Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting on with it....

Been a weird period of late... Ramadan is on, work has been busy and I am counting down to when I take my holidays... I guess at this stage of life, you can very much say that we're now "in a routine" in living in the Emirates.

I feel very comfortable driving around the place, the Islamic culture has grown on me, I am feeling like I truly live here and not on holidays. Its little things too, like when someone mentions a place and you know where it is or when someone refers to a Mohammed at work and you know which one they mean (that sounds terribly racist and I dont mean it that way, but its true).

Life is pretty much running normal.

The number of moments in which I say to myself "wow, how unusual is that" are reducing and when little surprises pop up, you just tend to roll with things and get on with it. For example, our power got cut off the other day and Niki rang me at work to tell me she was suddenly without air con. Turns out that my bill hadnt arrived for two months due to the vague lack of any postal service here and the power company just cut us off. No problem, I get in the car, drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (roughly 140kms) and pay the bill and the power was back on in two hours.

Yes, its bureaucratic and yes if it happened in Sydney I would be "outraged" but here its just "meh... bloody postal company". We get on with it...

Niki and the kids though are in holiday mode and the kids have moved into this half nocturnal pattern of bed by 11pm and they get up at 11am... In my view, let em do it as they cannot go anywhere unless they want to forgo food due to Ramadan (hard for kids) and its very hot outside, so let them sleep... it means I get home from work and they're full of beans which is nice.

And today, I will be heading home sometime between 3 and 4pm today... its about time I too start enjoying the Ramadan slow down. Two weeks to France!!

(3 minutes later)

OK, need to do a PS here... I just hit "send" and published the above post and my mobile rang. It was the bank and a lady introduced herself and said she was from the bank and for security reasons can she confirm my ID. She asks me the usual "mothers maiden name" and my date of birth etc etc... She then asks me to confirm my country of birth and I said Australia. She then asks "are you traveling there today?"

I reply "um, no... I am at work..."

"Mr Clayton are you traveling there this weekend?"

"Um... no... not going until Christmas" I reply.

"OK, thank you sir." and she then hangs up.

What was the point of the call? Why did she ring me?

That my dear readers is one of life's quirky UAE moments....


Anonymous said...

Let me get this right?

a person rang 'saying' they were from the bank and then you gave them all your details?

This is one of the worst things to ever do. You have now given your personal details over to 'someone' that cant be identified. For all you know they could be accessing your AU accounts while your not there this weekend.


Clay said...

You are right if you were in Australia, but the level of naivety and low crime here in the UAE makes scenarios like this common place.

You get calls from banks, insurance companies and the public utilities ALL the time... this is common.

Weird yes... very trusting yes... but also "normal UAE practice".

Philippe said...

Philippe had a similar phonecall the other day....and I did think It was strange....

and it says on our bank homepage that they never check anything by phone and not to give out info.....Must mention this to mr Vincent!

Cathy Miers said...

How weird - and now you are travelling there. Freaky.