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Trip Start May 01, 2008
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Where I stayed
The place we went to is just under the "Eye of the Emirates": a giant illuminated wheel. There is a small amusement park just there, a few restaurants on a brightly lit modern arabic style construction with walkways and trees and a canal in the middle, dhow boats passing by.
The lebanese restaurant was held by syrians, quite a change from the immense majority of Indians and then Philipinos. Looks like the ;ost convenient language to learn here is Hindi or some other dialect from the sub continent, actually. In the restaurant two arab famillies were eating, men at a table, women and kids at another. The contrasts are bright, as you also regularly see arab women dressed and behaving just like westerners.
Driving back froom work to my hotel, at around 9pm, I passed by the stretch of hotels along the beach (see the map pin on the satellite map, that is my hotel), and every 50m there were blond heads: Russians going for a walk or trying to find a bar, I guess, although there is absolutely no chance of finding an alcohol outlet in Sharjah Emirate. Russians are there every single day. The UAE are a destination of choice for them, for leisure. Strange idea to me, to go in a resort where the sun is too strong for you to do anything in the afternoonm, and where you can't sip a beer by the pool. But hey!
I have to look for an apartment, cause I need a kitchen, I don't want to stay for months at the hotel. Nevertheless, as Bernard was leavingm I asked to get his room, and after insisting a bit I got it (some Russian tourists had already booked it, haha). So instead of being first floor with view on a fenced wall, I will be first floor with view on the swimming pool and the sea 100m across.
Well that's itm just a few things as they come. I am starting to build up cruise speed at work, which for me usually include late after hours, but I will try to write a few tentatively interesting things. In a few weeks it will be so hot that field teams will start at 4am, till 1pm, and then off. I might take on that rythm and sleep on afternoons, that will at least leave me with some time in the evenings.
By the way I now have a car, a mitsubishi lancer GL 1.2L. Having that car here is like having a micra or a twingo in France... But I'm happy to have a company car and cellphone, it's perfect actually!
Next weekend is the two-day weekend of the month, as opposed to one day usually, so I will use these days - friday and saturday - to make my way towards the east coast, on the Indian Ocean. There are a few ancient sites there and on the way, nice mountains, and dive sites. Everybody goes to the resorts to sleep, meaning that I will certainly end up sleeping directly on the beach. It will depend on the weather, I have to see if it's not too hot to sleep out! That reminds me that I have to find a hammock.