Archive for the ‘Dubai’ Category

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Mulberry Street

June 18, 2017

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

picture of Dr Seuss book

Unless you had a deprived childhood, you probably remember And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss. We have been in Shanghai China for nearly 3 years now (coming up this August) and we feel as if we live on Mulberry Street. We may all have our own interpretation of what that book is about, but for me it is about imagination and about keeping your eyes open to the world around you. The amazing, wondrous world around you.

homeless man drawing the Mona Lisa in chalk on the sidewalk

Whether it is the homeless man drawing the Mona Lisa in chalk on the sidewalk.

old building with ramshackle pigeon coops on the roof and laundry hanging from the second story

Or laundry day and roof top pigeon coops

coin operated kiddy ride

Or horrifyingly ugly kiddie rides

a large red truck blocking a very wide crosswalk

Or bad driving (thank you truck for blocking the entire crosswalk and making pedestrians walk around you)

package of fruit candy labeled

Or truth in labelling

an elderly man in an electric wheelchair traveling down the street

Or determination to get where one is going

a woman with a vintage bicycle

Or a good old fashioned bicycle

wooden 3d puzzle of an uzi pistol

Or unusual toys (notice this wooden 3D puzzle of an uzi pistol is for 6 years and up – use responsibly)

three wheeled cycle loaded with recyclables

Or the ubiquitous recycling carts

a toilet placed outside a building for disposal

Or a random toilet

old Chinese building and random objects

Or the beauty of the old and random

two baskets of eggs and a weighing scale on the sidewalk

Or eggs being sold on the sidewalk

restaurant in an alleyway

Or the tiny (fantastic) restaurant in an alleyway

woman wearing a coat with

Or advice emblazoned on the back of a stranger

woman wearing a shirt that shows Donald Duck's butt and says

Some of which should not be followed

cars, bus, three wheeled cart, and chaos

More chaotic traffic

large truck filled with about two stories worth of plastic bottles

More recycling

a shop window with a sign for waxing showing a sasquatch

Amusing (or insulting) signs

Suitcases

The Friday suitcase brigade (They will be going straight from work to the train station. Also, it is easier to roll one’s suitcase in the street than on the sidewalk.)

traffic blocked by a large green truck

Again with the bad traffic

street washers filling up the tanks on their three wheeled bicycle street washing machines

Street washers filling up their tanks from a hydrant

tank with large goldfish and black and white skates

Food or pets?

a three wheeled cart full of recycled wood

More recycling

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And the colors of a summer rain shower.

I have more pictures, but I don’t want to task your patience. You get the idea. Every day is an adventure if you live on Mulberry Street.

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Ladakh – Leh – India

July 13, 2016

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

hotel patio with view of the Himalaya mountains

We spent five days in Leh, India which is in the Himalaya mountain range at an altitude of over 11,500 feet. Our first day was spent sleeping and trying to get over the altitude sickness. We woke up around 2 pm, walked to the nearest cafe to have lunch and then right back to the hotel to sleep some more. We were mostly okay by the second day, but were not ready for anything strenuous.

Leh is both beautiful, as you can see above, and rustic.

rough mud brick buildings

We took it easy, ate lots of good food…

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… saw plenty of cows, dogs, and donkeys …

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Why did we go to Leh? You might ask. We were invited by a dear friend to join her and her family to celebrate her birthday. It was a pretty spectacular place for a birthday party. Aside from the altitude sickness and the unseasonable warm weather, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

You can see all the pictures here.

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2010 in Retrospective

July 26, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

twin skyscraper buildings

We vacationed in Kuala Lumpur. We only spent 6 days there which was not long enough. It was our first time leaving the cats at home while we traveled, so we kept it short.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur was an interesting combination of old and new, tropical and urban.

