Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Go Canada

Now that the Winter Olympics are over, I just wanted to say how happy I am that Canada did so well this time around in terms of number of medals won.

Canada came in 3rd in the overall medal tally, with 24 medals alltogether. Germany is in first place with 29, and the US is in 2nd place with 25 medals.

This is encouraging, especially after Canada's disappointing performance at the Greece Summer Olympics, where only 12 medals were won (for the sake of comparison, the US won 103 medals in the summer games!!).

Of course, it makes sense that Canada performs better at the Winter games given that winters there last between 7 and 9 months. But still. I feel that the Canadian government does not invest enough in helping athletes fulfill their Olympic dreams. That was actually a big debate that took place after the 2004 Summer Olympics. I wonder if it'll be different for the next Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Oh and the next Winter Olympics are happening in Vancouver. Go Canada!

Another earthquake?

I just felt some moving in our building here again.....and everyone else around me felt it. Could it be another earthquake? Did anyone else feel it?

Monday, February 27, 2006


I got my rent renewal notice today, and just as I suspected, it was the maximum amount, 15%. It's ridiculous! This amounts to a more than Dhs 8000 yearly increase! Damn....

And the sad part is (and I have already brought this point up before) that employers are not doing anything to compensate for this huge increase in the cost of living. I sometimes wonder if the purpose of such drastic increases is to limit the number of people who move here....maybe that's the government's plan?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sun is shining

Scroll down to see updates in red.

Well, after 2 days of rain, clouds and colder temperatures, the sun (i.e. normal UAE weather) is back. It was a nice change of weather, but I am happy the sun is back. After all, the sun is one of the reasons I moved back to the UAE.

Not much in the mood for going out though, I just want to stay at home, watch TV, read a book, and relax. Some of my weekends are just so packed with activities (not necessarily interesting ones....usually it's just shopping/getting my nails done/doctor's appointments/getting car washed/buying groceries/going to the beach), once in a while, I just need a me-day. A day of doing nothing whatsoever.

Although I know that a couple of hours from now, I'll probably start feeling restless, and will end up doing something. My to do list for today (although it doesn't mean that any of this will get done):

- Wash car. After the stormy weather we've had in the past couple of days, and after driving into some mud while trying to find parking at a friend's place, my car desperately needs a wash. I did end up washing my car yesterday (and even filled up on gas!). But then it got dirty again when I picked up a friend who lives in a muddy area. I think it looks even dirtier now than it did before I washed it! Arghhhh......

- Get apartment cleaned. I usually try to vacuum my apartment once a week, and generally try to keep it mess-free. But now it's time for some serious cleaning. This is one thing I am actually getting done today. I am getting a cleaning service to clean my place. No I am not spoiled. But I work hard all week, and I like to enjoy my weekends. So I see this as one way I can treat myself. Apartment got cleaned! Feels nice.

- Go grocery shopping. I need some basics, such a fruits, vegetables, milk....I'll probably end up going to Choitram this afternoon. And if I am not too lazy, I just might decide to walk there instead of taking my car :) I did buy some groceries. But I did not walk there, because I passed by Choitram's after going to wash my car.

- Go clothes shopping. I need some clothes. And shoes (I love shoes!). I am so bored of my current wardrobe. But the idea of going to a mall now, and having to walk and walk and walk and try on clothes and shoes is quite simply daunting! Nope. I just did NOT want to go to a mall yesterday.

- Go camera shopping. I have decided I want to buy a digital camera. I hate not being able to snap up my own pictures. I don't want anything too sophisticated, I am not a good phtographer by any means. I just want something small and simple that allows me to take some good quality pictures. Any suggestions? Same as above...did not go to the mall, so no camera yet.

- Rent a movie. I like to take advantage of my "me-days" to catch up on some movies I haven't seen in a while. But renting a movie all depends on whether I decide to go to Choitram's for some grocery shopping, because the movie place is also at the same place. I did rent a movie but did not watch it...I'll watch it tonight instead.

