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‘nuther Dubai Update

Friday, June 24th, 2005

It’s kind of funny — ok, well it’s ironic but it’s not funny I guess. Visiting the folks I now work with had in the past led me to believe that they were not too busy. Well, I ended up in the section of two people that constantly have a backlog. It’s all simple, non interesting stuff like account creations, deletions, moves, general fixes, bitching at those morons at the Help Desk, etc. Well, at least it’s not desktop. I get my hand in one some other stuff like I used to do, and find I am rusty but not rusted shut, at least. So I’ve been really busy. Added to that are the process of getting an apartment (2bedroom, at the Marina, great view, hopefully it will stay that way and all the other towers don’t get too much taller. 22nd flr.) Add to that getting a visa for Guli to go ahead and come over. I don’t want to wait until my residence visa is approved, and when I could sponsor her with no problems. We’ll switch to the “husband visa” later, but I want her here now. Or maybe even weeks ago!

There have been other problems:
– co-worker lets me use his car while he goes on vacation. Forgets fuel cap key.
– Boy does it take a long time to get a mattress set delivered. Luckily I can stay with a friend for a few days.
– various idiocy with the realtor lady. She’s really stupid. Culminates when I take them the lease and checks and she’s off wandering around somewhere else with the key.
– …which doesn’t work. I get all checked out of the hotel, and want to take and drop most of my stuff off at the new place. I tote about half of it up with me, only to find I am stuck in front of the solid, unmoving, unfeeling door. This makes Jobu very angry. It turns out the lock is messed up. We’ll get it replaced somehow. Much administrative roadblocks in place. The actual owner seems like a really nice guy and he’s been very helpful. I haven’t met him yet but he’s been both responsive and pro-active. I hate that word, but in application it’s a good thing.

I’ve been leaning on the guys to get certified to go diving. There had been one diver before, but he didn’t have much luck. At least two are in the first day of their class right now as we speak, or at least as I write. Most of you are asleep right now, though you might start getting up for your M-F 9-5s soon. This is our weekend. That’s right, we get Friday off. It’s like having a 3 day weekend, except you don’t get the following two days.

Gotta go. Going to head into work for a little bit of catch-up. It’s ok because I have been spending a good amount of time during the day doing apartment stuff. They have been flexible with me, and I will give a little in return, at least while I don’t have anyone else I can give my time to. Yall be good now, ya hear?

Oh, and yes there will be more of the Bangkok / Phuket / Similans / Ranong visa run / Cambodia trip stuff to come. I’ve just been on the go 12-14 hours a day for a while now. Following the usual pattern, even though that was an extended trip, I will finish it off just before I go on the next one, which gives me about two months for another 8-10 chapters or so. Wink

A Quick Update: I Am In Dubai Now & Here’s The Plan

Monday, May 30th, 2005

I got a job again. I am in Dubai now, where I wanted to be, and with the group of folks I wanted to be with. I’ve actually been pretty lucky targeting opportunities over the past several jobs, I must say. I’m back in server and system world, so hopefully my skills will un-rust. Guli is visiting the family back in Uzbekistan but we will get her here shortly. We will have an apartment and get to do all that fun shopping bit for all the stuff involved in making a home. Aside from curtains and furniture and crap, there will be manly stuff like TVs, computers, and probably some guns too. Actually, no guns.

Coincidences and Accidents of Timing

It is a good thing to be here. I get to BS with some folks I worked with before, deny their requests, and send them spiteful emails. Since folks come through here now to go out on R&R (even from Afghanistan) I have a chance to see folks even though we don’t work together anymore. As an example, while I and another ex-K2 person Annamaria were going to meet ex-K2 DJ, I happened to spot a guy I was in Mosul with. In typical fashion I snuck up from behind and ran into him. Then later we ran into another former K2 guy Stan in one of the bars. There’s people everywhere! I got another little fuzzy today via email, too. I sent out notification of new accounts to some folks, and the K2 IT guy emailed me to check on something. I knocked it out, and he came back with thanks and “everybody still misses you here in K2. Dude you’re like a legend here.” That’s a direct quote, even. That made me feel good. I must be at least slightly cool or something, but on the other hand everyone has probably just forgotten what a pain in the ass I am.


