Today is Sunday, the Sabbath. Sunday is my day off from my usual employment and generally I like to do things. Except at the moment I am trying to save for my wedding in July, and this means that I do not have much disposable income. I am living on a tight budget and this means that I cannot go off to Ski Dubai or Ferrari World on a whim. What I can do, if I like, is go to a Mall and not buy anything. If I do not fancy that then I can go to another Mall and not buy anything there, either. If I am feeling adventurous I can drive to the top of Jebel Hafeet, a 4000ft high mountain that sits alone like a beached whale on the southern side of Al Ain. Once up there I can look at the town in which I live, say “Aha”, and drive back down again.
Today I am bored out of my tree. I have done my compulsory reading and had my breakfast. I have walked around the apartment and monitored the progress of the builders over the way. I have played with a few different hair styles and dressed up as both James Bond and James Dean. I dedicated 35 minutes to perfecting a Scottish accent for no obvious reason; this task in particular was a sensational failure. It seemed like today was a great opportunity to do a blog but for the life me I cannot think of what to write about.
If my creative juices were flowing then I would normally fire up the laptop, have a cup of tea and try to thrash out another instalment of UAE Uncut. But what to write about? Topics for discussion come to me in different ways. Sometimes at three in the morning I awake with an idea and pen it down. Sometimes I have to trawl the media looking for stories that arouse my interest. Sometimes I type out a title and by the second paragraph have skewed off on such a tangent that I end up writing over the wall and have become so far detached from the point that I end up in the neighbours bathroom.
I have spooled through the papers and nothing even remotely interests me. Yes there was that business about Abu Dhabi and Al Ain getting a new address system, but really, that is another classic case of the point being missed. It is not the lack of road names and building numbers that is the problem, these exist, it is the fact that drivers just do not bother to learn the roads. Couple this with the fact that there are insufficient road maps and changing the names and numbers will not improve anything.
There were also some lengthy pieces about herding people into the private sector and the challenges that are faced. Again, the point is missed. You cannot expect private companies to pay salaries that match that of a government institution. They will go bust very quickly. The problem is that a poor precedent has been set by allowing public sector salaries and perks to go through the roof. Don’t raise the pay in the private sector, cut the pay in the public sector. Problem solved.
A boat caught fire in Dubai, no one was hurt and nothing was to blame. There was traffic chaos in Dubai earlier on when the Metro broke down. Pah! That happens in London every day. Abu Dhabi grocery stores have been given four months to sort their shops out or they face closure. Why? They were all closed down last month, and then they reopened. What was the original offence, Health and Safety violations? Everything they sell is packaged; they are not trading fresh livestock. Those lads earn nothing so what is expected of them?
A Dubai passport controller has been caught taking bribes from over 5000 people totalling over 2.5 million Dirhams, falsifying documents so that willing participants can remain in the UAE illegally. He faces trial but will probably be acquitted. Dubai Police caught a cross-dressing man when they asked to see his Emirates ID card. As it turned out, the picture was clearly that of a male, but the clothing and mascara begged to differ. The jig was up and Lilly Savage will have to pay a fine.
The bank franchise HSBC will ban Syrian, Iranian and Sudanese customers as of 20th March this year in response to the sanctions imposed by Mr. Obama. While the sanctions are supposed to choke the economies of nations with fiendishly evil governments, you cannot help but feel sorry for the poor civilians who just want to get on with their lives and who have moved to the UAE to escape the tyranny of their own ruling establishments.
It looks like there is plenty going on across the Emirates right now. But I am sitting here looking out of my window at some guttering and my bathroom ventilation fan. I went to a bar earlier for a pint, to read and to just be while my fiancé nearly killed herself in the gym. Writers block is in control here and I cannot even be bothered to finish this sente…
Oh. My. God. I am so bored. Is this what it is like in Europe every day?