slivers. A compounding factor is that my website host is in Aus and is virtually incommunicado.

On the other hand, I can't imagine life without technology.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

jebel hafeet

Have I mentioned that I can see Jebel Hafeet from my lounge window? It's the highest mountain in UAE, though to be fair, it isn't very high at all. However, in a largely flat landscape it is significant. It has a paved road snaking up it which is lined with street lamps and looks just sensational at night. It really does look like the stairway to heaven.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

time to grow up

The hardest thing about being an expat here in Al Ain is the sense of being a child again. I feel like I can't do anything without assitance. I need to get my driver licence, but first I need to get my Aussie licence translated. Where do I do that? Why can't it be at 352 High Street near the corner of Smith? Why does it have to be past this roundabout towards Choitrums (how do you spell that) down that lane with the women's tailor on the corner, three doors up, take the stairs ... etc. And what time are they open during Ramadan anyway? I need some more water delivered. Why can't I give the guy a street address? Why do I need to describe it in terms of landmarks to someone whose language I can't speak and who only has a bare smattering of my language? Why haven't I figured out yet how to get some stamps to post a letter? How on earth do I get my electricity bill? How do I pay it? Aggghhh.

Either this is going to beat me, or I'm going to beat it. I think I have to just grow up!

Monday, 10 September 2007

ramsay street - listen to moi

What does it mean when you get in a cab in Al Ain and give them directions to your apartment ... dewar Sanaiya, cedar, yameen ... and so on, and the driver, who has very little English, says, "Ah, Ramsay Street?"

Okay, I find it hard to believe too, but I'm told that it happened! I think that I got it third or fourth hand ... and now I'm passing it on.

For anyone who isn't an Aussie or a Brit, that may be a bit cryptic. Ramsay Street is an imaginary street in Australia that's the setting for an Australian soapie called 'Neighbours.' Ramsay Street residents all know each other and each other's business and are forever in and out of each other's houses borrowing cups of sugar, giving advice or offering a shoulder to cry on.

When we arrived here, we jokingly dubbed the apartments 'Ramsay Street' because of the large number of Brits and Aussies here, and it seems that someone's been training the taxi drivers. Hmmmm.

Another Aussie show that's been talked about here at Ramsay Street (Al Ain) recently is 'Kath and Kim.' If you get a chance to see it, then do! It makes one cringe so much that it's funny. Kath and Kim are a middle-aged Aussie woman and her adult daughter living in the suburbs of Melbourne, Aust. They live in an imginary suburb (I think/hope it's imaginary!) called Fountain Gate. We see their every day problems with husbands, weight loss, shopping and so on. They send up life in the burbs (suburbs) in Australia delightfully. Critics refer to them as the 'foxy morons.' The women who play the roles of Kath and Kim are the creators/writers of the show. Kudos to them. They've done it brilliantly. One of the catch cries from the show is 'Listen to moi. Listen to moi.' (moi=me). Totally cringe-worthy.
The pic of course is 'Ramsay Street' Al Ain.