Monthly Archives: November 2008

The lost passport

Got the precious documents back and then while I’m waiting to check in at the airport I find I’ve lost my passport. Well that’s a first. So glad my father wasn’t there to look at me disgustedly.

The next day (Friday) I go out to the removal depot (again – we are on first name terms) and look through every single goddamned box I packed up. Nothing.

I have an appointment to get a new passport on Monday. I understand it will take 2 business days to get a passport processed for an urgent request. I’ve rebooked my flight for Wednesday afternoon in the hope that I can pick it up in the morning.

So overall my departure has been delayed nearly a week due to this little fiasco.

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And back to Arghhh!

Remember my last post when I said I went from Arrrrgh to Ahhh? Well its back to Arrrrgh again!

The infamous legal documents were safely placed into my hand luggage. I didn’t pack them in my large suitcase because I am going to check that into the hold, and it might – just might – get lost. So hand luggage seemed the best and safest option.

Wrong!

Today the removalists came and packed up everything in the house except the stuff I am taking on the plane. Guess what? They accidentally packed up my hand luggage – with the documents – and my work laptop that is due to be returned tomorrow as it is my last day of work.

This is the kind of murphy’s law that will – at some point in an international move – bight you right in the ass. You can plan and contingency plan and yes, you can learn from your mistakes the first time. But at some point the shit is going to hit the fan.

Now for the counter-attack…

Since I know my stuff has not been loaded into a container yet it must be somewhere in the state of NSW. Its even probably somewhere in the vicinity of Sydney. Hell, if i have to fly somewhere first thing it in the morning to collect it myself then I will. (I have an empty ticket up my sleeve with Qantas that is going

begging anyway).

I have left a voicemail and email for the moving company telling them they are gonna have to arrange to open up the boxes and give me the stuff. Luckily they have been incredibly professional and have labelled every box with inventory descriptions. So it should be do-able. Let me rephrase that… it WILL be do-able!

All I can do is pat myself on the back for having the foresight of booking an evening flight which does not depart until 9:50pm. That gives me all day to track down the bags and collect them.

Please Lord, let me get through this challenge relatively unharmed and be on the flight with documents safely tucked into my bra tomorrow at 9:50pm. Thank you. Amen.

From aaarrgh to aaahh!

Maybe there is a reason for everything. (Okay – that’s some crystal gazing BS right there, but that’s how I’m feeling so bare with me.)

Today the legalised documents turned up in the mail via express post! Woo hoo! This means I am free to join my newly-joined-in-matrimony and very lovely better half, Richard! S.W.E.E.T. I can now go ahead and book a flight to Dubai.

Of course we all know that flights = champagne and a duty free catalogue. I was browsing the online duty free catalogue for Emirates and saw this piece of craziness…

1957 Mercedes

Mercedes1957 Mercedes Benz SL 190

Yep. You can buy yourself one of these when the duty free cart comes around. It will set you back the princely sum of US$95,000.00 or 26,543,800 Miles.

I think I need one.

Think of all the points I’ll accrue when I put that on the Amex!!! Alan Greenspan had nothing on me. Nothing I tell you!

Now… if you are not taking me seriously yet wait until you see the catalogue section entitled ‘Yachts and Submarines’. http://www.emirateshighstreet.com/motor_yacht_909_benaco-p-696.html#

See! Would I lie to you?

Arrgh Bureaucracy!

Gotta love bureaucracy… the UAE embassy has documents that we sent them last week for legalisation (birth certificates and degrees). They were due back at the earliest last Thursday. Still haven’t seen them. These documents are needed before Richard can start the residence permit application process.

The embassy website says business hours are from 9am until 3:30pm. This is stated directly underneath the contact telephone numbers. I just called them at 2:15pm and was told they closed for business at 1pm. When I mentioned that the website said 3:30pm I was told that was correct. ‘But phone inquiries close at 1pm’.