- Watch episode 13 of Lost. I have had episode 13 for a couple of weeks now. I haven't had the chance to watch it. So maybe today I will. It seems episode 13 was not really episode 13. It turned out to be episode 1 (much to the dismay of Sky, my sister, for whom I had saved this episode on CD). Now I have the real episode 13 (and episode 14) to watch sometime this week.

- Clean out my work computer's e-mail inbox. I have several hundred e-mails clogging up my e-mail inbox and I get a "your mailbox is over its size limit" message almost every single day. It's about time I cleaned it out and archived my e-mails. I never get the chance to get this done at work, so I should really try to get this done today. Nope....too boring. I'll do it eventually. I managed to get rid of around 100 e-mails today at work.

- Continue reading my book. I am reading a really good book and I haven't read a single page in the past 2 days, so I really want to get some reading done today. Yes, I read. I even took my book with me when I went to wash my car, so I read in the car while I was waiting for my turn. See, it's all about multitasking :)

In addition, I went for some drinks with friends at Bar 44 (Grosvenor House). They have an amazing view from up there.

OK that's all.....Phew...I'm exhausted already.
Phew! I really was exhausted!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Causing havoc (or havac)?

Apparently the 2.6 mm of rain we got on Tuesday caused 427 accidents in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, mostly due to cars skidding when applying breaks suddenly. Like I said in an earlier post, UAE drivers do not know how to drive on a normal day, and get flustered at the sight of the tiniest drop of rain.

Today's storm caused a much bigger mess. Other than accidents, a lot of people's houses got flooded, and cars were stopped in the middle of the streets because the water levels were so high in some areas. Dubai can build the tallest skyscraper in the world, the largest mall in the world, islands in the shape of palm trees in the middle of the sea...it can even bring snow to the desert....and yet it can't seem to figure out how to implement a decent drainage system on its streets!!!!!

According to 6Days, in an article entitled "14mm...How a Tiny Bit of Rain Caused Havac (sic) in Dubai" there were 513 accidents across the city. (Yes, you read right, they spelt it Havac instead of Havoc...I won't get into this right now, but you know how I feel about the quality of journalism in this country).

The fact that today is a Thursday helped tremendously, given that a lot of schools and businesses had the day off (because their weekends are Thursday/Friday). I do not even want to begin to imagine how bad it could have been had this happened on a Sunday (or a Monday...or Tuesday or Wednesday for that matter).

Now this is more like it!

Today, we have a heavy downpour. And lightning. And thunder.

And lots of cars that won't start because the water level is too high. The drainage system here is archaic to say the least. In some places, it felt like I had to cross a river! That's how much water has accumulated. I was just grabbing the steering wheel of my car, hoping that it won't let me down. And it didn't.

But still, there's an air of excitement because this much rain is such a rarity here. I love it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's still winter

Despite experiencing a few very hot days in the past couple of weeks, it's still officially winter, and yesterday we got our first drops of rain so far this year!

Some of the headlines in today's papers made me crack up, like Gulf News' "Winter's heaviest downpour brings down temperature" . We got 2.6 mm of rain people! I would hardly call that a heavy downpour!

Obviously traffic was simply mad, it took some people between an hour and a half and two hours to get from Sheikh Zayed to Media City! And the number of accidents that happened is simply shocking:

Dubai police received 500 accident reports from the early hours of the morning until 9am yesterday as a result of speeding, not leaving a safe distance in the rain and low visibility.

UAE motorists do not know how to drive when it's sunny and dry, let alone when we have a few clouds and a couple of drops of rain. I mean, come on! One of the first things I learned in driving school is that the roads are the most dangerous when it first starts to rain, because that's when the roads are the most slippery. Slow down, keep your distance....logical no? Not for motorists here I guess....

Anyway winter is not over yet, because it seems we are getting more rain tomorrow and the day after, with between 20 and 30 mm of rain expected. If this is accurate, it means no beach for me again for the 3rd week in a row!!! This sucks!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Du is the name of the new telecom company that will soon be Etisalat's biggest (and only) competitor.


Monday, February 20, 2006


What's with ads running past their due date in this country?

This weekend, I noticed that in Abu Dhabi, some lamposts are still carrying some ads for the Abu Dhabi Golf Tournament, which took place between the 19th and 22nd of January. The event ended almost a month ago! Surely they must have had the time to remove these? I'd understand if it was just a few days, or a week after the event, but a whole month! That's exaggerating a bit don't you think?

