so i dont have a lot of time, im ready for bed and its 12:30, but i wanted to post some things before i forget.  so heres some random bits of information:

i can read and write all of the numbers in arabic now.  but not say.

we moved hotels today, and are now in the hilton jumierah.  we are RIGHT ON the beach, and have a view of the sea from our balcony.  today we went to the pool and sat at the bar for lunch IN THE POOL.  how sweet is that?!?  then we walked a few “metres” (im working on my british) down the path with the lounge tents to the private beach.  we got in the water, and it was NO LIE 95-100 degrees.  it burnt my ankles for a second.  we were in it for about 15 minutes, and i was beginning to get light-headed, and had to go back to the refrigerated pool.  in about a month, im told, the weather will be so perfect i will never want to leave.  the sand will turn white, the water perfect, and the humidity gone.  im waiting…

i now think in british.  all of the voices in my head are british.  all the time.

we just got out of osama bin laden’s nascar taxi.  i thought we were going to die.  we have had relatively good taxi experiences until tonight.  there was obnoxiously LOUD chanting arabic noises, and a crowd cheering and chanting.  i thought that they were planning to kill all of us, but then the taxi driver started turning this TINY roundabout at like 80 kph.  thats about 50 mph for all of you imperial people.  i thought the car might flip over.  i think the chanting people were sending him messages to kill us.

only about 1/3 of all the people here wear traditional islamic abayas, etc.  and most of them are men.  i was observing in the mall tonight.  and on a regular day when i go to work and then the hotel, etc, and dont get out to places like the mall, i probably only see maybe 3 people wearing them.  its not as crazy as you may think.  plus, everyone else wears normal clothes.  theres not a lot of extra modesty.  i see everything i would normally see in a normal day in atlanta.  or worse, seeing that its constantly 1,457,835,953 degrees outside.

ramadan sucks.  everything is closed during the day, and you cant even drink water in public during the day.  (problem when its 1,457,835,953 degrees outside.)  you have to go either to the supermarket or a hotel restaurant to get ANYTHING.  and if anyone sees you drinking or eating, even in your car, they can call the police on you.  you have to be in private.  even the restaurants in the mall close… except this one that pulls a giant black curtain around so that no one can see in.  but then at 6:37 (today) everyone eats.

we keep hearing this arabic chant song playing at night in public places.  when we got to the airport, we heard it, and didnt know what it was.  then the other night we were at the mall, and at the same exact time, we heard it, and thought that it must be the call to end the fast for the day.   but then tonight we heard it again at the mall (this time we were in radio shack), but it was much later than the breaking of the fast, so we dont know what it is for.  very weird.

theres a krispy kreme across the street from our hotel.  walking distance.

we went to see the mummy movie tonight.

this hotel isnt as nice as the other one.  but the beach view is better.  ill take it.

im going to come home for christmas and beat you ALL in a tan!

why is it so freaking hot?

tomorrow we’re going to look at more apartments.

last night we went to dinner with sayeli, our office manager, howard, the atlanta/london/dubai president, michelle, the other office manager, a new girl that is starting soon, jerry wu, the guy who started with us from the shanghai office, and howards wife.  dinner was nice.  its kinda freaky to see a menu quoting the price as “360”.  thats how much my entree was.  granted that is dirhams, but thats still 98 dollars.  then sayeli wanted to go for more drinks, instead of go home, so she took jonathan, jerry, and i out to the souk. 

for more pictures of the hotel, beach, etc, click here.  theres some more pictures added.

more tomorrow.  if i can make it out of the pool.



the sunset on the beach from our room


another view from the room of jbr


jbr and a roundabout near chili’s and krispy kreme.


ski dubai from the mall corridor