Some construction projects in Dubai continued, some slowed, and some stopped until further notice. The Dubai Metro train continued as the completion dates were extended more than once. The red line opened in September and the green line stretched into 2011.

elevated metro train

We attended a few bull butting competitions in Fujairah.

two bulls butting heads

Dubai continued to supply amusing sites and wonders.

industrial area with foam sculptures including the statue of liberty

The Burj Khalifa opened in January, but we waited until the crowds died down a bit before going up to the observation deck for a look around.

observation deck

Ford Middle East had a promotional event involving test drives. I rode as a passenger with a professional driver doing figure 8s at high speed. Thankful for the helmet since my head kept banging against the door.

woman wearing driving helmet

Dubia traffic continued to provide sites and wonders. I’m certain this vehicle wasn’t designed for street travel and passengers.

landscaping tractor with three men riding on it

We drove out to Al Ain to explore some of the historical sites.

round Arab style fort with single round tower

Above is the Hili Fort in Al Ain. Below is the date grove next to it.

date tree grove

We drove up Jebel Hafeet to see the sunset.

a 4000 foot mountain on the horizon

When one goes to a mall in Dubai, one never knows what will happen. DaddyBird got to hold a falcon for the first time.

man holding a hooded falcon

We went to the Dubai camel racetrack to see a race.

camels kneeling behind the starting line waiting for their turn

Christmas eve was spent with friends at Bu Qtair with Christmas crackers and fun.

people opening Christmas crackers

New Year’s eve was also spent at Bu Qtair followed by the Burj Arab fireworks.

fireworks

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Blast From the Past

July 9, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Alcohol License

Here’s a little souvenir I came across today while sorting the clutter of my life. Each Emirate handles alcohol differently. Some conservative, some liberal. Dubai requires an alcohol license for purchasing alcohol in the well hidden liquor stores. All one needed was a “letter of no objection” from one’s employer and, of course, payment of a fee. No one asked to see it other than the liquor store clerks and we didn’t bother to renew it. One can buy alcohol in other emirates without a license, so why bother?

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2009 in Retrospective

July 3, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

beautiful beach with rocks, sand, and clear water

We revisited Al Hamriyah Free Zone beach which is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, or at least it was in 2009. We haven’t been back in a while so can’t be sure it hasn’t been “developed.”

foot covered with broken shells

The sand isn’t sand. It is pulverized shells.

yellow caution sign that says temporary road layout ahead

This “temporary” sign was solidly set in concrete on the east side of the Dubai Mall construction site. It did eventually disappear. The parking lots of the mall are so horrible, that they are once again under construction. The spiral ramp to the fashion parking (one of the few easy ways to get in) has been completely ripped out, apparently, to make way for an opera house.

bird nest made from two palm fronds woven together

I discovered that house wrens are crafty little nest builders who weave palm branches together.

bus bench in the middle of a construction area

This is one of my favorite photos and is iconic of Dubai 2009. There was construction everywhere. This site is now the landing of a much needed and heavily used flyover. Why they left that bus bench sitting out there, I have no idea.

caution sign with only an exclamation point on it

Another Dubai icon, the exclamation mark caution sign.

flat bread, chicken, tomato, cucumber, rice

 

We discovered the joys of walking into back street eateries. Great food, very cheap.

plastic cowboy toy packaging

Our collection of crazy battery operated toys began. We are now redistributing these to lucky friends.

wooden boats used as taxis

We went for our first abra ride on Dubai Creek.

recreation of a village store

We went to the Dubai Museum (which is more of a time capsule than a museum).

modular building in a sand lot which houses a fish restaurant

We discovered Bu Qtair. The restaurant has received a fair amount of publicity over the years. Even Anthony Bourdain has eaten there. The notoriety has increased business and they built onto the modular building, but people still eat great fried fish while sitting on plastic chairs at plastic tables in the dark. Long may Bu Qtair survive! We will miss our tradition of eating here on New Year’s Eve and then watching the fireworks at Burj Al Arab.