And yesterday morning, I heard a radio ad for an event at Trilogy, with DJ John Digweed, which had happened two days before (i.e. last Friday the 17th). Hmm... Not good.

And what about those "Space Wanted" ads (again, on lamposts) for the new Nissan Tiida which ran at the end of last year? The teaser campaign lasted for practically 2 months!! I really think that 2 months is waaaay too long for a teaser. At the beginning, I was actually intrigued by these ads and wondered what the product was, but by the 3rd week, I was just so sick and tired of seeing them. And now I actually cannot stand seeing any Tiida ad. I don't know if the teaser campaign was intended to run this long, but I have a feeling the ad agency working on the account decided to keep those stupid ads up there until they finished up their work on the reveal ads...

I am sure there are many more examples out there that I just haven't noticed yet. "Expired" ads are a no-no in my book. It really does not do a whole lot of good for the brand's credibility!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I wish....

I wish I had a camera on me to take a picture of the guy who lit up his midwakh right below the no smoking sign at the BMW showroom this morning. Or I wish I had the courage to tell him off.

I wish I had more time when a loser insisted on driving into a narrow street when he saw me entering from the other side. We ended up deadlocked in the middle of the street and he did not want to budge. I did not budge either for a few minutes, and asked the man to back out. He then told me to back out by rudely shaking his hand. I waited a bit more, but then had to back out because I was going to be late for an appointment. I did scream out "You bastard" from my window, and honked at him but I doubt it mattered.

I wish I had the audacity not to pay the cab driver who was screaming at me when we got lost trying to find a place. He started complaining and shouting that I was making him turn left and right and left and right, and blamed me for not knowing where the place was. I told him to shut up, that I was paying him after all. The ride ended up costing Dhs 4.5 (the only cheap thing left in Abu Dhabi: taxis), I gave him Dhs 5 and waited for him to return the 50 fils (which is something I never do, but this time I was upset). He then complained about me no leaving him the 50 fils. I took the 50 fils, got out of the car and slammed the door shut.

What a day!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Is Google down?

I keep getting error messages when trying to search for something.


Pool closures update

Today's newspapers claim that Emaar has decided to re-open some of the pools on its properties, but the long-term future of the pools remains uncertain.

The whole debate now revolves around whether these pools are public or private. If Dubai municipality decides that the pools are public, then lifeguards will be needed at all shared pools (and not just for Emaar properties...all developers with shared pools will have to implement these measures).

The pools will be opened on a progressive basis, once modifications are made to enhance pool security. These modifications include enhanced first aid kits, bigger signage, extra life-saving rings, pools safety awareness posters and flyers, some basic first aid courses for residents and the addition of pool supervisors (who are not trained lifeguards).

I don't know, but it seems to me like Emaar is tip-toeing around the issue. Why is it taking Dubai Municipality so long to decide if the pools are private or public? Our pools are private. Period. Technically, it's just residents who are allowed to use the pools, no need for lifeguards. I don't know about beaches in Dubai, but public beaches in Abu Dhabi do not have lifeguards, and in my opinion, beaches are much more dangerous than pools. So why aren't public beaches being scrutinized as well?

It remains the parents' responsibility to ensure safety of their children. Adding supervisors will only serve as a scapegoat for parents who do not want to bear the responsibility of taking care of their children. I can just see it happening: parents telling their children to go to the pool to keep them busy, while the parents are at home, or go shopping, or whatever. Any child under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult. No excuses.

Why is it taking so long to get things done and re-opening the pools? Surely, printing a few leaflets and posters, adding life-saving rings, and bringing in supervisors cannot take THAT long! Is Emaar just trying to shut its residents up because of the recent outburst of anger and complaints? Why re-open only SOME of the pools, not all of them? And from what I understand, the pools are not yet open...so when will the actual re-opening take place? At the end of March, like Emaar initially said it would be? Is Emaar just trying to stall?

