Friday, September 30, 2005

Thelma and Brain-freeze

There's a reason why Thelma and Louise's road trip didn't end well. Women should not be trusted to travel alone. Bridget and I are examples of this after an accident-prone trip to Bahrain.

Firstly, Bridget lost the keys to the case carrying our mega presentation, which resulted in a trip to a DIY store to get the lock ripped off. Then, we had to summon the car hire company as the car wasn't moving - they could barely contain their laughter as they told us we had to turn the engine on first (don't ask). We were forced to sip on restorative shandies until some semblance of dignity was restored.

Finally, I had to snap back into reality after an attempt to stalk a cute guy on my flight. He was the spitting image of Jude Law, but with less metrosexual hair, and preppie glasses. When I saw him in Dubai Duty Free, speaking into his mobile with what can only be described as an Oirish lilt, I was rendered speechless (and motionless) in the Chablis aisle.

Unrest in Umm Sequiem

There's been a mini revolution in the heart of the suburbs, led by Jonny, who is harassing his local Starbucks for the return of his favourite snack, the chicken pasta salad.

According to Johnny, lunchtimes haven't been quite the same since they took CPS off the menu. After several words with the manager, they have reinstated it on the menu, but apparently it's from a different supplier and "the dressing is a bit manky".

So Johnny has literally started up a petition. Apparently he's not the only person whose life lacks a little je ne sais quoi: staff at this outlet have told him that his protest is gaining momentum as other customers add their name to the list. It's only a matter of time before customers take to the streets branding plastic coffee stirrers to get their own way.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Fancy equipment

Driving along Diyafah Street today, I passed a building site. That in itself is hardly unusual - but this one had SCHWING cranes on site... Wayne & Garth would have been proud.

Trade Show Trauma

Trade shows and exhibitions - the very phrase makes grown men cry and grown women want to get pregnant and give up work. In any one year, every hack, PR poppet and corporate suit-wearer will be subjected to the pain (mental and physical) of any one of the following: Arabian Travel Market; Cityscape; or GITEX - and the lucky few get the treble.

I've yet to discover who benefits from trade shows, apart from the hotels, and the poor staff at Cafe Convention in the Dubai International Convention Centre (DICC), who are run ragged, but sell lots of double strength espressos every morning. Local companies are only there because they have to be; ditto for journalists and PRs, who detest the shows. There are no good stories, the media limit their visits to a 90 second flurry in and out of the press centre, and the clients start complaining about coverage when they should be focusing on meeting with investors or key clients.

So, for every grey-faced suit that you see over town this month, be glad you too haven't been subjected to Trade Show Trauma.

A nod, a wink and a grope

There must be something in the air. It seems all round Dubai, mojos are kicking back into action - but not necessarily in the right direction. Take Clover, for example. She was at a Spanish bar in town, having a spot of tapas & sangria and minding her own business, when the waitress brought over a napkin from "a gentleman at the bar". Clover gets starstruck, thinks she's in some rom-com movie, until she realises it's a greasy shiny suit-wearer, who hands over his name and number, but didn't even have the sense to send a bottle of champagne over with it. Doh. Needless to say, Clover didn't call him, nor did she respond to a second napkin declaring "you must be too shy to come and say hello".

Meanwhile, cut to me (same night) at the slightless less glam surroundings of the German pub at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, where a dress-wearer took advantage of Tall Boy's 90-second bathroom break to grope, suggest, and generally put me at unease. After a slurred mumble of "can i ssshhheeee you again" and a grope of the bottom, he snaffled one of my business cards left behind by a media mate, and started lungeing. Luckily, after a frantic "rescue me" text, Tall Boy emerged from the men's room to cut the man off in his prime.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Broken Windows

My laptop's on the blink, which means the IT texhnician has been looking at it for a couple of days. Today's installment was no different: in fact, the IT man said "I think that there is a more sinister problem with the Operating System on your laptop than just a fault in Outlook".

Sinister? What is that in computer terms? Alien invasion? Freddie Kruger's taken residence in the hard drive? Some would argue that the most sinister thing is actually the "evil and incompetent" Microsoft operating system ...

Net results

It has been my personal quest to get my full money's worth for my (usually super-slow) high-speed internet connection. A friend recommended for movie downloads, and I stared to download Mr & Mrs Smith. Five nights later - no exaggeration - the film was finally ready. I clicked to start it, and realised I had downloaded the French version. Brad saying "come to daddy" just doesn't seem the same.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Black eyed pee

The Black-Eyed Peas, a band made up of some unfeasibly named types including Will.I.Am and, will be playing in Dubai this week. Those who are standing near the stage should watch out - singer Fergie can get carried away.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Friends and Heirs

Friends Reunited (as yet unblocked by our favourite telephony provider, unlike Friendster) was created to allow us to keep in touch with all our old friends from school.

Well, that may be the rationale, but we all know differently. Friends Reunited exists for the sole purpose of allowing us to feel smug about those who were mean to us at school and have faded into insignificance (or got pregnant at 19 and are living off the state) or to fuel dinner-party conversation.

For some reason, my class of female over-achievers has mostly migrated into struggling pseudo-entertainment. One is an actress on the fringes of Hollywood, best known for I'm not sure what, apart from being voted "most layable fresher" at university. Another has shaken off her legal aspirations and is currently a part-time DJ on Brighton pier.

But all pale in comparison to the Anahita, now going by the moniker of Princess Ann-Clair. She has her own reality show on E! TV, entitled Love is In the Heir.

According to the write-up: Ann Claire is rebelling against the stereotypical life of a traditional princess. She has moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a country-music singer. The video of for Rubber Hits The Road is quite staggeringly bad.
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