Sunday, April 29, 2007

Money Money Money

So, where did i eat on friday, two weeks ago? I had lunch at Sagar Restaurant. Just around the corner from my flat. A Indian place. Hence, full of Indians and the food is spicy - even the "non-spicy" stuff and somehow the sweets... anyways, u can have a nice meal there for as little as nine dirhams. Good one. So how could i top that for dinner? I went to Burj Al-Arab. Supposedly the fanciest hotel in the world, seven stars (BS), etc.
Of course going there that evening wasn't a spontaneous decision because you have to make reservations in advance. Otherwise they won't even let you get close to the hotel. It's on a fake island just in front of Jumeirah beach in Dubai. We arrived there with our crappy local Abu Dhabi taxi, just in time. Didn't want to let us go in with that car at first, but we nicely explained our situation and showed them our reservation papers. Was fun, driving up the bridge to the hotel during sunset, in some cheap Asian car, stopping in-between all those Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Porsches etc. But we got there.
Well, what can i say, it's nice, i like. I mean, like everywhere in Dubai the place just shouts out loud "money money money" but it's nice to look at. They just used expensive materials everywhere, so nowhere u can find a spot that looks cheap. With nice water effects, springs with colour, gold in a lot of places, giant aquariums filled with exotic fish just as a background, a 180m-high lobby...
The dinner was fine. Buffet, really nice food. I took my time to eat and enjoy. It wasn't oh-so-special, but quite all right. Good food. And actually not that expensive. I mean, compared to fancy places back in Europe. You can easily spend more money there. That's a nice thing here in Dubai, it's quite affordable.
Don't get me wrong, staying overnight in in the Burj is expensive, the cheapest room is about 1000 USD per night. But having dinner was okay.

Btw, the 'my pics' page is working again. Hmmm, at least it worked fine yesterday, now i cannot access the server anymore :(
I'll continue with some photos, just to spice that blog up a bit:

All dressed up.

Ned hinschauen.
Not a rolls-royce, not even a Benz, but we still fun. One-hour drive to the Burj.
Sun is setting, Burj is getting close.
Even closer.
Benz&Royces all over, the hotel fleet that'll pick you up from the airport if u booked a room.
Not focused, ready for dinner.
The dinner party, all from my class.
Eat. With style?
The lobby in the background.
Date palm tree.
Travnicek, auch in Österreich wachsen wunderbare Früchte. Sagen's mir was für Obst Sie gerne essen.
T: Datteln.
A: Na, was anderes.
T: Bananen.
Yup. that's only half a lobster on my plate.
Sushi time.
Oysters. I did it. They weren't still alive, at least they didn't move when i dropped some lemon juice on them. And still, uuuuaaaah, disgusting. Been there, done that, check. Same as with medical pills, can't swallow without chewing at least once, so i had to bite'em... not quite as you're supposed to do it. Read "My Uncle Oswald" for instructions.
Just posing.
Looking up in the lobby.
I love using mirrors for pictures.
And finally yet another Austrian product on display... although i haven't seen Red Bull ads or PEZ in the Burj :-)
That's what it looks like when you're going to your room on the 26th floor, passing by the guy with the desk waiting for your room service needs.
Simply physics, i guess, using water springs like optical cables, to transport light...
The lobby.
Up from the lobby.
Waiting in the lobby.
Posing in the lobby.
Big Burj.

My postcard view.
Me and the Burj.

Well, that's that. I've eaten in more expensive places, but that's not the point. It was night, all right, we had a good time.

Be happy.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

(No) Photo Update

Hello-lo world,

Ooops, no update of my blog in two weeks. Got a lot to write about, nice things happened.
Just tried to update my photo page (see 'my pics' link on the right) but something changed on the server, seems that i'm missing a script or two... so before i geek out, it just didn't work. My pics are on the server, so if you like click-a-di-clicking, here's the folders:
The new ones are the fiels that start with 'DSC...'.
I've been to the Burj Al-Arab for dinner two weeks ago. Fanciest hotel in the world or something, a lot of money there, more later.
We went bowling and had a crepes (french kinda pancakes) party a couple of days ago.

Weekend starts, gotta go.

Blood is thicker than water.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Desert, but fun!

The dear fellow readers of my blog might have noticed that i've spent quite some time in the desert in the last couple of months. With my job, sleeping in a noisy container. But last weekend was different.

We had our company-organized & -payed trip last thursday. Safari in the desert. So on thursday, usually the last working day of the week here, we had a five-hour exam and after that the weekend started. We went two hours with a hired bus - felt like a high school trip, just without the beer. Because here one can only buy alcohol in special stores after acquiring a license, which has to be signed by your employer. Anyways, no beer, so the travelling didn't even get close to our time in the train in "die legendäre Romreise"... hmmmm, back then, well i was seventeen. If you have no idea what i am talking about now, ask me next time you meet me... but i'm loosing my point here.

