It’s been a while since the last update. Quite a while indeed. What happened in the mean time?

Dubai

Back when I was a student, I did an internship. In Norway. Meeting people from all over the world. Meeting a lot of really great, awesome people (if you’re reading this, you know who you are, thank you for being in our lives). One of them got married last April and we were invited!

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While there we got around the city. Looking out at the Burj al Arab from a private beach…

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We didn’t go in though. The only options are getting a room (ridiculously expensive) or getting a booking in one of the restaurants or bars in there. Cheapest option: cocktails with a minimum spend of 250AED (or roughly 70$). Per person. Not. Gonna. Happen.

They have a tower we did visit: the Burj Khalifa.

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For a measly 130AED (35$) per person (or 200AED in peak hours) you get to go up to the 125th floor. We got our tickets online in advance, so we could skip the lines at the desks. Then you’re guided through a bit of an exposition on the tower, before you get to take the elevator (all the way up in one go). It goes amazingly fast, and while you’re in it, you’re presented with some kind of light show. Neat, but not really my cup of tea. Mimicking a glass elevator would have been so so sooo much cooler!

We also paid a very brief visit to Abu Dhabi (a 2 hour bus ride away), to go see the Grand Mosque (one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims, and a large one too).

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If you’re a woman and ever plan to go there too, make sure you’re dressed right: we knew legs had to be covered completely and we also brought a scarf for Chrisje’s head and shoulders, but that wasn’t enough: you also need long sleeves! Luckily you can get an appropriate gown (and believe me, most of the women there needed to get one…).

We did some sightseeing…

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… dune bashing…

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… with the obligatory entertainment afterwards…

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… had fun at wedding activities and in general had a great time seeing old friends again and making some new ones.

Some things we learned about Dubai:

  • It’s an Islamic country, but they are nonetheless quite liberal towards Westerners and our habits. More so than the neighboring countries, see the visit we paid to Abu Dhabi. We saw people showing more skin than us quite regularly, with us having packed only stuff with short sleeves or knee-length.
  • Three to four days is the ideal period of time to spend.
    • Go to the old city center one day, have a look around the souks.
    • Take a hop-on-hop-off around the city (we didn’t do that, but friends of us did, and they certainly thought it was worth it).
    • Do the dune bashing thing
    • Visit the Burj Khalifa.
    • If you want to, spend a day on the beach doing nothing.
    • Consider the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi (a two-hour busride away).
  • That pretty much sums up the highlights, and is perfectly doable in four days.
  • Getting around: use taxis, or the metro. Especially if you’re in group, taxis aren’t that expensive. I don’t think we ever had a fare above 35AED, which is less than $10. Total.
  • There’s all kinds of food to be found, both good and bad, both cheap and expensive. Two places we found that were good (or really good) and cheap-ish are Ravi’s and Zaroob. Don’t ask me what we had though, I don’t remember anymore.

If you’re ever near it, consider taking three or four days to visit the city. It surely is worth it!

Living room

Well, most of the demolition was done some time ago already, so progress on it has been made along the way. I’ve been working on a planning post for ages now, but it seems I can’t get it quite right… Just keep your eyes open, news will follow soon! Very soon!

Garden

Spring is in the air, which means everything green has come to life. Since the last 5, 6 weeks that also means mowing the lawn every week (or two), pruning, weeding, shredding, and so on and so forth. The garden literally exploded! The down side of having a decent sized yard: it requires time and maintenance. But then again, is there anything in life worthwhile that doesn’t?

Other stuff

There’s one other thing I really need to get off my mind. For a while now I’ve been looking at job sites. It’s time for me to move on to something new. However, up to now it hasn’t yield anything useful, which frustrates me. I have a degree in mechanical engineering, so if anyone knows something that would suit me, let me know.

Oh, and don’t worry. I won’t quit the blog.