Welcome to suburbia

I've finally plucked up the courage to set-up an online blog. I'm going to endeavour to blog as often as possible to share my thoughts, to share some articles and news i find interesting, and also use it for my private reflections (you guys won't get to see that!). Also i hope people will read and comment on some of my posts.

The spur for deciding to set-up a blog has been my studies through the Open University. They encourage learning and reflection, and collaborating with others.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Smoking da shisha

For the purpose of clarity this happened in 2006, we were all young and living the high life!

Alrighty…..what a weekend baby!

So first things first. Tom is a bit of a player, a self-esteem junkie, you know the type. He has just finished reading the book on how to pick up women, the revolutionary book that has a very high success rate. And in his first two weeks here he has really been putting it to the test. I’ve lost count of the women he’s “met” so far. For me it’s really a spectator sport, watching him use all of the tactics and seeing the results.

Rule 1- Don’t start with a line, start with a non-sexual comment, that engages your target.
Rule 2- Once engaged add value (stamp collection discussion not advised)
Rule 3- Include a time penalty “Sorry I can only talk for a few minutes, I’ve got to re-join my friends over there”

I know its simple isn’t it. But it’s so effective. On Thursday we (Alex- Marketing, Tom- HR, Toby- IT, Me- Operations)  sauntered down to the Apartment at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. A real swanky place, full of wannabee’s, but playing funky house, so not all bad. Tom saw his prey early (Emirates Airline Cabin Crew), and worked his magic, so much so that the woman in question left the rest of her group (with another gal) and joined us for the entire evening. Textbook execution.

Then as 3am closed in (yeah I know I was surprised too!), one of the girls (Steph) suggested an after party. I agreed to host. So off in the Taxi we went. Only one small problem; you can’t buy alcohol unless you have a license, and no license unless you are a resident (Visa), so luckily we had Toby with us, who stopped off at his flat to grab his vodka!

Basically long story shortened, we stayed up till 6am, then they all climbed into my bed. Let me clarify that……. There was me, Jamie (Aussie Air Host, Gay), Steph (Trainee Emirates Hostess, getting close with Toby) and Toby (getting close with Steph), as Tom and Saskia (Former Uni affair, Trainee Emirates Hostess, small world!) had already retired to Tom’s room. And got a little bit of shut eye before being rudely awakened by Tom wanting to get the Day started circa 10am.

They all left, but we are sure to catch up with them again this week in the Irish Village . And Tom and I (Toby went to rest) went to the Four Point Sheraton, for Brunch. The place was empty, just Tom and I pretty much for the entire 4 hours. It was Mediterranean food, so lots of salads, dips, cold meat, etc. Plus as much dirty house wine as you could drink! It was amazing, and something that I really think the UK should get involved in, as it prompts people to sit down and talk for hours about allsorts. In our Chat this week Tom covered off a Psychologist course that he went on that has helped realigned his life, I explained the differences between the US and UK Democracies, and just general chat about each others lives etc. Very cool, not something you could do in the hustle and bustle of home.

Then the madness began. We got in a taxi (no I’m not going off on a rant again), and got chatting to the Driver (Tyson, from Hyderabad ). Tom instigated a conversation, and shortly after that we were being whisked away to the creek (ooo eeerrr misses), near the Sheikh’s house. As it was a Friday there is no alcohol served anywhere between 4-6pm (Friday Prayers). So we went to a wooden shack, and got a Turkish coffee and a Shisha. What I hear you cry. Yes it’s a bit like a bong, expect healthier and not hallucinogenic. Essentially it is a water pipe, which you inhale; you get a choice of flavours to burn into the water, apple being the most popular. They place the coal on top of the Shisha and a bit like a bag pipe you inhale the smoke, and blow it back out again. I had a couple of toke’s, but as we all know, I’m not a fan of smoking so this seemed completely against my code of ethics, and declined to further partake. Then after agreeing to set-up a rental car business with Tyson, in exchange for me getting a 4x4 from one of his friends, we headed back to the hotel for some well earned rest.

Saturday was just as frenetic, as it was house hunting time. As usual I was in a no-nonsense mood, and this was heightened by the way they do things, see you don’t get shown round, you just turn up at the building and convince the Guard that you are there for a reason and they show you round. So by the end of the day I had agreed in principle to sealing a flat. After having seen half finished buildings that were “available now”, and received contradictory promises form many agents, I settled on an apartment in the Dubai Marina complex. If the contract comes through today, then I’ll be living in the Marina Residence Tower B, 16th Floor (Top), Number 1603. It overlooks the 12 lane highway that zooms through Dubai and down to Abu Dhabi . The rest of the view is of the new bridge they are building and the 17 odd apartment blocks they are starting, a building site really. The apartment has a gym and swimming pool on the ground floor and roof, and is a mere 35mins (Give or take) from the office. I’ll have a parking space under the building, and there is security on patrol 24 hours a day.

But getting to this state was the hard part, realizing that most apartments are just shells, with no cooker, washing machine, fridge etc, was difficult to fathom. Plus all of the apartments are unfurnished, due to that fact that they are just coming off the production line and are snapped up before the landlord can put items in…… although there is an element of charging silly prices for little effort on their part!

One of the buildings I looked at was lovely. Just outside the Greens complex and cheaper than the Marina (not by much). Initially it was due to be ready first week of August. It was in my top two, due to its location, and the size of the bedroom and living room. When I returned to look at it in the evening, it had gone but there were other properties in the building available so I peaked at those. Despite the swimming pool being tiny, and they Gym having nothing in it, that was the one. Only to find out that, as was apparent from walking around, it wouldn’t actually be ready until 2nd Week in August, but maybe the first week, etc, so I went for the other one.

Stage two is to fill the apartment with lovely stuff. As I have no real possessions or furniture I’m going to have to buy a bed, etc. I’m looking forward to it….. guess that’s a sign of growing up.

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