Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today's Adventures - Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I started out this morning attending the Abu Dhabi Ladies' Coffee Club meeting down on the Corniche. This group meets every Wednesday at 10am and it's just what it sounds like, a group of ladies who get together for coffee. It's not exactly my thing, but frankly, I needed something to do today and I needed to interact with some live people. (Between his hours here and keeping up with the time zone difference with the states, Brian works mostly all the time.) And, it's always good for learning about Abu Dhabi. Today, I found out about a department store called Marks & Spencer (British), which was a good find.

After coffee, I set out to find my hairdresser as I had an appointment at 1:00pm. I knew the general area and armed with my bus route map and good walking shoes, I found it with only one phone call to the salon  for more precise directions ... not too bad! ;) Glamour salon is run by a couple of British hairstylists and it's a pretty nice place. Haircuts, like everything else, are either really cheap (and as such probably performed by a girl who learned to cut hair by watching a friend, who learned to cut hair by watching another friend ...) or really pricey (like Glamour). So I'll be paying more for my haircuts than back in the states, but in the words of the L'Oreal commercials, "I'm worth it". ;) The good news is that Mary Ann did a nice job with my hair and gave me something a little new, which is always fun.

While getting my haircut, I got a call back from Al Ghazal and have a third and potentially final job interview tomorrow!! (Guess that means I must have passed my personality test! ;) Tomorrow's interview will be with the HR Manager (who I think I would report to) and the Director of the whole Corporate HR group.

Next up was lunch so I stopped into a Lebanese bakery and purchased a cheese sandwich thingy (and no, that's not the Arabic term for it, but I can never remember the name). These sandwiches are awesome! Imagine a fresh from the oven flatbread with melted cheese on it folded in half like a sandwich (mmmmmm) AND only 5 dhiram (which is about $1.30). If you like Lebanese food, lunch is very cheap here. Fast food, however, is pretty expensive (a Big Mac meal costs 19 dhiram ... um, so I've heard anyway ;)

After some lunch, I went in search of the Marks & Spencer department store to see if I could find a decent business suit without having to spend a fortune. The business dress code here is much more formal than back at TDS and I'm still waiting for the clothes I shipped here from home, so my one suit is getting a workout with all these interviews. I was really hoping to find something new to wear tomorrow. And, the great news is that I did - a nice dark grey pants suit, in my size, and only around $143. Great! Only I didn't have enough cash on me so had to find an ATM. No problem, they are everywhere. Except the ATM wouldn't complete my transaction ... something about my card being expired?? ... And sure enough, the expiration date on our ATM cards is 02/11!!!!!! So, my suit is now on hold until Friday and hopefully, I can get Brian to stop working long enough to make a trip to the bank and get me some more cash. And ooohhh is he gonna rub it in that he's my sugar daddy, which I will put up with only if he buys me the suit. The trip wasn't a total bust, though, as I did have enough money to buy a nice new pair of shoes that will go nicely with my existing suit (and the new one assuming I eventually have money to buy it). Hmmm, maybe with the new shoes they won't notice I'm wearing the same suit for the 3rd time? :)

After all that excitement, it was time to head home. I had taken a different bus route here so had to figure out how to cross to the other side of the street (harder than you would imagine), then catch 34 partway home, then get off and catch 56 the rest of the way. About a block down, I was able to cross the street (the blocks are long and this is truly not a pedestrian city - not only are the crosswalks only located at major intersections, but between them is a fence running down the center of the middle island, so even if you were brave enough (aka crazy) to try and cross without a light, you'd be stuck in the median (unless you know how to leap tall fences). Very safe, but annoying when your feet hurt after a day of fruitless shopping. The bus ride home was relatively uneventful, and I realized that I've started to adapt because I got a little annoyed upon seeing a group of men sitting in the ladies only section of the bus when I got on. Not to worry though, they moved back when they saw me and all was again well in my little Arabic world. 

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