Monday, 18 August 2008
We got to the airport 3 hours early to ensure Ron got a seat with plenty of legroom – success – got the exit seats – plenty of room for his long legs……should be a good flight!
Once on the plane we were seated next to 2 families with 6 kids between them - all quite small. The mothers were just great and did everything possible to occupy them, keep them quiet etc. One father was absolutely useless and should have been thrown out from about 30,000 ft – waste of oxygen he was! The other father was helpful and tried his very best to assist his wife and the kids. HOWEVER the trip was through turbulence for over 85% of the flight and the kids had to be restrained in their seat belts for hours on end. The baby in the bassinette had to be moved everytime the seatbelt sign went on and of course the poor mother had to be up and down and struggling with the lapsash addition to restrain him…………….and it just went on and on! No amount of effort by the poor parents could keep the kids settled. The staff were besides themselves with trying to keep them all safe and belted up as the plane bounced its way across the world.
Between the bouncing, the parents trying so hard to keep the kids settled and the crew constantly checking that they were all restrained appropriately we just didn’t get a moments rest and hit Abu Dhabi at midnight completely b*ggared to find we had to wait at the airport for 2 and ½ hours for the bus to Al Ain. By the time we got home at 4.30 am, 22 hours after hitting Sydney airport, we were absolutely shattered!
However we are now back in our apartment, settled into work and looking forward to all the adventures and fun of another year in the UAE. I am already concocting stories about the last two weeks - so watch this space!
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Hopped on a Jetstar flight to Hervey Bay to catch up with some more people. On arrival it was sunny and warm, quite a difference to a cold Sydney. Spent the first afternoon laying on the beach and taking some photos. This is Hervey Bay beach - with a personal touch!
Also caught up with Garth, Helen and Mum, Di and Stan and our volunteer friends from Vanuatu Jacquie and Paul Birch. It was a loveley week and we enjoyed the company, the food, the accommodation and the bowls! Yes - Garth talked us into playing lawn bowls and it was great!
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Tessie has a new home with Betty and Morrie and is being regularly walked to visit all around St Mary's. Also dropped in on Rod and Shelley and the girls - delightful little angels! (No photos of the Knights because we forgot the camera!)
Also caught up with Mick(Cheryl's brother) and went to lunch at Mosman Rowers.
June, Dan and Khali are all well as you can see from these pics. If you click on pics and open in another screen they become a lot clearer.
Friday, 8 August 2008
Thanks Gill for your wonderful hospitality (as always).
PS - I didn't cut off anyone's heads - it happened in the collage. The pics will be on the Picasa site soon for you to download with their heads intact.
| I came across this article in the Gulf news today and it answers all those questions we were asked while on holiday about social issues of living in the UAE:|
Mind your language, behaviour and dress in theUAE
By Alice Johnson, Staff Reporter
Dubai: If you are planning to come to the UAE it is very important to keep local sensitivities in mind and find out what is allowed and what is not, before you travel.
Some Emirates are more liberal regarding clothing so check out what restrictions there are before you embark on a trip here.
Detailed information can be found on your home country's embassy website, travel advice sections.
However, there are a few rules that apply in the UAE. It is not illegal to drink alcohol and hotels have licences in most of the Emirates, but it is an arrestable offence to be drunk in a public place.
There is zero-tolerance to drink driving and you will be in deep trouble if you are also involved in an accident.
It is acceptable to wear a bikini/swimming costume or swimming trunks for men on the beach, but it is an arrestable offence to go topless or wear a thong.
Swimming attire is fine for the beach under these rules, but it is not acceptable once you leave the beach; don't walk around the streets in a bikini.
However, Sharjah (the Emirate to the north of Dubai) holds different rules that prohibit women from wearing swimsuits on the beach.
It is also illegal for women to wear clothes that show their upper arms too much leg in Sharjah, and alcohol is strictly illegal.
Although non-Muslim women are not required to cover their heads in public, if you enter a mosque it will be required for religious reasons.
The Shaikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding organises tours of Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai. The website has more details about clothing requirements: http://www.cultures.ae/jumeirah.htm
Holding hands in public is not illegal, but any shows of affection are frowned upon and can result in arrests for public indecency. This includes public places such as malls and beaches.
Most tourist guides have sections with these details.
- Indecent gestures could land you in jail.
- Dress code is generally casual
- Since you are visiting a Muslim country, bikinis, swimsuits, shorts and revealing tops should be confined to beach resorts.
- Women are usually advised not to wear short skirts and to keep their shoulders covered.
- In Sharjah women are prohibited from wearing swimsuits on public beaches.
- In Abu Dhabi, visitors are advised not to wear excessively revealing clothing in public places, as a sign of respect for local culture and customs.
- This also applies to public beaches, where swimmers should avoid excessively revealing swimming suits.
- Most nightclubs require their guests not to wear shorts, caps or sport shoes on their premises.
- Details on clothing requirement for Jumeirah mosque visit at www.cultures.ae/jumeirah