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“We’re Gonna Need Another Maid”

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

I was out taking some pictures recently and came across something that might could fit under social commentary…

I like to call this one “We’re Gonna Need Another Maid”.

Where labor is so cheap, many Arab families actually have 1 maid/nanny per kid.  I know a couple who pay their live-in about $150 a month.  They got her before they even had a kid or she was even pregnant, no less.  While that’s on the low end of the pay scale, $250-300 is going to be the top end.  A round-trip ticket home once a year will be included as well.

Cheap labor is everything here.  The city is built on it.  Because of it, anything you could go buy in a store or restaurant is available for delivery.  It costs almost nothing to have a couple of guys that do nothing but drive stuff back and forth on a moped.  The easy availability of delivery has a tendency to make certain sorts of people lazy.  I’m lazy, but we’ve only ever had food delivered a couple-three times in these almost 2 years in Dubai.  It’s important to get out and about every so often, even if it’s only to go downstairs and over 2-3 buildings to get lunch instead of someone bringing it to you so you never have to leave your desk.  That said, come summer time you certainly won’t want to go any further than 2-3 buildings away as you will stink at your co-workers the rest of the day.

Construction Site Fire in Dubai

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

One of the buildings under construction caught fire this morning. It’s two buildings away from where I work. Here’s the long range view, where we weren’t quite sure exactly which one it was yet.

A couple of shots from around the back. We couldn’t quite get me dropped off at the normal place as the roads were blocked off and some cars were actually flowing back out the wrong way.


City of Dust

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

We’ve been having a nice dusting lately.  You can call it a dust or sand storm, because it’s brought on by high winds coming out of the Empty Quarter over by Saudi Arabia, but it’s not been a high wind situation for the most part.  The dust is primarily just hanging around, not sandblasting you.  The temperatures had also shot up 6-7 degrees Celsius, too.  Here’s a few pictures shot out the window and over the balcony.

News, Good and Bad

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Good News – Today is our second anniversary! Go us!

Bad News – The company is reorganizing and my job is moving to Houston.

So what is the plan?

I had flowers delivered and we’ll have a nice dinner out somewhere tonight.

As for the other, well, I have to find a new job, don’t I? I’m going to look in expanding circles, seeing if I can slip into another slot in the company, so we don’t have to move, then something still here in Dubai, then something somewhere else, etc. I’ve been gone 4 years and 2 months at this point, and still think we have a couple or more good travelling years ahead of us. I’m not from Houston and I don’t want to go live there, so we have to come up with something else.

Thoughts On A Holiday Party

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Recently our group had it’s holiday party. An ordinary thing, you’d think, but it gave me food for thought. There was something multicultural about it that was very inclusive of everyone, yet at the same time we had an event that almost horrified me at it’s level of anti-Christmas spirit, which is somewhat ironic as I am not actually a big Christmas fan.

It started late Monday evening, when we got the Outlook appointment invitation…for Wednesday night. So much for future planning, huh? As to whether that’s “we had plans, so tough for you” or “hey, you ruined my plans with your last second invite to something I need to go to!” well, you can pick according to your own preference. We had no plans, so it wasn’t much of a problem. Of course, we did have to come up with a small gift, not more than 20 dirhams (about $5-6), for the “White Elephant” gift exchange. I think we ended up spending 40 dirhams, but it won’t bankrupt us. (more…)

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