It reminds me of a parent telling a child "inshallah" when the child asks for something, only to shut the child up and stop their nagging. Why can't Emaar just be transparent about things? Why does everyone always try to butter things up? Honesty always is the best policy, and maybe, just maybe, by adopting such a policy, Emaar will build its credibility and set itself apart. Maybe, honesty can actually be a good thing for Emaar. Did they ever think of that?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Famous people

Have you every met or seen anyone famous?

I have seen a few famous people, just by pure coincidence, but my most memorable celebrity encounter was with Pierce Brosnan.

It was in 1998, in Montreal, and I was walking home with 2 friends of mine. We had just bought a huge bamboo papasan chair for my friend, and we were carrying it home. Needless to say, we kind of looked ridiculous. I was walking ahead when suddenly my friend calls out to me and tells me she just saw Pierce sitting in a restaurant! So we all run back to the front of the restaurant window, and stare, open-mouthed, at Pierce sitting with a young man (not sure if it was his son, or a co-star). The restaurant window is open, because it was a beautiful summer day. Pierce then says "Hello beautiful" to my friend...So she mumbles something about an autograph, and fumbles around her bag, looking for a piece of paper. I was in the midst of job-hunting at the time, so I quickly handed a copy of my CV (which I had in my bag) to my friend. The waiter at the restaurant was kind enough to give us a pen, and Pierce autographed my CV. We then said goodbye to Pierce, and walked along, giggling like teenagers at our brush with fame.

My only disappointment was that Pierce did not look as good as he does in the movies. He looked sloppy, as he was filming Grey Owl at the time, which is the story of the life and work of a Canadian fur trapper turned conservationist who claimed to be a Native American.

But it was still Pierce Brosnan!

Other celebrities I have seen:

Matt Dusk, a Canadian singer at the Montreal Jazz festival (he was also on a show called The Casino) . I even saw him backstage after his show and took a picture with him!

Eriq Lasalle of ER fame, at a restaurant in Montreal .

American Pie's Jason Biggs, at a club in Boston.

And John Rzeznik, lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, at a restaurant in Boston.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's on the web

I was just checking my web stats, and I noticed that yesterday, I got the highest number of page loads since the beginning of the year (yes, since Jan 1st 2006)!

It's interesting to also note that yesterday, I did not post anything. And I have noticed that in the past, my number of page loads decreases when I don't post. But yesterday was a different story, which is weird.

Yesterday was also Valentine's day (happy belated V-Day to you all!!)

So what does this mean? Why did my blog suddenly become more popular? Could it be that it's because all the single people who had nothing to do last night decided to browse the net, and a few of them just happened to come across my blog?

Did anyone else notice an increase of activity on their blogs?

Memorising for freedom

According to this article, inmates who memorise the whole or part of the holy Quran get reduced sentences, and some even get to walk free from jail. Out of around 2000 inmates in the various Dubai prisons, 22 were released today.

Now, I understand that by immersing themselves in religious teachings and values, these inmates can better understand their mistakes and maybe eventually repent, but I really do believe that there are some people that are simply bad to the core. I am not sure if I like the idea of a murderer or a rapist or a child molester roaming around our cities and streets, despite the fact that they have memorised the holy Quran. How do we know that once these inmates are back in the 'real world', they won't get the urge to commit a crime again?

Here's how the exemption system works:

  • Memorisation of the whole Quran: 20 years exemption
  • 20 sections: 15 years exemption
  • 15 sections: 10 years exemption
  • 10 sections: 5 years exemption
  • 5 sections: One year exemption
  • 3 sections: Six months exemption

Monday, February 13, 2006

What city is the Arab center of the modern world?

According to this article, it's none other than Dubai!

The whole article is worth the read, but here are some interesting (and debatable) quotes:

And yet it is not Saudi Arabia. Brokeback Mountain is soon to open in Dubai cinemas, which it never could in Saudi Arabia. There is no problem with bikinis and sunbathing on the beaches. And on a more substantial level, there is a determined effort to de-monopolise the economy, to make market competition the driver for this new model world.


