A load of 2011 updates

It’s almost been an eternity since we had regular internet access at home, so there’s been no blogs for some time.

I’ve occasionally added to a journal, so I’ll post some of these out of date and out of context items below – and reset the date of the publishing, as they were mostly from the start of the year.

The cause of the internet issues was us moving from our spacious Tecom apartment, to an even more spacious villa. So although it was quite painful going without internet, the move was worthwhile.

At the end of 2010 we moved to our Safa villa, which is a family-friendly compound for Emirates employees.  We knew it would be good for children, as we had friends living here before us (incidentally who have left the organisation and country).  Within an hour of us moving, Myles had a friend over, that afternoon they doubled, and now he pretty much lives outside – or brings them here.  The new place almost feels like a holiday house for him with all the new kids to meet and play with.  It didn’t take long though for him to make a regular group of friends. Now it’s not too uncommon to have half a dozen kids around our dinner table doing a painting or some activity we were used to doing with Myles & Lewis alone.  Or through Tecom families we’d need to organise in advance or call around. Now it’s just the kids’ way of life.

With the move to a new area, Myles and I had another failed trip to the library. I assumed they’d be open after 10am on a Saturday. No, it’s not open on the weekend at all. Just like the last time we tried and #failed, it ended with us visiting a nearby Islamic book store and buying a book.  This time we bought animals mentioned in the Holy Qur’an – each chapter told a story of a different animal and history, including one story towards the end comparing Jews to monkeys.

On the work front, our annual IT department meeting reaffirmed our vision that have come from our exec team. And they also discussed our high level goals. To help everyone become a part of this, everyone was given a small piece of paper and told to draw their vision for the organisation’s IT. People were eager to participate, given the incentive of a surprise gift going to the winning entry.  As I told Myles about this, he got a puzzled looking face and wondered why I’m doing kid activities like drawing pictures, and trying to learn Arabic.  He suggested I must work in a nursery.  A few grown-ups could think the same.

We also had another go at dune bashing. One of the guys seems to have more experience (and stories primarily) than the rest of us, but he doesn’t seem to have the same amount of luck with staying out of trouble. He’s the only guy in the group who doesn’t work at Emirates. Myles learnt this, and thought since he drives so crazy, instead of working with us at Emirates he must be a taxi driver. Not only did he have car operating troubles, when we all paused to cool down my poor engine, a group of local guys took some interest in his car and stole it.  Well not literally stealing, but taking it for one hell of a spin. They clearly have no fear, and know how to have a good time.

Also at work we had our 7s Cricket tournament.  It used to be a regular fixture for the people at Emirates. Being an Aussie, I thought I’d have to give it a try. Not that it matters, my estimates of the racial breakdown of the 60-70 players were: 90% Indian, 5% Pakistani, 4% Sri Lankan, and me. And in terms of performance I felt VERY alone. Every body else out there in the hot sun were living and breathing cricket. I on the other hand, were out with the first ball I faced. Not a good representing of Cricket Australia at all. I pegged things back in the second innings, but it was clear I was, and my team was, there to make up numbers for others who were clearly having the time of their life.

On the running front I’ve done very little, although moving to a stone’s throw from a popular running track around Safa Park. I decided to enter the Dubai Creek Striders Half marathon. My intention was to treat it as a training run, and to indicate whether I was on track for the full marathon or not.  It was a successful test, I was DEFINITELY NOT in shape to think about a full marathon.  At one stage in the race I was struggling behind a couple of women running. Then an old Afghani looking gentleman saw me, and heckled what was I doing, this is Dubai – women are meant to be following the men. I struggled to muster any expression in response – which was probably best.