Got a chance to see the desert of Oman this week. My 30 day UAE visa was getting close to expiring, so I popped over to Oman to take care of the necessary paperwork. Well popped over is a relative term…..the drive can take somewhere between 1.5 hours and 2 hours each way. There are three checkpoints that you have to go thru and then once you are in Oman the process only takes about 10 minutes to get stamped in and stamped out to go back to Dubai. I was very lucky this trip and I was not asked to show my passport or even unlock my trunk to show the security patrol my empty water bottles.
I did have a chance to snap a few photos of camels and sand drifts on the road. Driving thru sand like this is like driving thru snow. Good thing my little car has front wheel drive. Some of the camels are bold enough to come right up to the side of the road and roam around freely. Maybe this was the road that Tom Cruise was driving on in MI: 5, when he almost hit the camels on the desert road.
Future trips to Oman might not be necessary in the very near future. My co-worker informed me that my UAE resident visa is very close to being ready. Once that issue is worked out then I will save 3 to 4 hours of driving in the desert and using up a bunch of gas. Maybe I will have to go to Oman once in awhile just to see other touristie stuff………
As you can see from the diagram above, the city of Dubai is getting dangerously close to the Sun. Everyday it feels that we are getting closer and closer. The AC at the villa is on constantly. My meeting in Abu Dhabi was at 8:30 a.m. and there was so much humidity inside the building and outside, that water was dripping off the sliding glass doors on to the lobby floor. You had to watch where you were walking or you might slip on the condensation.
To make things worse we are involved with the Ramadan fasting issues too. This means not eating or drinking from sun up to sun down. I keep a bottle of water in the car, but hot water does not taste as good as a MacAlister’s iced tea.
This weekend will be the end of Ramadan, so the fasting issue will not be a concern, but the HEAT is still going to be around for a month or more. The pool at the villa is not refreshing at this temperature level and I have not had a cool shower for a long time. The water tanks for the villa bathrooms are on the roof of the villa. I think the water coming out of the tanks is probably close to 100 degrees or more.
I just hope my sandals do not melt to the pavement………
Today is the first day of Ramadan in the UAE. For the next 30 days, the normal process is that everyone is to fast from sun up until sundown. You can drink water, but no food, no smoking, and no alcohol consumption. When the temps in Dubai are reaching 110 during the day, it is a good thing that we can drink water. The internet cafe (MAKE) has made arrangements to close off their windows with curtains so that the patrons can still eat and drink and check their emails on the internet. This way any body passing by will not be upset with people eating and drinking in the cafe.
I might be hanging out at MAKE a little more often this week since my air conditioning unit at the villa went on the fritz. I use a fan to cool off at night but that only goes so far. The AC repairman claims he will be by the villa to fix it, but with Ramadan in full swing it might take a little longer to get the parts and pieces in a timely fashion.
Sorry I have not been very good at keeping everyone up to speed on things lately. I have had a busy couple of weeks. Where to begin…….I flew back to Indy last week to see my new grandson, Declan Anthony Chernish. He was born on June 3rd, so by the time I got to see him and hold him, he was nearly a month old. He is quite a guy…..he is bulking up since he only weighed 4 lbs. 11 oz. when he was born. He is nearly 8 lbs now. He drinks his formula from the bottle warm or cold, he does not care. He can take it anyway he can get it. My daughter Nicki is doing better. She had some blood pressure issues before and after the birth, but the doctor’s seem to have things under control now.
My flight plan took me thru Manchester, UK from Dubai. Then from Manchester to Chicago. The plan was to meet my son, Charley and his family in Chicago and then drive down to Indy together……..had to resort to plan B when I found out that my flight from MAN was going to be 4 hours late to Chicago. I ended up having to rent a car in Chicago and drive to Indy by myself. It was a long day, actually nearly two days from the time I got up in Dubai and did all of the traveling……….the joys of travel.
Home for seven days seemed like seven minutes…….it went by way too quickly. Got to see lots of family while I was in town and it really makes it hard to go back to work in a far off place after having so much fun with family. Charley and Jenny and the three grandbabies from California provided the Elliott household with lots of energy. Can’t wait to figure out how to get the whole gang together again soon.
Carol had all of my favorite meals ready for me and was willing to go out to eat at some of my favorite spots too…….after all why should she be stuck in the kitchen just because I popped into town for a few days.
I am back in Dubai now and my project is still up and running……..the heat is intense…..with the humidity the heat index is reaching over 110 degrees everyday. We had a lot of wind lately and that just made it feel like opening the oven door. Maybe I can get some relaxing moments in the pool this weekend. Although the pool water is probably up around 90……not a good combination for relaxing.
