Archive for February, 2012

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The Oldest Mosque in the UAE

February 25, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

small mosque at the base of a hill with a tower at the top of the hill

Bidya Mosque is the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. We took a drive north up the coast to visit the mosque (and try out my new camera).

view into the mosque through the door

It’s a like the Tardis. It seems larger on the inside than on the outside.

view from the hill above the mosque, palm trees and hills in distance

There are two towers on the hill above the mosque and a very beautiful view in all four directions.

More information about the mosque – click here.
More pictures – click here.

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The Search for a Burger in a Foreign Land

February 24, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

It took three years, but I’ve developed a yearning for a good American burger. It’s not impossible to find here, but they are few and far between. Yes, there are Burger Kings, MacDonald’s, and even Hardy’s here, but I am talking about a REAL burger.

The top candidates, so far, are, Biggles (Dubai):

burger, fries, coleslaw

Small in circumference, but it was a handmade patty, not a thin, flat pre-made one. And, it comes with a cute beany.

Ace’s (Fujairah):

hamburger with a giant bun, fries and a salad

The problem with this one is the giant bun, which proudly touted in the menu. I start by moving the patty to the side of the bun and then cutting off the excess bread, downsizing the bun to a more appropriate circumference.

menu describing the Ace's pub burger and its giant bun

Also a contender is Gourmet Burger Kitchen (Dubai), but I do not have a picture. They have good sized burgers with savory patties and put lots of interesting toppings on them.

To be avoided are the Shake Shack burgers (Dubai). They are tasty, but small and WAY over priced.

We recently had burgers at the Harbor Club (Fujairah) which were classic in toppings and the meat was savory. There was a large portion of good fries as well.

Our most recent discovery is Burgerfuel (Dubai).

burger with lots of toppings and large fries

They claim to have engineered “the ultimate burger” and they are close. This is the “BF monster” which includes cheddar cheese, slices of beet (or beetroot as they call it here), mango, avocado, beef bacon, tomato, lettuce, & pickles. You had me with beet, mango and avocado. One of my favorite veggies and two of my favorite fruits. Put some asparagus on there and I might be devoted for life. The one weak point of this burger was that the beef patty was not as savory as it should be. It needs either salt & pepper or to be flame broiled, maybe both. (This large burger costs about the same as the Shake Shack tiny burger = better deal)

None, however, have conquered the Carolina Alehouse Burger. Oh, how we pine for thee.

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This is How Customer Service is Done

February 22, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

We are often asked “How is living in Fujairah?” Well, here is a very clear example:

can of soda

Thums Up is DaddyBird’s favorite soda. I have to admit I drink way too much of the stuff, myself. It was hard enough to find in Dubai, but there is only one store in Fujairah that carries it, Choitrams. After discovering this, DaddyBird has gone in occasionally and purchased it a case at a time. Choitrams is a predominantly Indian store, so we stick out like sore thumbs as it is, but DaddyBird also purchases Indian food stuffs and an occasional Bollywood movie magazine, so he is somewhat memorable to the staff.

Yesterday, he went into the store looking for Thums Up. There was none in the front of the shop, as there sometimes is, so he headed to the back beverage section. Only a few individual cans there. He was about to give up when he was approached by a staff member who asked if he wanted a carton of Thums Up. They had set aside a case just for DaddyBird without being asked.

That is what it is like to live in Fujairah.

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Emirates Natural History Group Field Trip

February 17, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

group of people in front of a fort

We spent the morning enjoying the first field trip of the new Emirates Natural History Group (Fujairah branch) at Bithnah Fort.

children squatting and playing in the dirt

The kids found other entertainment.

man at top of fort towerAt the tower top.

inside of the fort from the tower

The view from the top of the tower.

close up of a cow

We also visited the neighboring stable and farm.

man posing with a camel

This lovely camel was very cooperative and placid in posing for pictures.

To see all the pictures – click here.

