Friday, 22 August 2008

Sunshine, in London....SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

As the month draws to a close I think it's time to reflect on what an awesome roster I've had. This is most unusual for someone at the bottom of the bidding hierarchy but I figure after a not-so-wonderful reserve month I deserved this month's fabulousness: Dusseldorf, London, Paris, Dusseldorf and 2-day Malta!!

Next month isn't to be sneezed at either!

Following the split open toe disaster that was Dusseldorf I ended up in London and shopped up a storm in Sainsbury's. Yes, the food in Dubai grocery stores still sucks big time, so whenever we go to somewhere civilised we all stock up. This time was no exception! I bypassed the shopping centre behind the hotel (shock!) and opted for a leisurely stroll through the neighbouring park and into grocery heaven! Normally I shop in Marks & Spencer but this time I thought I'd give Sainsbury's a go. I came out loaded up with freshly baked bread, milk, ham and the mother load of yoghurt! I've become insanely addicted to Biopot yoghurt here in Dubai and at almost 25 dizzas a pop (£3.70) it's an expensive habit. At good old Sainsbury's they were selling 2 for £1.50!!! So, like the lunatic I sometimes am, I bought 6. Yes, SIX. Who knows when the hell I'll get around to eating them, but thankfully they have a longer-than-Dubai expiry date so I've still got a few weeks.

As I walked back though the park I realised the rather hideous looking garden was perhaps hideous for a reason. It was scented garden for the blind - meaning that all the plants that were planted had been picked for the scent of their flowers or leaves. I love flowers but really couldn't identify many. There was lots of lavender and a few large bunches of gorgeous pink lillie nestled in amongst some yucky, prickly brambly looking plants.

The biggest shocker of all? BLUE SKIES in London. I swear. A few clouds thrown in for good measure, but I could still see blue bits.

Of course this encouraged all the locals to get out in shorts and t-shirts and even a few skanky school girls to prance around in hotpants and heels doing a car wash. I'm surprised they didn't cause a traffic accident. Not so family friendly but not so atypical for London really, innit?

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Gumby gumby gumby

You'll never guess what i did yesterday. I've been on a few days sick leave with another fun sinus infection (number 8 now!) and was finally cleared to fly. I was very excited to be going back to work (truly!) because our briefing centre has moved into our company's new headquarters building. Personally, I'm just pumped to work for a company whose headquarters are actually called headquarters! Let me tell you, it's the size of a small international airport and it's quite possible to get lost in. I didn't stray too far from where I was supposed to for fear of getting sucked into some kind of corporate vortex and being transported to an alternate universe. Very possible.

Once we landed in Dusseldorf, I sorted out some emails and decided to go for a little walk to the local shops to buy some fresh fruit and yoghurt. I got totally lost, as I usually do when following unreliable directions, but I had a great time. I walked around and around the airport carpark until I saw a rather large looking stretch of green through a wall. I figured it must be some kind of a park and I wasn't disappointed! Nestled in amongst buildings just beside the airport was a lovely long stretch of green park with walking tracks. I wandered around and finally stumbled onto the street I was looking for all along with the fruit shop.

I got my fruit and a haul of wine and was wandering back to the hotel and thought I'd wander back through my newfound park. All was going well until I drifted off into dreamland and I kicked my toe on the path. I have a tendency to be a complete gumby most of the time and I'm forever kicking my toes and this time I did a pretty good job. I was wearing flip flops and while daydreaming about being in fresh air, armed with fresh fruit and thinking I was one lucky girl to have this cool job and a super cool American pen pal, I managed to lift a decent sized flap of skin back and there was blood everywhere! I thought it was just a drop until I took my shoe off and discovered that half the underside of my foot was covered in blood!

Now, I had both hands full: one bag was full of fruit and the other flimsy plastic shopping bag had 4 bottles of wine in it! let me just add here that it was not for drinking on this trip. Just so you don't think i'm a boozer. We buy booze at outstations because Dubai charge a 30% tax and you have to have a license to buy alcohol there. Yes, a license! It looks like a credit card and has a rather icky photo of me on it. Anyway, struck dumb by the amount of blood oozing from my toe I managed to put my bags down and have a closer look. Then I did what any injured girl does in a foreign country: IMPROVISE.

I had no plasters, bandages (not required, but I still could have used one!) or sterile wipes. so I dug around in my bag and all I could find were......a pack of tissues. I didn't even have anything to attach it to my toe so I pulled out the hairband I was wearing, unleashing a mass of unruly uncombed curls and tied the tissue to my toe.

I tell you, I must have been in a great mood because I didn't feel like kicking anything in retaliation and all I did was laugh! I staggered the extra 5 minutes back to the hotel, gave my toe a wash and got stuck into my yummy blueberries and stuff.

All in all a pretty successful outing!

Friday, 8 August 2008

The Dark Knight

So I saw the new Batman movie last night and didn't sleep very well afterwards.

It's a glorified violence fest, wrapped up in attractive characters who engage in witty banter while toting nifty high-tech gadgets. Heath Ledger was chillingly convincing in his portrayal of The Joker and did us Aussies proud. Described on Wikipedia as a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy, he had the best lines in the movie and had me absolutely terrified. I can't count the number of times I almost jumped out of my chair and my heart nearly jumped out of my mouth.

I wasn't aware that movies screen here in Dubai at midnight and while I know it's school holiday time, shouldn't all those little ankle biters be at home tucked up in bed? A strictly-for-adults movie, unless you want your bambinos aspiring to become next-generation mobsters.

Christian Bale as Batman was a fantastic casting choice. He wasn't the typical superhero when not in costume - his slightly smarmy and rather over confident Bruce Wayne frustrated me, but when the suit came on it totally transformed him. Funny that. I can see why women the world over swoon over Batman - those sexy alluring eyes, the ripped 20-pack abs, the pointy ears. Oh yeah, how could I forget the freaky, outrageously husky, cancer-voice-enabling-throat-machine sounding voice? Dead sexy.


I was a little saddened by The Joker's successful attempt to turn the good guy bad. Cleary it was his master plot, but seeing Harvey run around Gotham City with half a face was ridiculous. I think if you can see bone and sinew and the inside of someone's eye socket they're going to be in so much pain it'll bring on a coma - if the kind doctors haven't already done so. However Harvey declined all pain medication and proceeded to avenge The Joker's wrongdoings by singling out mobster baddies and those who betrayed him and blowing them away after flipping his two-headed coin. Clever twist, but AS IF in real life.

Seriously a boys movie but not bad viewing. A defibrillator may be required to restart your hearts after a few of the scarier bits!!