Monday, February 22, 2010

News From Abu Dhabi

Hi Guys. How was your weekend? Mine was great, thanks for asking!

I Spent the weekend in Abu Dhabi, working for the organizers of the Aussie V8 Supercar race Meeting. It was extraordinarily fun. The V8 supercars are an Australian Championship that travels outside Australia for two rounds in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. They race either Ford or Holden (Chevy) 5 litre V8's and they run on Ethanol, not Unleaded or Racefuel.

Best of all all the teams are Australian. You heard me right, 32 teams made up of beefy, handsome, Australian Mechanics. It's like being invited to manage the convention of sexy underwear models, if you are a man, except underwear models can't fix your car.

You might be pleased to know that I resisted the temptation to slick them all up in motor oil, throw them in an empty swimming pool, and then dive in and start rolling around. Stone certainly was.

Going to AUH is always interesting, for a lot of reasons. In convenient Bullet point form, some highlights and lowlights from last weekend.
  • The Abu Dhabi "Travelers Welcome" Campaign is too fantastic for words. The Imagery is really moving.
  • The new airport can't be ready soon enough. The place was heaving with people.
  • AUH is spending money faster than they can print it, and the resulting bonanza of jobs, combined with the perception that a White person is better for a job than a Brown person, has lead to a real Glut of absolutely useless chancers finding themselves in positions for which they would never in a million years be qualified for in their home countries.
  • The resulting Ego boost to them has made many into completely insufferable twats.
  • I was astonished at the level of racisim and condescension displayed by some of my co workers. It's not OK to abuse the coffee boy just to make yourself feel more important.
  • The Emirati's I dealt with were generally really great. THe track has a Volunteer scheme where Emiratis can volunteer as tour guides, VIP escorts, etc... All the Local I saw in those roles were really working hard, and the ladies looked stunning in their mis america style sashes that said "volunteer" Draped over the Abaya.

  • Speaking of Style, some of the Emirati girls who are employed by the circuit have had personalised abayas made with the circuit logo on them in glittery crystals and perfect embroidery. They looked so fantastic that I, and a few of the other girls have ordered some for ourselves.
  • Things were extremely social. Despite 14 hour working days, everyone partied until the wee hours most Nights. Many, Many pints of beer were consumed catching up on what everyone has been doing, and the latest scandals and gossip.
  • I've been working with and for most of these guys for the last six years, and there is a certain comfort and intimacy that comes with that. I hardly have a real friend in Muscat, but I have 10-15 people who are true blue friends in the UAE, through work. I feel privileged to be a part of such a cohesive, fun loving and unpretentious core team.
That's all I can think of for now. I'[m attempting to plan my weekly meals, (with the help of the internet) and shop just once a week. I'll be updating on how that works out next week. Maybe.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday.


The Restless Quill said...

Sounds like some serious fun! And reading that you hardly have a real friend here in Muscat is disturbing. Oh well, I suppose as long as you have some, it doesn't matter where there are!
Are you left handed? :)

Amber said...

oooh...I'm so excited for you! For being able to do this and for the seemingly positive strides that have been made with the racing world. Excellent. Now...if only I could get into a race car and drive as fast as I wanted. You would think with all of the fast cars here in Doha that I would be able to...but there are radars and such. A dream. An unattainable dream.