Posts Tagged ‘Dubai’

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EAFOL: Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature 2014

March 16, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

We attended the Friday and Saturday EAFOL events again this year.

Julia Johnson presenting her new book The Turtle Secret

I started with the presentation by Julia Johnson on her new book The Turtle Secret. It is a chapter book intended for ages 8-12. The characters are Emirati and the story revolves around sea turtles, poaching, and the need to protect these endangered animals. I picked up two copies, one for me and one for my library. It is excellent. I would love to have a class set (20+ copies) so that our students could read it together. We need many more titles like this written with local interest and in the English language. These are crucial in helping students learn English.

Jim Al-Khalili presenting about his book Pathfinders

Next was Dr. Jim Al-Khalili. This was the best presentation I attended. Very interesting. They should have given him two hours instead of just one. I purchased his book Pathfinders: the Golden Age of Arabic Science. I hope it is as interesting as his oral presentation. I hope that they invite him back next year and give him more time.

panel discussion

Charlie Higson and Philip Reeve had to carry on without Eoin Colfer who was unfortunately ill and absent. These authors are very humorous and enjoyable to listen to. After this session I’ve put Reeve’s King Arthur book on my list to buy.

Sally Gardner presenting her fairy detective series

I had not heard of Sally Gardner before and found her very interesting. She has dyslexia and has had to find ways to cope with the challenge that presents when writing stories. She is a staunch advocate for changes in education to help students who don’t fit the “normal” pigeon hole. I look forward to reading her books.

Philip Reeve and Sarah Mc Intyre on stage

Next was Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre promoting their collaboration Oliver and the Seawigs. One of the best parts of going to all the children’s literature presentations is that they are usually interactive and the audience (filled with kids and parents) are responsive and enthusiastic.

Sarah McIntyre and her sea monkey drawing

The villain’s minions are sea monkeys, so Sarah walked us all through the process of drawing our own sea monkey. Here is mine:

pencil drawing of a sea monkey

Time for a singalong:

 

Charlie Higson

Charlie Higson, again, very interesting to listen to and gives the kids in the audience good advice about writing.

Eoin Colfer on stage

Eoin Colfer recovered enough for the second day. He spent the whole time telling funny stories, mostly on his own children. He was originally intended to promote his new book series W.A.R.P., but he took a look at the age of the audience and decided the book wasn’t age appropriate. He had them laughing with several bodily function stories (involving the phrases “pee pee,” “poo poo” and “pee poo!”) He’s an excellent storyteller. I picked up a copy of The Legend of Spud Murphy which is a story about a mean librarian. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m tempted to read it to my students.

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Walk Through Meena Bazaar

January 24, 2014

Posted by Kanga

Blue Water Sweets shop next to Sweety Sweets shop

After a lovely dinner at Special Ostadi, we took a walk through the neighborhood and Meena Bazaar. This afforded an opportunity to take some sign photos.

Blue Water Sweets shop sign

Blue Water Sweets is right next door to Sweety Sweets.

Sweety Sweets shop sign

I’m glad they spelled sweety correctly. It could have just as easily been “sweaty.”

Choice Corner General Trading shop sign

Choice Corner General Trading – it’s good to have a choice corner.

Spider Star Electronics

Spider Star Electronics – sometimes I think they just pull words out of a hat.

Al Meher Recording shop sign

As we approached Al Meher Recording, we were surprised to hear:

Here are some of their hard to find titles:

album covers Burl Ives, The Ventures, Olivia Newton John, James Brown, Freddie Fender, Roger Whittaker, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Connie Francis, Donnie Osmond

I’ve probably posted this one before, but it is a gem.

Sew and Reap Outfitters shop sign

Tasty Village Restaurant.

Tasty Village restaurant sign

The new souk (market) building has a Loading Unloading Area.

bilingual sign for Loading Unloading Area

It was a pleasant walk. We enjoy the cool winter evenings when we can walk without sweating and being miserable. (It reached a low of 59F.) Of course, “cool” and “winter” are relative terms. We walked around with no coats.

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Christmas Balls

January 3, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

shopping mall decorated for Christmas

We didn’t check out every mall this season, but there seemed to be a theme of huge Christmas balls.

shopping mall decorated for Christmas

Below is my favorite tree. The carousel horses were moving around the tree.

Christmas tree decorated in gold and silver surrounded by carousel horses

Each year Christmas is more prevalent in public. It is gaining acceptance, because it is a shopping holiday.

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Special Ostadi

December 30, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

diners and dinner

The food at the family owned Special Ostadi (Al Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai) is always fantastic, but what makes this restaurant stand out is the personal touch. Before we even reached the restaurant, Majed, one of the three sons/waiters, greeted DaddyBird with open arms and a big hug. He had seen us coming down the sidewalk.

plates of dates, hummous, carrots, cucumbers, onions

We took a table for 8, but by the time all was said and done there were 14 in our party. By 8:30 (local dinner time) every seat in the place was occupied. The three sons serve as waiters and keep very vigilant eyes on the crowded restaurant making sure everyone’s needs are met, while still finding time to tease, crack jokes, and pose for pictures.

grilled chicken and beef with flat bread

Highly recommended, this restaurant is within walking distance of the Dubai Museum and the Al Fahidi Metro station. Don’t miss it.

