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Archive for November, 2009

The Perils of Cat Parenthood

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Last weekend we headed out to Barasti again and returned with a snap-glow wrist band for my wife and a neck ache for myself.  We were very tired after a long day and made a beeline for the bed.  Shortly after lights-out though we hear a loud gagging noise – the cat had torn open the snap-glow wrist band and must have drunk some of the liquid inside.

Before going any further i would like to point out two things: 1) we are not the euphorial raving types who dance by the speakers glowing in the dark.  The sticks were being given to everyone and we just did not refuse it. 2) it was by this time 3.30 a.m.

Back to the cat. She started foaming at the mouth and eyes were tearing.  Being completely ignorant of what to do and afraid for the poor creature’s life, I called the vet hospital.  The lady on the phone was very helpful, but couldn’t advise me to do anything except (of course) bring her in for checking.  Also before hanging up she politely explained that there was a vet emergency call out fee of Dhs 700 (around €120).  Fine.

The hospital was difficult to find, and we had to call again to ask for directions.  Also the last stretch was completely off-road stuff, a bumpy track that would have made a 4×4 dance around. I had to crawl at a snail’s pace.  We got there eventually and the Italian vet suggested we leave her there for blood tests and observation.  Later during the day I received a call, she was put on a drip as was not eating much and will be kept overnight.  By the following morning she had started eating again (and passing the food, nicely put) so she could be picked up.  Further off-roading.  At least I was rewarded with a pretty unusual sight for Dubai.

The only road I know of in Dubai with this dense green-age

Today had to go back for a follow up blood test after 3 days.  Levels were improving, she was on the mend.  Getting there I had a bit of an incident.  The vet was still closed as I had to go a bit early, and while I was waiting outside the car the cat managed to free herself from the carrier and decided to take a better view of her surroundings.

Houdini would have been proud

Actually the carrier is of the canvas zip-up type, not the plastic cage type, and the cat managed to work the zip from the inside by wriggling forcefully against it.  So we need to upgrade.

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So you are hygienic

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

You scrub yourself clean before leaving the house.You play twister standing up to avoid touching the dusty car’s surface while squeezing in.  You hold your breath in the elevator if it’s too crowded, outwardly nonchalant.  You hold your breath if somebody sneezes or coughs in your vicinity.  You sneeze or cough in a tissue.  You wash your hands after you shake strangers’.  You wash your hands before you eat. You wash your hands after you eat.  You use the closed stalls to relieve yourself, for the added facilities. You wash your hands and wipe them thoroughly.

Then as you grab the door handle to exit the restroom you realise that, in all probability, somebody before you didn’t.

This is one of the very serious shortfalls in restroom design, in my humble, biased opinion.  Taking a look at the high-traffic malls like Deira City Centre the probability of the above happening would shoot up.  I can only think of Dubai Festival Centre facilities where you can breeze out without touching anything, ready to face the dirty world again.

Granted, the WHO has not issued any reports about the threat to society imposed by public utility handles.  It’s just that everybody has his own parameters of personal comfort, and this is just one situation that lies outside mine.  Especially after witnessing all sorts of gross washroom misconduct.

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He’s Back

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

After the initial worry, everyone is relieved that he’s (been) back (for a while now).

twitstamp.com

twitstamp.com

More on the issue here.

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RTA vs Tyres

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

There are many things one encounters upon Dubai roads, among which are: vehicles (of course), fog (this time of the year anyway), workers on bicycles, and remains of blown out tyres.  I have seen black arcs of rubber on all the major roads, repeatedly.  The RTA has been stepping up its campaign for regular checking for worn out tyres, as these are a cause of accidents (exact stats not available, sorry).  The main culprit for these seem to be the larger commercial trucks and vans.

While the RTA’s intentions are admirable, I must say that its implementation is not.  At least today in our corner of Dubai, more specifically the exit from International City.

Police were accosting all vans and trucks to the side of the road, grounding them there if there tyres were in bad condition.  During morning rush hour.  At a point in the road which already is, by virtue of poor design, a bottleneck.

No Contact Please

November 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Today I did my first faux pas in over a year I’ve been in Dubai. Which, by my standards, is very admirable indeed. But it was inevitable.
We stopped at the supermarket for supplies and my wife met one the parents of a girl she takes care of at the nursery. They exchanged warm pleasantries and several kisses, and my wife introduced me to her. At which point I dutifully extended my hand.
So apparently it is not permitted to shake hands with an Emirati woman unless proffered first. Now I know.

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Come Back Stephen

November 1, 2009 1 comment

Image via Wikepedia

Yesterday saw the surprise decision by popular British personality Stephen Fry to quit Twitter.  It followed an online altercation with a fellow tweeter, who dubbed Stephen’s posts as boring.  While it may be considered over-reacting, Fry admitted that it happened during a negative time for him, and so he bid farewell to his followers.  Adding context to the situation it has now been widely reported that he occasionally suffers from a depressive mental condition.  He later posted another comment stating he might change his mind after his situation improves.

Stephen Fry is an iconic figure, popular with a wide demographic due to his wit and intelligence, but also for his fascination with gadgets and everything geeky.  He regularly reviews latest smartphone releases in detail.  I am a big fan of one of his current TV projects, QI (Quite Interesting) – although I am seriously pissed off at the BBC (or whoever is responsible for such decisions) for not releasing any further seasons to DVD following the third.

He actually maintained two personas on Twitter: @StephenFry his personal account from which he published snippets of his current endeavours, as well as @MrsStephenFry his alter-ego.  In “her” words: “Stephen’s poor, down-trodden wife and mother of his six kids.”  Together they used  to host a number of online gatherings at Fry’s, a virtual cafe where people are invited to meet and make friends.

While life will go on without Twitter I sincerely hope that he returns.  I used to enjoy the occasional tweet, and really appreciated the fact that a public figure is making an effort to keep in touch with his fans.  So, a big get well soon and come back Stepehen.

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