Vishal Khemani, a 26-year-old from Mumbai, who imports Indian and Japanese textiles for Dubai wholesalers, says he loves Dubai simply because it is "very disciplined, very neat, very clean. Everything is going to timetable. I have a good job, good food. It is a cheap country." And extremely safe. There has been no hint, so far, of any terrorist attack, although you would have thought it was due for one. A western businessman, surveying the most luxurious of the Jumeirah beach hotels, said simply to me: "Everything about this place smells of western women, right? It looks like an al-Qaida target to me." There are rumours in Dubai that a terror plot was foiled last year but the processes of government are so opaque that there is no confirming that. It may be that the levels of government control in Dubai are high enough to make any terrorist operations very difficult.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


A couple of months ago, I got hooked on Lost. A friend had downloaded all the episodes of season 1, and once I started watching it, I couldn't stop.

Lost is about a group of people who survive a plane crash and get stuck on an island in the middle of the Pacific (the plane was on its way from Australia). No one can find them because they lost radio contact before the plane crashed.

After recovering from the initial shock of the crash, the group is confronted with the reality of having to survive on an island that holds many secrets, including mysterious creatures, weird people, unexpected events and scary surprises.

It's an amazing show because every episode reveals a bit about the survivors' past, and answers a few of the many questions viewers ask themselves...but it also almost always ends with a twist that keeps you coming back for more!

The fact that the cast is very attractive doesn't hurt either. It stars hunky Matthew Fox (of Party of Five fame) as Jack, sizzling hot Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Canadian Evangeline Lilly as Kate, and her real-life fiancé Dominic Monaghan as Charlie.

Showtime started airing Lost a few months ago, but I am way ahead, and have almost caught up with the episodes aired in the US (season 2, episode 13).

If you haven't had a chance to catch Lost yet, then I strongly suggest you do, because it's one of the best shows out there. I may be mistaken, but I think you can even rent the DVD of all of Season 1.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Torino 2006

Is it just me, or has there been no coverage whatsoever about the Torino Winter Olympics in UAE newspapers? I knew the Olympics were happening sometime in February, but I did not know when exactly...so I asked my dad today and he said that the opening ceremony is tonight. I was surprised to hear that...I have not seen a single article lately about the preparations for the winter Olympics, and no mention of the opening ceremony.

I realise that the UAE is not a winter-sports-oriented country, but the Olympics are still an important event, whether it's the winter, or the summer edition. I, for one, always make it a point to watch some of the Olympic competitions, even though I wouldn't watch bobsleigh, moguls, or speed skating competitions during any other time in the year. But the Olympics are different. It's the same with the FIFA World Cup. I am not a huge football fan, but during the World Cup, I always get into football and enjoy watching the matches.

Interesting fact: Unlike past Olympic venues that went by their English names, this time the International Olympic Commitee chose the Italian version Torino after the city's leaders lobbied for the change. But TV stations are split between calling the city Turin, or Torino.

Anyway, the opening ceremony is tonight at 8PM Torino time, 11PM UAE time. I'll try to catch some of it if it is aired on any of our TV stations, but I doubt I'll be able to stay up late enough to watch the whole thing!

Update: None of the channels we have cover the Olympics. This sucks!

Can I sign the petition?

It seems that residents have organised a petition to protest the decision by Emaar to close all swimming pools in areas such as Dubai Marina, the Greens and the Springs.

According to 6Days, the website for the petition is www.petitiononline.com/Dubai. I wanted to sign it, because, as I previously posted, I believe the pool closures are completely ridiculous. But the petition does not exist (or, the more likely scenario is that 6Days printed the wrong address in their article). Does anyone out there know if such a petition exists, and if so, what's the correct link to it?

Update: The link works...although when I tried earlier, it didn't find the petition. Anyway, go ahead and sign it, even if you're not affected by the pool closures. Not sure how much this will help, but it can't hurt!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blog stats

My blog activity has been increasing steadily over the past couple of months. The month of November (which was the month I started my blog) recorded 797 unique visitors. But since I only started my blog in the middle of the month, it can't be taken into consideration for comparisons. The number of unique visitors swelled to 1,272 in December. January saw almost double that amount, with 2,176 unique visitors.

My StatCounter shows over 2,900 hits so far, which means more than 900 hits since January 24th.