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Sharjah Light Festival

February 15, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

DaddyBird and I spent a very pleasant Valentine’s evening seeing some of the Sharjah Light Festival sights. It was an evening well spent – that’s an understatement. We started at Al Qasbah. laser show on the side of a building

There are two displays. One is an amusing laser show. The other is a beautiful celebration of the UAE and it’s 40 year anniversary.

desert scene with camels projected on the side of a building

Camels travelled the length of the building.

palm trees projected on the side of a building

Date palms appeared.

illusion projected on the side of the building

I particularly liked the Trompe L’Oeil effect when parts of the building moved in and out as if it were a chest of drawers.

desert scene projected on the side of the fort

Next, we went to the Hisn Fort where we saw things from a falcon’s point of view.

colorful buildings projected on the side of the fortAnother amazing show including desert scenes and colorful buildings.

garden scene projected on the side of the fort

Refreshing garden scenes.

souk building decorated with fire

When we drove by the Central Souk, I said “It’s on fire!” thinking that it was another projected light illusion. NO! It was decorated in flaming pots. Fire, fire everywhere. The adjoining park was filled with flaming sculptures, water fountains, and avant garde music.

flaming water fountain

Here was a fountain that DaddyBird chose not to put his fingers in. Wise, considering that the water was steaming by the time it reached the bottom. The displays in the park were amazing. Some were tall chimneys that were glowing red because the fire inside was so hot.

We continued on to the Maghfira Mosque. Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead by then. It was beautiful.

Don’t take my word for it. If you are in the UAE, get up and go to Sharjah to see this. It ends Friday, so you must hurry.

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Evening Stroll in Fujairah

February 12, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

Here are a few sites from our evening stroll through one of Fujairah’s busy night scenes.

Decorative Fishes and Flower World store

Decorative Fishes and Flower World

Silky Mart store

Silky Mart and Electronics Sales, Repairing & Cassette Recording shops

Smart Garments shop

Smart Garments

New Vegetable Store sign

New Vegetable Store and Al Falah Hair Cutting Saloon

Sufi Bicycle Selling Shop sign

The Sufi Bicycle Selling Shop has a lovely row of touring style bikes all equipped with bells.

Regal Vegetarian Restaurant and Sweets sign

Regal Vegetarian Restaurant & Sweets

Mars Trading sign

Mars Trading

Nicy Roastery

Nicy Roastery

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Moon Over Fujairah

February 11, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

On the way to work Thursday morning I had to pull over and take a picture. Unfortunately, it does not do justice to the beauty of the site of the Moon just over the hills.

the Moon just above the hills of Fujairah about to disappear

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My Cat is a TV Addict

February 8, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

white cat looking up at a red panda on the tv

Oliver has developed a new obsession – television. Animal Planet channel is good for hours of cat entertainment. He found the red pandas especially interesting.

white cat sitting next to TV watching a panda

Sometimes the chair or floor is too far away and he needs to get up close and personal.

cat sitting on top of the TV looking down at it

There are lots of exotic birds on this channel and he can’t get enough of them.

cat on top of TV looking down at a cat and kittens

This barn cat having kittens was a big hit.

cat sitting on a stool in front of the TV

He now has his own stool right up close.

Oliver never ceases to be be entertaining. He has turned out to be a delightful pet. I wasn’t sure it was going to be possible two years ago when he was driving me to the brink of homicide. If you don’t know or have forgotten what he was like, here’s a little reminder – click here. He has mellowed with old age, but keeps mixing it up with new habits and new games.

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Get Your Beasts Here

February 6, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

pet store sign

This sign caught my eye. That orange tabby looks like quite the beast.

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Rant about Contractions

February 3, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

beach, green bush, and the Arabian gulf

This picture was taken in Ras Al Khaimah. It isn’t related to what follows, but I liked it and just thought I’d post it for your viewing pleasure.

I work with students who are learning the English language as a second language. 100% of the students, not just a small percentage. I have no training in teaching English as a first or second language. As a librarian, teaching the language is not my task, but in attempting to get the students to read English materials, I cannot escape some of the challenges of learning the language.

I’ve always known that English is a difficult language full of exceptions to the rules. I before E, except after C, and a lot of other exceptions like weird, forfeit, vein, etc.

This week it was contractions – can not into can’t, are not into aren’t, etc. Being someone who probably thinks too much, I began to ponder why do we do this in this manner and who decided that the laziness of speech should be noted in written form. Why not just write “cant” and “wont” and “arent” and “wouldnt”, etc. I suppose because some of these would be confused with other words, like cant and wont, although context ought to indicate which meaning is appropriate. And, why not spell woodnt and shoodnt? Why bother with “ould” which is not very phonetic.

It is no wonder that Globish is becoming so prevalent. Arabic, for example, lacks definite and indefinite articles. It seems perfectly natural to say “Miss, I want pen” instead of “Miss, I need a pen.” Actually, it is often just “Miss, pen” or “pen.” There is also “Miss, I want paper.” Which really means “I need a piece of paper” not “I need a ream of paper.”

[Correction - there is a definite article in Arabic - Al. I should know better than to write about things I don't really know about.]

 

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