We discovered other important restaurants this year – Bait Al Baghdadi on Al Muteena Street and Special Ostadi on Al Mussalla Road.

man at the Globe Theatre

During the summer, we went on a long, exhausting trip that included a week in London, several weeks in the States and ended with a week in Wales. In the process, we attended seven plays including a Shakespearean play at the Globe and Waiting for Godot starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. While in Wales, we also saw the Banksy exhibit in Bristol. A pretty amazing summer.

a white kitten and a tabby kitten eating

We rescued two kittens from the streets of Dubai. Oliver was first and he turned out to be so high maintenance, that we added Bert in hopes that they could entertain each other. Thankfully, Oliver has mellowed with age and Bert has proved to be amazingly patient.

men wrestling in a sand lot

We discovered the kushti wrestling that takes place near the fish market on Fridays.

fireworks

For the first time, we had dinner with friends at Bu Qtair and watched the fireworks display on the beach.

man with a long beard

And DaddyBird’s beard got longer.

 

 

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2008 in Retrospective

July 2, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Before leaving the United Arab Emirates, I thought it might be appropriate to take a look back at our six years here, beginning with 2008.

This is what we looked like before getting on the plane to launch into our adventure. We felt as fuzzy as we look.

man and woman very unfocused picture

DaddyBird’s shirt says “the sun is trying to kill me.” This has been true for six years.

This is what the street outside our apartment looked like.

deep excavation in a city street for the metro train

We traveled to Germany in early December and reveled in the rain and cold weather.

brick paved street in Heidelberg

We took a day trip to Hatta.

stone hills behind a town of white houses

This is what Sheikh Zayed Road looked like.

highway between two rows of skyscrapers

Much has changed since then. Two lines of the metro are finished and heavily used. It is much easier to get around Dubai because of it. Sheikh Zayed Road is no longer just two rows of skyscrapers surrounded by sand.

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Busy Weekend

June 17, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Friday morning plans included an early (8:30 am) morning breakfast get together with friends at a new restaurant in Dubai. The plans did not include not being able to get out of our parking garage because a trench had been dug across the entrance/exit. Only one way in and out and we were not getting out. This resulted in a switch to taking a taxi.

plate of eggs, sausage patties, potatoes, and a biscuit

The food was good, but the customer service was very bad, so I’ll leave out the name of the restaurant. The company of friends was wonderful as always.

Having traveled by taxi and having doctor appointments at 4 pm, we had a whole day to kill. So we spent most of it at Dubai Mall.

dinosaur exhibit

We checked out the new dinosaur exhibit in the grand atrium. There was a contest to name it and the winner was “Dubai Dino.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it required a contest to come up with that. It has a ridiculously small head.

dinosaur exhibit

Then we traveled by the metro to Health Care City.

view out the train window

Dinner (or a really late lunch) at Circle Cafe followed.

plate of chicken, sweet potato fries

Then we had a bit of an adventure getting onto the Dubai-Fujairah bus. We missed one departure, but managed to catch the next one. It was a long day.

Saturday was a bit simpler since we could drive our own car. We met friends for dinner at our favorite restaurant, Aroos Damascus. We stuffed ourselves with marvelous food.

bowl of fresh vegetables

Aside from the fantastic fresh baked bread and delicious meats, my favorite thing is the complimentary bowl of fresh veggies.

The conversation turned to fish – salmon, tuna, etc., – so it didn’t seem out of place when our friend Rami said “What’s the best tuna?” After a brief pause, Daddybird and I simultaneously said “Chicken of the Sea.” This was met with laughter. Apparently, that was the answer Rami was looking for. He has asked it in many situations, but we were the first to answer correctly. He had been watching an “Apprentice” show where the task was to update the Chicken of the Sea ad campaign and he had never heard of it before. He found the idea of chicken of the sea funny. (http://youtu.be/NKnxQC79Cww)

Over the years we have collected (on purpose) ridiculous toys. Now that we have to move and are trying to reduce what we take with us as much as possible, we have solved this by giving the toys away at our farewell parties. It’s been fun, even for the recipients.

two boxed toys, lion and funny cock

Birds of a Feather

Interest Chicken and Lion