I suppose you can’t really say I revealed anything resembling a plan there. I guess in a nutshell, we want to go through several vacation locations before doing anything else. Anything else includes kids, since they tend to complicate vacation plans, and also any sort of permanent return to the US. I’m sure it’s in the cards eventually, but I am not yet ready to go back to the 2 weeks of vacation a year plan. Still too many places to go. At some time off every 3 months or so, that will be easier to accomplish.

Another nice thing is to actually have a day off per week, so the concept of a weekend comes back into meaning. Big change from 25 months of no weekend, and 4 months of never-ending weekend.

Leaving Dubai

Sunday, January 16th, 2005

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
They’ve got net access, right in the air-port…

Well, in a nutshell, Ikromjon didn’t do anything terribly helpful. Then they ran out of seats on Sunday afternoon’s leisurely flight. None til Weds…though maybe next Sunday. Eek! Then an array of other crappy choices until a last-second Turkish Airlines flight through Istanbul comes my way. It’s noticeably more expensive. It’s business class only. At least then my 3AM flight to Istanbul, and my 7PM flight to Tashkent should theoretically be more comfy. Can’t do much about the 12 hour layover, nor arriving in Tashkent at a warm winter’s welcoming 2AM. Ok, it will neither be warm nor welcoming, though the rest is true. Guli will be welcoming, and it will be great to see her. I will be bleary eyed, beat up, and probably stink. I am sure she will quite sensibly run away. Therefore it is imperative I sneak up on her.

I had meant to post the notes through Dubai, however due to a LOT of frenzied and near panicked running around today that will not yet take place.

Outward Bound: The Palace to Dubai

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Mosul Palace

I haven’t even left yet, and I’m already a bit irritated. As regards stuff, I’m shipping it, taking it, or trashing it. I have good amounts of the first and last, and too much of the middle. One backpack contains electronic equipment such as my laptop, camera, external hard drive, Ipaq with all their attendant power supplies and cables, in addition to some paperwork type stuff such as my document folder, some small dictionaries, and a networking book. See, I had this idea about not being a totally hedonistic bum, and accomplishing something on such an extended time off. Not a major something, but more of a token something. Anyway, I bet that ends up a dead weight.

My other backpack is the clothes pack. It could be lighter, and also less stuffed. However, it’s my own fault, because I have made wildly differing plans in the climatological sense. Central Asian desert in winter vs. the tropical seas in and about Thailand, where they only understand winter in a theoretical sense, and from wild, unbelievable tales brought back by those with Nordic benefactors. Variety is the spice of life, but the bane of the traveler who totes his own gear. I have a jacket with liner. It’s not cold enough to require the liner here, but I’m gonna wear it because I have nowhere to pack it. It will be good in Uzbekistan, since I went with only short sleeve shirts to help the shirts do double duty. Maybe it will be warm enough in Uz that I can leave it entirely, since the thought of toting a jacket around Thailand is pretty abysmal. (more…)

I’m In Dubai

Monday, January 10th, 2005

…and obviously therefore still alive.

I’m probably going to break down the posts into shorter blocks, as otherwise you will not see any for months! My usual pattern was to take leave, and wait for a few months after I got back to post anything. That would appear to be impractical now. Smile

So, here I am quite coincidentally in Commie Central of Dubai. Spot The Commie is almost no fun at this point. I had an amusing time at the Uzbek Consulate today working on a visa. You’ll see it later, and rest assured it has earned a Title With All Caps. Err..starting with all caps. Sorry for the confusion to the pedantic among you. And me.

Prolly here for a week, though hopefully less. Ikromonjon is on the case!

PS – Sounds like they have a lot of incoming here, except they don’t. My perceptions have been altered. I’ll be okay in a few days prolly. I haven’t embarassed myself anymore than you would already expect me to have though.

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