Doh! (Slaps head)

The only thing that makes me feel any better is that bureaucracy everywhere is much the same. I have just as many dumb stories about Australia and the Netherlands.

Hermits that live in caves have the right idea. Caves don’t require residence permits, and their website contact details are conspicuously accurate and well maintained. Snicker.

It rained!!!

Update: Richard just told me her personally saw 6-8 accidents on the highway today. Most were right offs and one was an upside down truck. Unbelievable!

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Apparently it rained today!

Rain is greeted by residents of the Emirates with much the same enthusiasm as snow is by residents of Australian capital cities, or a hot sunny day for the Dutch (sorry Nederlanders!).

One again, traffic proved that it is completely incapable of taking into account any environmental factors by producing 22 separate accidents on the Dubai to Abu Dabi highway between 7:30am and 9am (this is the highway my husband drives on every day.)

How often does it rain? Typically less than 10 days per year. I drew up a quick comparison chart of the rainfall in Sydney, Amsterdam and Dubai (in millimetres). Check it out…

Rainfall between cities

Rainfall between cities

I have copied a section of the following article from Gulf News to give you an idea of how high profile rain is the Emirates. I particularly like the quote from 8-year-old Adarsh Shahani, “Usually I get to see the rain only when I go for vacation to India,” he says.

Refer full article: http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Environment/10260100.html

Raincloud

And while we are on the subject of rain I have the perfect reason to show you this probably silly – although possibly brilliant – idea for a building in Dubai modeled after a rain cloud. I have to say the CGI photos make it look rather average. But I’d like to withhold judgment until I see the actual live building (if it goes ahead).

Proposed Dubai Cloud Building

Proposed Dubai Cloud Building

Pidgin English


Here are some local words I am trying to commit to memory… I am particularly fond of the local Hindi-English word for closed, ‘Drinktea’.

Can anyone work out the origin of Un-dingable (‘Can’t stand it’)???

    • Filmi: Melodramatic
    • Jungli: Uncultured
    • Badmash: Hooligan
    • Chaddies: Underpants
    • Slow-slow: Slow down
    • Blarder: Brother
    • Bodoh: Stupid
    • Drinktea: Closed
    • Un-dingable: Can’t stand it
    • Torunbusiness: Open

    Logistics

    Removalists

    Feeling a little better about getting the house completely vacated and myself on a plane by the end of next week. Today I actually chose a removalist company from my list of quotes and asked for the paperwork to be forwarded so I can sign it and pay the moving deposit.

    Shipping Container

    Shipping Container

    At present I’m looking at taking 10 cubic metres of space in a shared container, which will take between 9 and 13 weeks to arrive in Dubai. The container will need to be full before it will be shipped. This means other people need to book the same service I have done.. and our stuff goes in the same container. Cosy.

    The variance in time accounts for the time it might take to get other bookings to fill the container. I have taken the option that if no further bookings are received I can have the container sealed and shipped with just our stuff in it. For the pleasure of sending it two thirds empty I will have to pay another $2000 Australian dollars. My fingers are crossed that they can fill the container with other people’s stuff.

    The removalists have been scheduled for next Friday, my last day of work. That should be fun. I’ll have my exit interviews on the same day as I supervise the packing up of the house. Can I just say ‘Send valium now?’ Then I’ll sleep on the floor with the cats for one night (luckily I am good at floor sleeping) and fly myself out the next day. Sweet!

    Cats

    The cats are going to be babysat (catsat?) for a couple of weeks by a good friend of mine and ex-colleague from Cap Gemini who is moving into our flat. This is so much better than having to put them in a kennel for weeks. They don’t even know what lucky cats they are! Although, after spending 2-3 months in quarantine / kennels last year when we moved back to Australia, perhaps they do. I swore I wouldn’t do that to them again. So this time they get to stay in their own home, with a foster father, and then a reasonable length flight (compared to the last one) of 14 hours and they will be in Dubai, and in their new home within a day or so.