Thanks to everyone out there who reads me on a regular basis. Keep coming back, I'll try to update my blog as ofen as I can. And if you really like my blog, tell all your friends about it :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Free TV and Internet?

Ever since I moved to my apartment, around 8 months ago, I have not gotten a single bill for my TV and Internet. Dubai Internet City (DIC) is the service provider for people living in the Emirates Hills area, so I had no other choice but to go with them for my telecommunications/entertainment needs.

Back in November, I posted about calling DIC and asking them about my bill status. The only answer I got was "Don't worry, it'll be sent soon". But it hasn't. The weird thing is I get bills for my phone line (so I know that I exist on their database somewhere), but nothing for TV and Internet. Is this normal? The last thing I'd want is to get one huge bill a couple of months from now, with all my Internet and TV charges added up for the past 10 months or so! Shouldn't I be getting a monthly statement or something?

DIC seems to be quite disorganized when it comes to bill payments. After I finally got my credit card from my useless bank a couple of months ago, I filled out a form and sent it to DIC to they can deduct the money directly from my credit card (well, for my phone bills at least). That was around a month and a half ago. But no payments have gone through on my card yet. So I called them today to check why, and the customer service representative mumbled something about the billing department...and I know that they have my credit card number because she told me what the last 3 digits of my card are.

Don't these people want to get paid? Anyway they are probably ripping people off so bad, they simply don't notice when someone doesn't pay their bills.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Monday, February 06, 2006


I have avoided writing about the boycott issue long enough...but now I feel that I can't ignore the issue anymore, considering the recent wave of violence that has hit many countries. At the risk of repeating what many people have been saying, here are my thoughts, randomly:

  • Why is it that this issue is now a hot topic, when the drawings were first published over 4 months ago, in September?
  • Muslims have every right to be offended at the cartoons, but being violent about it is really not the smartest thing to do. The recent wave of violence has only given Westerners who are ignorant about Islam more reason to wrongly believe that Islam is the religion that has brought terrorism to their countries. Why not protest peacefully instead? Or use these drawings as an opportunity to educate, rather than threaten. Educate the West about Islam, rather than justify these drawings.
  • I think it's absolutely ridiculous that these drawings have now caused friction between Muslims and Christians (in Lebanon for example). Some people are just taking advantage of the situation, and using these cartoons as an excuse to settle old disputes.
  • The only ones who should bear the responsibility for these cartoons are the people who drew them, and the newspaper that published them. So, why attack innocent people in embassies? Why boycott companies that had nothing to do with this? That's like punishing all 3 of your children when only one of them was misbehaving.
  • How will this chaotic situation end? When will the boycotting and the protesting and the violence die down? Is all it takes an apology from the Danish government?

I really think things have gone too far...We should really try to keep things in perspective.


How is it that yesterday, the trip from the Media City exit (the one after the Gardens, when heading towards Dubai) to my office in Media City took me FOURTY FIVE (yes! 45) minutes? It must be, what, around 2 km? Maybe 3 km maximum! At an average speed of 4 km/hour...not bad!

And how is it that today, the trip from the Greens to Media City (through the Lakes) took me exactly 7 minutes?

How can traffic be so horrendous one day, and non-existent the next? And to my knowledge, there were no accidents yesterday...So can someone please explain?

Has anyone tried the new Interchange 4 1/2? If so, how's the traffic there? Do you recommend it? Let me know.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blogger issues

Hmm....It seems all Blogger users have been experiencing some publishing issues. These issues are outlined on the UAE Community Blog.

I have experienced a few of these issues myself, namely:
  • Some comments not appearing on my blog (although I know that some readers have commented because I get them by e-mail)
  • My comments not appearing on other bloggers' posts
  • An error message when trying to access some blogs
  • And the most annoying: my posts disappearing once I publish them. I have had to re-publish my "Ticked off" post 3 times now! It doesn't even appear in my "Edit Posts" tab! It just disappears...poof! Now I'm really ticked off :)

So, until these issues are resolved, I won't be posting any more long-winded rants that take me more than half an hour to write....

Ticked off

I am a bit ticked off today.

