Archive for May, 2008

Rugby Super 14 Final – Nezesaussi Bar

May 31, 2008

Today, I drove David and Peter to the Nezesaussi Bar at the Al Manzil Hotel to watch the Tahs goes down to the Crusaders.  We got good seats right at the bar and enjoyed the hospitality on offer and the atmosphere of watching the game with about 60 or so interested and enthusiastic others.  Shame about the result but it was a close game and fairly expansive which made for some good rugby.  The first two tries to the Tahs were fantastic but a shame they could not hold the ball at critical times in the breakdown when deep into their attacking 22 in the second half to score the try they needed.

The Nezesaussi stands for NZ, South Africa and Australia – so there were lots of TriNations paraphernalia on the walls.  I think that the Aussies had the wood over the kiwis as far as numbers in the bar was concerned.

This afternoon, I’ve been investigating why Skype Out calls to landlines overseas is not working and it seems that our local internet company has blocked them.  Life in the UAE has just got that bit more difficult as a result as that was my main way of keeping contact with family and friends back in Australia.  Skype to Skype computer calls still work but calling the landline is much easier.  There seems to have been a running battle over the past three or so years between telco companies wanting to maintain their international call revenues and VoIP companies trying to work around the blocks through changing the software.  So it seems that the telcos have one this battle but we will see how the war pans out!


Al Mamzar Park – it’s hot!

May 31, 2008

Yesterday morning, I decided to reintroduce myself to the Dubai birdlife and visit a park that I have not been to before, Al Mamzar park which is between Dubai and Sharjah – on the beach.  I was a bit delayed leaving with catching up with the fam in Australia on the USB cameras connected to the computer and then coming across an accident on the main Sheikh Zayed road – fairly bad with a semi trailer jack-knifing – no one seemed hurt although one of the street lights was feeling not quite straight!

Got there around 9 am which was around 38 degrees – it seemed to get hotter and hotter and someone last night told me that it got up to 44.5 degrees in the late morning before the sea breeze came in. It was very hot walking around looking for some unusual birds (which I did not find any) and I must admit that after a couple of weeks in Australia, I am finding the heat very hard to take. Also, I have not tried running around or being a bit energetic with still having a cough from the pneumonia. But here are some photos of the area – particularly like the one of the fig tree with the roots coming down looking for water.

Afterwards, headed through to Dubai City Centre – another shopping mall that I had not been to before.  So hot outside and way too cold inside.  Grabbed some lunch, visited a few bookshops and found three books (wilber, one on surprising knowledge, and then black swan) that I would have bought if I did not have so many unread books here.  Must get through those first.  And then, bought a short which I was last night to a BBQ at someone’s place which was very pleasant. And the shirt looked pretty good too!!

Finally Back in Dubai

May 28, 2008

My last post on 8 May was from the Dubai Airport en route back to Australia for a week’s R&R with family and friends.  I felt great for the first two days and celebrated my birthday at one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants, Indochine, in Box Hill on 10 May.  Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been run over by a truck and went down hill from there, being diagnosed with bronchitis and then pneumonia.  An incredibly severe chest infection with a high fever and an inability to regulate my core temperature – I was going from shivers and shakes through to sweats every couple of hours. 

The upshot was that rather than spend some quality time with family, I was in bed with a hot water bottle, drinking soup, and coughing and coughing.  I could not even share the bed with Lyn which I was really looking forward to doing!!  After 5 days of feeling the worst I think I have ever felt, I gradually improved but had to delay my return to Dubai until I was better.  The benefit of course was being able to spend more time in Australia with family, the downside was that it completely stuffed up my work schedule back here in Dubai.  That also made the leaving more emotionally difficult – I’d got quite used to being home again and the thought of not being back there for a few months was not comforting!  Healthwise, I am not too bad – still have a bit of a cough but will take it easy and have the warm weather clear the remnants of consolidation and shadowing that was revealed in the chest X-rays.

But now the desert-dude is back in Dubai and will be blogging away fairly heavily on both lukedubai and knowledgefutures over the next couple of weeks as there has been no activity recently and I would like to catch up and get the conversation happening again about both life here in Dubai as well as the things I have been thinking and reading about in the world of knowledge management and futures.

I arrived back in Dubai early yesterday at 5.30 am having got some sleep on the plane’s direct flight  (I missed the midnight snack!), caught the cab back to the apartment, tried to catch some sleep and might have dozed for 20 minutes, before heading into the office at 8.30 for a full day’s work.  Went and got some take away dinner and breakfast things after work only to keep falling asleep while trying to stay awake! Gave in at 11 pm when I had slept on the couch for two of the last three hours.  Had a full day’s work today and quite productive – certainly back into it now!!

Back to Australia for a Visit

May 8, 2008

LukeDubai will take a short hiatus over the next few days as the desert-dude escapes to Australia to catch up with family and friends. 

For those interested, there has been no more rain but the weather last night was delightfully cool (slipped under 30 degrees) with a breeze as we had cocktails on the beach at the Hilton.  Even during the day, it was a bit cooler (had got up to 43 this week).  Back to Melbourne to experience cool breezes, extensive visibility and gum-tree green.

Today It Rained!

May 6, 2008

Hard to believe but two months of hardly seeing a cloud, I woke today to the usual sunrise, turned on the computer, got down to checking emails, etc and about half an hour later, thought I heard thunder.  Looked outside and whoa – clouds!  And a little bit of rain to follow.  Did not last long and did not cool things down but an amazing change of weather.  A lot of raised dust occurred as the storm passed through.  The car washers would have been very happy!