Archive for the ‘UAE ID’ Category

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The Long Bathroom

July 1, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

We are now the proud renters of the world’s longest bathroom. Okay, probably not, but it is certainly a contender.

long, narrow bathroom, toilet & sink

We had many trials and tribulations in getting our moving arrangements ironed out, but in the nick of time, things fell into place. We still don’t have our new electricity account set up, so further trials may be in store.

If Americans change jobs, first of all, they do not also have to change where they live. They do not have to cancel their phone/internet line a month ahead of time. They do not have to go back to the phone company five times to get a clearance certificate to satisfy their employer. They do not have to give their government id cards to their employer. They do not have to turn in their health insurance cards. They do not have to give their employer money to cover their final electricity bill. They don’t have to cancel or transfer their residence visa. They also don’t have to wait weeks or months for their final paycheck. In fact, if one were to do some of this in America, it could be done with a phone call. Suddenly, I miss America.

American rent is also paid one month at a time. The worst case senario is that you will need first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit. The rent in the UAE is usually paid in one annual lump sum. At best, one can pay in four payments.

So, Americans count your blessings.

On Tuesday, the nick of time, we were able to finalize the apartment and on Wednesday at 8 am the movers came. We had packed up much of our belongings ourselves, but the movers finished packing everything else (including stuff I would have thrown away) and dismantled the furniture and wrapped it in plastic or pads. Once they arrived at our new apartment, they reassembled the furniture. I think is was about 7 pm by the time they finished.

I had left Dubai in the morning with the cats in the car. Oliver vocalized his distress all the way to the car, but settled down during the drive. He again howled horribly during the elevator ride to the new apartment, but once there, went nearly catatonic and didn’t loosen up until after the movers had left. Bert was distressed and wandered around the empty apartment meowing piteously when he wasn’t hiding in the litter box. As I had hoped, once the familiar furniture and belongings arrived and they inspected everything and every room, they have adapted. Oliver is back to his overly vocal self.

white cat laying on floor

As Oliver demonstrates, moving is very tiring.

Now, for those who want the details, we have a 3 bedroom, 3 1/5 bath apartment with a kitchen, living room, two small storage rooms, and a maid’s (cat’s) room. It is a nice layout. More pictures will follow. Perhaps after we get things unpacked and arranged.

kitchen

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National ID card – minimal adventure

March 25, 2009
Back on November 6 I vented about our experience with the national identity card process. The whole thing is a bit of a fiasco, but they have made some changes over the intervening months which have made it easier. Wednesday morning we showed up to one of the registration centers when it opened at 7 am with our proper papers and passports. We got one of the tickets they give out to people without appointments. We waited for our number to be called. We answered the questions, paid our fees, got our pictures taken, got our finger/palm/hand prints taken, and were done by 10 am. The cards will be “in the mail.” Actually, they will be delivered by courier in 10 working days or 6 weeks, who knows.

There was no adventure or excitement, other than my inability to figure out the numbering system for the tickets (turns out there were three groups – 0##, 7##, 9## – and the counter number). My ticket only had 017 and the “now serving” sign had 5 numbers on it and they seemed to be changing randomly. If I had read the writing on the sign, I would have been less confused. Duh! Luckily, it made perfect sense to Paul.

The whole ID card experience was remarkable in it’s lack of difficulty, anxiety, or Globish miscommunications.

After we finished, I was starving, so we ate at a little cafe nearby. We ordered the “English breakfast,” but there was nothing English about it. The menu said “two eggs any style,” but when I tried to order them “over medium” the waiter said “scrambled?” “omelet?” So, I gave up on the idea of two eggs over medium and gave in to the “scrambled” option. It turned out to be what Paul calls a “saddle blanket,” an omelet with no filling and not folded over. We also received a bunch of white bread toast that was apparently made with a George Forman grill. We also got some butter pats and two slices of cheese product wrapped in plastic, apparently for our egg saddle blanket. Not even the English cook this bad. I guess we have to have a bad meal once in a while. It wasn’t inedible, just not what the menu had led us to expect.

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Just to prove my point

November 7, 2008

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Government/10257659.html

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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.