Desert. Voluntarily. For having fun. So after two hours of driving we switched from the bus to 4x4s, six people per car. And offroad we went.
What can i say, a whild ride. So much fun. Shaky. Just imagine the best roller coaster ride you ever had. And you not quite close to it. No tracks, just a driver and dunes. Up and down, and i was sitting in the back of the car. Basically being thrown around, held back by the seatbelt, holding on those pipes they put into the car so it won't crush once it might topple over. Trying to hold my camera, luckily strapped to my wrist, taking pictures, laughing... a bit hard to grab all that movement into pics, so just two quick impressions of the inside of the car whilst driving.

After about twenty minutes of up and down - you know, you just see the sky dis- and reappear in front of the car, hehe - we stopped at the top of adune. Take shoes of, enjoy the fine sand. Take one of the two snowboards and slide...
Or just enjoy the whole scenery in general...
After that we went back over some dunes, this time not so whild ride.
And back to the camp, i.e. the place where we were going to spend the night. Open-air, deserrrt. When we arrived there were quite some other people there, a couple of families, sitting around on carpets, smoking waterpipe, riding camels and driving around on quads. We joined them. And had dinner. BBQ, local style. Sitting on the ground and stuff.

Then there was a show. Belly-dancing, obviously. We all sat around a big carpet, on pillows. The bellydancer was Romanian. Beautiful. Shaking, too. Sooo traditional. Well, it was for tourists, but she did a good show, involving people, in the end getting all of us up and dancing around. Fun. After that all other people went home or somewhere else, and the camp was ours for the night. A couple beers and waterpipes to start off, then they turned of the generators and left. Just us, the desert, the sky. Quite nice, lying around on carpets, walking barefoot on the sand, watching the stars (not many visible, but some, and also a fire of burning gas from a nearby rig). We were just sitting around and talking, cool.
I slept about three hours under the sky. We got up at six in the morning to see the sunrise. And have a camel ride. Very dignified animals. And funny, too.
Breakfast on carpets and pillows again:
English breakfast, actually. Whatever. Some people tried the quad bikes again, and then we started our travel back.
Three and a half hours later we were back at our staff house in Abu Dhabi. Most people went directly to sleep. But well, not all of us:
These are my two best friends from KL, and you might wonder what's that thing on the right. Obviously the reason for not going to sleep after coming from the Safari was the following:
No, not the beverage station, but the Red Bull Airrace here in Abu Dhabi. Quite a spectacle. Impressive how fast they can turn their little airplanes. A fun afternoon. Weather was perfect, so we just sat on some stones next to the water, enjoying the sun and the planes doing their insane stunts above us.

One more day left of the last weekend to tell of: Saturday. Got up late, hehe finally some sleep. And then, first time cooking since November. In our pathetic little kitchen.
My flatmate had never ever cooked spaghetti bolognese, i had to teach him. Live&learn! On the left there's my UK/Mauritian friend. Cooking with friends, hehe. Almost like back in Madrid (see blogs below...). As for the rest of the day, we went to the beach!
Just chilling. So as as you can see, i've had a blast last weekend.

This week was quite tough in school, but it's already over and here's another weekend, just about to start in twenty minutes. Time is flying. I'm already here for six weeks, four more to go.

Have fun, drop me a line, drink a beer with friends,


ps: Hab gestern ein Packl Soletti gegessen. Fein. Und ja, die echten. Mit Freunden.
Red Bull und PEZ gibts hier bei jeder Tankstelle zu kaufen. Und vorgestern hab ich Soletti im Supermarkt gegenueber meines Staffhouses entdeckt. Made in Vienna.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Working life


just a short update:
Weekends, hmmm. I could get used to that (for those who forgot: I usually don't have weekdays or weekends in my job, just here in school). The last two weekends i was at the beach. Here in Abu Dhabi. It's nice, i like. Hehe. Beach is cool, water is fine.
Other than that, well, still school - get up early each weekday, study&practicals, a couple of exams each week,... and from next week on the weekend will only be one day instead of two, we need more time for taking our exams. Btw, i finally didn't go to Dubai last weekend. Abu Dhabi offers enough life to me, hehe, so why pay more.

One more pic:Taken today, at lunchtime. Two funny faces. Just to illustrate that i've cut my hair. My pals here said i should blog a pic, and that's the only one so far. And no, i still haven't gone to a barber - not since 1998 - no need to pay anyone for that kind of haircut.

Uh, yeah, and one more blog of one of my classmates (u can find me there, too).

-five hour exam tomorrow, takin' it easy...