I was walking towards my car today after a day on the beach, and I notice a white mark on my navy blue car. So I try to rub it off, thinking that it's probably dirt, or some bird poo. It doesn't go away. I put a bit of water on a towel and rub it again...and again, the mark is still there. Upon closer inspection, I notice that it's actually a scratch, about 7cm long.

Scratches on my car don't usually bother me, they are bound to happen on the car-infested roads and parkings of the UAE, but this particular scratch really ticked me off. Because it's on the hood of my car, and that means that it was an intentional scratch. Some idiot probably came and dragged his key on the hood of my car.

Why do people do that? Why do they intentionally cause harm to other people's property? What satisfaction did scratching my car give the person who did this?I know I've said this before, but I truly believe in this, so here goes again: what goes around comes around...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Mylo vs. UAE radio

I was listening to the radio in my car this evening, and Mylo's Doctor Pressure started playing. The chorus came up, and it seemed like the record skipped a beat or something. Then the chorus came up again, and the record skipped a beat yet again. Until I eventually noticed that the beat skipping was actually deliberate.

The reason? The chorus of the songs goes like this: "Motherf...ers gonna drop the pressure, motherf...ers gonna drop the pressure...", repeated over and over again (OK...so they're not the most thought-provoking lyrics, I admit).

This song has been playing on the radio ad nauseam for the past few months now, and it has never been censored before. See, the thing is, when the guy sings the "motherf...ers" part, it doesn't really sound like he's saying that exact word. The word "f..k" is a bit muted, so it never really came across as offensive to me, or anyone else who has heard the song. In fact, every time I heard this song, I always wondered whether he actually clearly says the word "motherf...ers" or not.

So my question is, why is the song now censored, after having been played hundreds of times over the past few months? Did someone from the UAE Censorship Bureau (if this is actually what this entity is called) finally catch on to what the guy was singing?

The edited version is so badly made (like I said, it sounds like a scratched record), that it's bound to attract more attention to it. If you're going to butcher a song like that, then just don't play it on the radio! If only Mylo knew what they're doing to his song!

PS: Just wanted to mention that I really like Mylo's music, he has a few amazing tracks on his Destroy Rock & Roll album. Doctor Pressure is the catchiest and most commercial track on the album. My favourites are In My Arms, Zenophile and Otto's Journey.

Pool closures

Emaar has gone and done it! Two days ago they informed residents in the Springs and the Meadows that they are closing all pools to make them safer. Now it's the Greens' turn to suffer the consequences of irresponsible parenting.

The decision to close all pools comes 3 months after the sad death of 5 year old Fairouz Hillali after she drowned in a pool in the Springs, while her father was just a few meters away.

This decision has obviously angered residents (myself included), as the pools will be closed for around 2 months or so until they are better equipped with lifeguards.

A couple of questions come to mind:
1) Why did Emaar wait 3 months after the death of a little girl to close the pools? Talk about being reactive!
2) Why do Emaar residents have to suffer the consequences of an incident that could have been prevented had proper parental supervision been enforced?

People who live in the Greens, the Meadows and the Springs pay a lot of money to rent their places. One of the few facilities offered by Emaar are the pools and the gyms scattered amongst the residential areas. The months of February/March/April are peak pool-going months, because the weather is so mild, and now residents are being robbed of that passtime.

I believe it is up to parents to keep an eye on their children, to ensure their safety. The poor little girl has died and it is extremely sad, but her father should have been the one bearing the responsibility, making sure his child was safe. Children should not be left alone in or around pools, whether they are good swimmers or not.

And if Emaar wants to bring in lifeguards for all its pools, fine. No one will ever say no to increased safety measures. But they do not need to close the pools until they hire all these lifeguards. Emaar has had 3 months to hire lifeguards since Fairouz's death, and should have already done so by now.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sexy guy

I was looking at my "Recent Keyword Activity" log on StatCounter and came across a funny Google search: some guy typed in "hey I am a sexy guy staying in dubai needing some sexy ladies in dubai only" and somehow ended up on my blog! He must have been pretty desperate though because I went through 15 pages of Google results and could not find the link to my blog!

Oh well, I hope he found his sexy lady :)