Archive for September, 2008

Back in Australia

September 22, 2008

I have returned to Australia for a couple of weeks to catch up with the family and home life, timed to coincide with local school holidays and to escape Ramadan.  I have so far managed to get over the jetlag fairly quickly and not come down with pneumonia. 

I am finding the air incredibly dry (my skin is already reacting to it), the wind very fresh, and my eyes feel quite itchy probably due to all the pollen in the air.  And the rain is fantastic!!

Looking forward to catching up with lots of Melbourne mates next week. 

Back in Dubai on 4 October.

Hot, Humid and Sweaty

September 16, 2008

The last two days have been pretty terrible weather wise.  Very warm – touching 40 – but with high humidity.  As the water temperature in the gulf goes up (it would be nudging mid-30’s now), the sea breezes pick up the evaporation which increases the humidity over Dubai.  Last night, while out hitting golf balls on the range, the first 10 minutes felt fine as the sea breeze made it feel quite pleasant.  But once the wind died down, the humidity started falling and a heavy dew set in which was rather unpleasant at 35 degrees.  The golfers were all saturated in sweat.  Although I changed my shirt while having a meal afterwards – the second one became just as wet in the end! 

What was interesting about the humidity over the last two days is not just the fog in the morning but that all the windows have massive amounts of condensation on them – even these ones at the entrance to work. 

Tri-Nations during Ramadan

September 14, 2008

It’s the middle of Ramadan whch means that it makes it quite difficult to go to a bar to watch the Tri-Natoins rugby as per our usual Saturday activities.  So our group decided to go around to a friend’s house to watch the telecast of the last game of the series on their TV.

Unfortunately, the result was not ideal but the company was great.  We managed to get the BBQ going with the little bit of gas that was left in the bottle.  Over in Dubai, you cannot just duck down to the service station and replace the gas bottle or fill it up.  Instead, someone has to come around to your place from the gas agency.  Regardless, there was sufficient to cook up lunch on the balcony BBQ .

Many places in Dubai are like living in a construction site.  My friend’s place in Al Barsha is one such place.  While the rooftop pool looks out over Sheikh Zayed Road and the Burj Al Arab, the back of the apartments look over some new apartment blocks that have just gone up, others that are going up and a big hole in the ground of one about to go up. 

Straight out from the balcony

Straight out from the balcony

say Hi to the neighbours - looking north

say Hi to the neighbours - looking north

Soccer in front of the telly

September 10, 2008

Tonight, I headed around to a friend’s place who has a far beeter range of sport channels through her cable TV package.  We were wondering if the Uzbekistan – Australia World Cup qualifying match will be telecast.  After going through six or seven different channels, we came across it right on kick-off time.

We hooped and hollered when Scott Chipperfield headed home the only goal of the game in the 27th minute and shaked our heads in dismay when Mark Bresciano shot wide with only the keeper to beat right before half time.  The last 30 minutes were quite painful to watch as Australia played defensively to retain their lead.  But a win is a win – and an away win against probably the third ranked side in the group is a great win.

The only downside to the game was having to listed to the Arabic commentator (why do they have to feel like they need to shout all game) who we did manage to drown out when the goal was scored.  We are contemplating heading over to Bahrain in late November to watch the Socceroos play there!

Now for Australia to win the rugby on the weekend – that would be fantastic.

Snap of the TV showing Australia up 1-0

Snap of the TV showing Australia up 1-0

The Sea is a Salt Bath

September 6, 2008

Went for a swim this afternoon – first time I had been down to the beach for a while.  I had been a couple of weeks ago at dawn and the water did not seem that warm.  But late this afternoon at the end of a day in the sun, the water was unpleasantly warm.  Getting out a bit from shore the water temperature was a degree or two cooler, or should I say, less hot.  But it still felt too warm to stick your head under.  Temperature of the water would be around 33 or 34 degrees.

At least the sunset was nice!  And still the sun refuses to touch the horizon but disappears in the haze before it gets down that far.  This photo does not do it justice – the sun here was actually a deep red.

Sunset on the beach outside the Hilton

Sunset on the beach outside the Hilton