Thursday, January 17, 2008

Up, Up, But Not Too Far Away!

At Ibn Battuta Mall there is this large balloon, tied to the ground that goes up about 150 meters into the sky.

It's attatched to the ground by a thick metal rope and affords views over Dubai, particualrly of the Marina, Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah and Sheikh Zayed Road (car park).

We've been meaning to avail this attraction for some time, but either the wind is up or I forget the camera. Anyway, The Other Weekend (read: sometime in the last few months I just haven't got round to blogging it yet....) all things worked together and up we went!

I thought it was going to be scarey but getting off the ground was the worst bit, then it was quite tame. It was a good laugh, and another 'We Must Do That' crossed off our list!

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Only in the Middle East Number 2....

Now I know all of you never read the words and just look at the pictures on my blog so I've broken this bizarre week into 2 to make it less daunting for you.... Hehe. Back into work on Tuesday morning ready for the last 3 days of the week. Overnight something else bizzare has happened, IT'S RAINED! First time in nearly a year. When I say it's rained, it's a bit of an understatement, it had poured and was continuing to pour. I wondered if we would even get the little 307 through the masive puddles. The drainage system in Dubai is not world class. The kids straggled in and the rain continued. Stories of flooding throughout the city were told. Zadok's work closed due to flooding and noone being able to do any work. At about 1 it was announced the SCHOOL WOULD CLOSE the following day, and then at about 10pm the government announced ALL SCHOOLS WOULD CLOSE Wednesday and Thursday and reopen for the new week on Sunday!! Hurrah! Another 2 days off!

Weather cleared early yesterday morning after 100mm of rain in about 24hrs and now the sun is shining, most of the flooding has been attended to and I am enjoying a leisurely 4 day weekend!

Runour has it that more rain is going to fall next week.... We'll have to wait and see!
Photos borrowed from Gulf News

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Only in the Middle East...

WELL, we have had a very bizarre week here in Dubai. We dragged ourselves into work like normal on Sunday morning expecting/dreading the first 5 day teaching week in quite a while due to various school and public holidays. Early in the afternoon there was a stir as emails started filtering through about road closures due to the arrival of George Bush. As the afternoon wore on some people wondered if they would get to school at all. Now rumours started doing the rounds that some schools would not open, and low and behold, at 4pm the goverment declared a public holiday for all of Dubai as most major roads and bridges would be shut, supposedly to ensure the safety of Mr. Bush on his first ever UAE visit. You can imagine the uproar that followed with those on the actual route being asked to stay in their houses and people not having the warmest feelings for afore mentioned politition. I however, am one to see the bright side, I got to stay in bed and read an entire Marian Keyes book (Watermelon, very entertaining...) and walk around my area as I often do but without the mountains of traffic that usually gets in my way!
Pic is of Sheikh Zayed Road (car park?) 12 lanes wide and usually choc-a-block with traffic... Just a few police cars zooming up and down and supposedly at some stage Mr. Bush himself.

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