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Giant Flag

December 23, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

red, green, white, and black flag approximately 18 feet tall

At the airport, there is a giant flag on display. What is it made of? -you might ask.

large crocheted rosettes

Why, large crocheted rosettes, of course.

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Random Dubai Sights

November 1, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please don’t reblog.

storefront of Magnetic Technologies

What is magnetic water? It looks like fun.

picture of baby swimming "I love magnetic water...try it."

Halloween decorations at the cinema

It’s amazing to see the amount of Halloween decoration this year.

a female mannequin dressed as a witch and a male mannequin dressed as a devil with a coffin

Ah, Halloween. The holiday when tacky is perfectly acceptable.

bilingual sign explaining how to put on a bra

The Marks and Spencer fitting room had this helpful sign.

close up of the sign

Make sure to put your arms in the traps and adjust accordingly.

huge cement support column in a food court

When you build a massive building – shopping mall with floors of apartments above it – you end up with huge view obscuring support columns in your food court.

food court restaurant sign

Extreme Shawarma – Is this where the Avengers eat?

blue ankle boots

Those are SOME blue suede shoes.

brown sweater with a cream colored squirrel on it

Squirrel!

Tweety bird underpants

There was a whole rack of cartoon themed underwear all sporting tags claiming to be official Warner Bro products.

tag on underpants

That’s the feature you want in children’s underwear – potential for bursting into flame.

women's clothing store called Cartoon Fashion

The name Cartoon Fashion doesn’t exactly inspire visions of large women’s clothing. I didn’t see any cartoons in there.

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Sohailia, How I Miss Thee

October 24, 2013

posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

There is one more American thing we miss — good dental care. Specifically, good preventative dental cleanings.

En Amérique un dentiste au travail [soignant un molosse] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]
En Amérique un dentiste au travail [soignant un molosse] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]
Source: gallica.bnf.fr

We were spoiled by Sohailia. She was such a good dental hygienist that I looked forward to my cleanings. With her range of picks she would carefully clean each and every tooth with such a light touch that it tickled. She would examine each tooth for problems and evaluate the state of the gums. When she finished, she would report to the dentist any and all problems that she observed.

American dentistry is amazing. It comes complete with guilt trip. You can count on being asked how often you brush and if you floss. If you admit that you don’t floss, you’ll get a little lecture about how important it is. The last time I was at an American dentist office, they took a swab of my mouth and showed me the bacteria from my mouth under a microscope to try to shame me into spending more effort on my oral hygiene.

They also go to extreme lengths to retain teeth. I had the root canal done in one tooth three times before a dentist finally admitted that the whole thing had to go. The truth is that I would have been a lot healthier if it had been extracted instead of remodeled.

In the UAE, dentists are everywhere, but hygienists are few and far between. Every “cleaning” I’ve had so far has been done by the dentist with an electric powered tool. This cleaning tool experience is unpleasant, at best. It sure doesn’t hold a candle to Sohailia’s light touch.

The first two dentist experiences I’ve had in the UAE were unpleasant. I specifically requested anesthesia for any drilling to be done and the dentist blatantly ignored this request. I did not go back for more. Our insurance makes it even more annoying, because everything has to be preauthorized, even diagnostic x-rays. So, the first visit is a bit of a waste, because nothing can be done unless you are willing to pay for it out of pocket.

I seem to have finally found a good dentist. The cleaning still involved an electric power tool, but I survived. Before working on fillings, she asked if I wanted anesthesia and then actually gave it to me. Hoorah! She rebuilt a broken tooth rather nicely.

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Watatsumi

October 22, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

We were invited to the grand opening of the Watatsumi restaurant in Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel. As you know, when someone says “sushi” I’m there.

serving station with a large fish on it

We began by meeting our future dinner.

closeup of a tuna fish on a cutting table

This may seem like a big fish, but as tuna go, this is a little one.

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Miyoko Shida performed the feather balancing act, which is amazing. She begins with a white feather. Then adds sticks creating a perfectly balanced structure.

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

She keeps the structure moving slowly around in a circle.

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

She can’t bend over, so she picks up each stick with her foot.

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

She balances it on her head.

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Then she tips up that last stick and uses it as a pedestal.

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Miyoko Shida Rigolo doing a balance performance

Then she takes off the feather and it all comes tumbling down.

sticks in a jumble on the floor

The aftermath. My camera battery wouldn’t allow for a full length video, but if you want to see her in action, click here.

mushroom appetizer

Then, we had some delicious food. Mushroom appetizer.

beef and potato appetizer

Beef and potato salad.

seared tuna and kelp salad

Seared tuna and kelp salad.

tuna and salmon sashimi

Tuna and salmon sashimi (a bit of our friend the big fish)

lemon custard, whip cream, hazelnut crunchy bits

Ending with a tasty dessert – lemon custard and hazelnut crumbs. Maybe it’s been too long since I’ve had a lemon meringue pie, but this was a big hit with me. Yummy!

Everything was tasty. We will be going back to Watatsumi for a proper meal and proper review.

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Priceless

October 2, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

billboard showing random iconic sites

Sheikh Zayed Road is now lined with a series of huge billboards. I found this one astonishing due to its mashup of iconic images. Dubai — Egyptian pyramids — Grecian/Roman columns — Petra Treasury. It’s apparently an advertisement for Priceless Arabia, whatever that is.

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Dhows

August 30, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

large wooden boat at a dock

Some very large dhows on Dubai Creek.

large wooden boat at dock

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