Sunday was Father’s Day……turns out that the UK recognizes Father’s Day too, or at least some of my villa-mates claim that the UK celebrates it. I still think that some of these special days were invented by Hallmark Cards. This past Sunday was not only Father’s Day, but also a UAE Holiday. It was a public holiday recognized as the “Ascension of the Prophet Mohammed”. So besides having Father’s Day, it was also a three day weekend…..yeah…..
Sunday would have been better if I had been with family, but in a couple of weeks, I will be in Indy for the 4th of July and will get to see family and friends and my new grandson, Declan. Can’t wait……..
The temps in Dubai are getting up there. Lately the average daily temps have a little over 100. Earlier in the week the humidity was not too bad, but lately the humidity has been around 70%. The heat index is about 111. I have been trying to enjoy the pool on a daily basis, but sometimes I do not really get a chance to hop into the pool until after the sun is down. The water temp in the villa pool is running about 88 degrees. If this keeps up, we might have the largest hot tub in the world.
When I was at the job site last week, one of the workers decided to create his own shade device. I have attached a photo for your enjoyment. He was casually walking from one part of the job site to the other, but he did not seem to mind the blaring sun since he had himself his own shade structure.
Sorry I have not been doing a good job of keeping my blog up to date. A few things were happening this week and I did not get a chance to Blog much………….the BIG event for the week was the arrival of my new grandson Declan Anthony Chernish. My daughter Nicki gave birth to Declan on June 3, 2012 around 10:30 a.m.
Declan was 4 lbs. 11 oz. and about 18.75 inches long. He is the CUTEST thing. I will be sure to upload some photos in upcoming blogs. Since he was about 5 weeks early, he is still hanging out in the NICU until the doctors get him all checked out before he can come home. My daughter is doing well and son-in-law Brian has already been doing the diaper duty at the hospital.
I will be heading back to Indy the first week of July to see Declan and the rest of the gang. It will be a special week indeed. Charley and Jenny and the grandbabies from California are heading back to Indiana for the week too. Pray that Nicki and Declan get healthier, so that everyone can enjoy our family time together.
Just an update on the construction workers at the public beaches. Evidently the program that got started last week by one of the local radio stations has made a big hit. There is now an official campaign going on to help the workers have the appropriate attire for their beach outing. The campaign is called: Drop Your Shorts for GOOD
A number of containers are being setup near the beach so that Dubai residents can contribute swimming shorts for the construction workers. Kind of a neat idea.
BTW….please keep my daughter Nicki in your prayers. She is having some problems with the pregnancy and she needs your support and prayers. The doctors are considering all sorts of options for Nicki and the baby. So pray for the best solution. Thanks.
One thing about Dubai is that we have a number of very large beaches. Some are private beaches for the various hotels along the coast but there are still some large public beaches. Now that the weather is getting so warm, many people are flocking to the beach on the weekends.
Apparently the construction worker crews are taking advantage of the warm weather and going for a romp in the sea on their day off (Friday). Most construction sites work a six day work week. This week an interesting article hit the local newspaper. The beach patrols have been arresting some of the construction workers because they have been taking off their overalls and going for a swim in their white jockey underpants. When they emerged from the water some local sunbathers were appalled at the sight, since it looked like the white underpants became transparent. So the poor fellows were taking away in the police car.
The construction company was able to get these guys out of jail when they told the authorities that many of these guys had never seen the sea and did not know the appropriate etiquette. So a local radio station has taken on the effort to help provide swim trunks for the construction workers. Sort of like “Coats for Kids” in Indianapolis. The construction workers do not make very much money and most of it they send back home to their families. So a campaign is being put together to help keep the beaches G rated. Only in Dubai………..
What better way to watch DVD movies than to be floating in a swimming pool with 84 degree water and sipping a drink. We had the movies projected on the wall of the villa while everyone relaxed in the pool. You don’t worry about your feet and hands getting all wrinkled when you are watching a great movie. We watched “Con-Air” and “The Perfect Host.” If you have not seen the Perfect Host, it has lots of twists and turns that you would never dream of…..
Saturday night, I was invited to a Film Festival at the little cafe that I have been going to on Fridays after church. A group of interior designers have been meeting on Fridays to talk about projects and new things coming out…..one week we talked about the Milan Design Show. I am going to have to figure out a way to go see that next year.
About 100 people showed up for the film festival. We watched six short movies, about 10 or 15 minutes long. Some clever story lines, but also some very bizarre clay-mation movies that should have a big R+ rating on them. The cafe had some great food and met some more people from the USA. Got to keep expanding my network.