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Miscellaneous – cats, civil servants, Obama

November 6, 2008

First – cats. Daddybird met up with our little friend (pictured in previous entry) again. He offered him some cat food, but Nipper (as he has now been dubbed because loves to give “love bites”) was more interested in being petted and playing with Daddybird than with eating. Very odd for a cat living by his wits on the streets. I told Daddybird this cat seems to have Maslow’s hierarchy of needs all upside down. (Maslow says we have to have our basic needs of food and shelter met before we can deal with social interaction and self-actualization.)

Second – civil servants. The government has declared that everyone has to get a national identity card. Apparently, this has been in the works for some time and the plan was that citizens would get theirs first and expatriates would get them by the end of next year. However, in true UAE fashion, it was recently announced that professional expatriates would have to get them by Dec 31 of this year and government employees would have to get them by the end of October. This resulted in a big rush to comply. However, the online application form is inadequate to handle the load and it is near impossible to get the form filled out successfully. You also have to make an appointment to go to one of the offices handling this procedure in order to complete the process. IF you didn’t fill out the form online successfully, you can go to the office an hour before your appointment time and pay them to type it up for you. The online form is the only form that is acceptable, so don’t try showing up with a printed out form. Also, if you are even a little late for your appointment, too bad. You are turned away and will have to make another appointment for some other day. Here is the “Third World” part of this country. The civil servants are neither civil nor servants. The rules are the rules and there will be no deviating from them. No mercy. No accommodation. Just come back when you can do it according to the rules. So, I think it goes without saying that we were late, with the wrong application forms, and do not have our id cards.

Third – Obama. You may be happy or sad according to your political bent, but most everyone here is happy. Daddybird was stopped last night by an Emirati woman who was doing a survey about a new furniture market and when he said he was American, she congratulated him on Obama’s win.

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