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This is not a part of my moving to Dubai, but I promise you I’ll be using a ton of these Life Hacks while I’m here. Like the toilet paper tubes organizing cables – TBG has a dang TON of cables in a couple drawers here, and he’s constantly rummaging…. thanks so much to Pepperbox Couture!!

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I couldn’t resist re-blogging this………..  Enjoy!

99 Life Hacks to make your life easier!

reblogged from: http://darraghdoyle.tumblr.com/post/33892944163/handy-very-handy

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Free Delivery Anything Anytime Anywhere

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When I was in the truck with TBG coming to my new home from the airport, I recall one of the things that struck me as odd – tiny little motorcycles with big boxes on the back – each box was advertising a different food place. Subway, Burger King, Naked Pizza, Pizza by the Meter, Curry Box, Chin Chin, Pizza Hut, Lucky’s Pizza, Hanoi Vietnamese, Pizza Connection, EmlyChilli,Chinese Palace, Panda Chinese, Yo! Sushi, and some place called Blends.
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I thought it interesting that they were being innovative and making some money by driving around with advertising boxes on the back of their motorcycles. When I told TBG this, he did that “pause” thing that he does – it means he’s trying to say something with either some compassion or tact, neither of which come easily to him.

Finally he said “Honey, they’re delivery guys. They are delivering food in those boxes.”

I swear to you that the heavens opened up and the angels sang to me at that exact moment.
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I realized that I could have pretty much anything I wanted delivered to me just about any time. Oh. My. Goodness. I smiled all the way home.

Since then, I’ve discovered that it’s not only food, but just about anything. Big plants, doggie grooming, laundry, groceries, artwork, you name it.

Example, we wanted another office chair, hadn’t seen what we wanted on Dubizzle.com (kinda like Craig’s list) so we stopped in at Office Depot in one of the malls. They had EXACTLY the chair I wanted, and it was on sale for surprisingly only $65 USD. Very good price. Of course, this was sort of a “display only” store – tiny little sliver of a shop in some really expensive mall real estate. I was disappointed, and said “OK, thanks” and started to leave, but the salesperson said “But we will deliver it to you for free two days”. I handed over the credit card and filled out the delivery information. Then, the salesperson handed me this bag full of merchandise, markers, pens, clips, note pads, mechanical pencils and leads, a BUNCH of office supplies…. And said “free for you madam”. Can you tell I’m liking Dubai so far??

True to form two days later, someone called to confirm delivery, then the driver called for directions, seein as how we have no dang street addresses and all. Showed up with the chair in a box, rang the bell, told us they were here, and were going to begin ASSEMBLY….. I thought I’d swoon. So, lemme clarify for you-not only did they deliver a $65 office chair that wasn’t in stock, they assembled it, then carried it upstairs for me…. No charge. Well, I tipped them, but wasn’t that cool?

There are water guys that deliver the big five-gallon jugs of water that are in everyone’s house. And they will pick up your empty bottle, and bring the new full bottle inside if you’d like. Or, if you’re not home, they’ll leave it on your carport steps. Or put it inside the door if you’ve left it unlocked.

Oh, and personal services…. Manicures? Pedicures? Massages? Haircuts? All done at your home. I just bought two 1-hour massages, DELIVERED for 138 AED…. That’s about $37.50 USD, so I paid less than $20 for an hour-long massage, done in my home. Amazing.

I love delivery. 🙂

Shifting Gears and Autodromes

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So we’re in the midst of the Dunlop 24 Hour Race, www.24HDubai.com featuring touring, gt cars and 24 hour specials….. they’ve been practicing and warming up and testing for the past couple days.  It’s pretty cool that there is a world-class Autodrome literally *right* across the street from our compound….. in an area named “Motor City”……amazing. www.dubaiautodrome.com

There is a small fence that separates you from the track.  And that’s it.  Unlike the US, where there would be six layers of security and such to protect you from yourself, or anything else.  I suppose I’m supposed to be smart enough here to NOT get myself in trouble, right??Image

I’ve sat in front of a local restaurant outdoors on the sidewalks and watched and listened to the drivers running through the gears, and the engines whining coming out of the turns.  I crossed over the streets to the fence and took a bunch of photos – frankly, I’m not very experienced at photos of race cars.  I have a LOT of photos like this……

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This is where the race car *used* to be just a second before!

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We have tickets Grandstand and Paddock, but not sure we’re gonna go….. TBG might be getting a cold and I’m still feeling  a bit “chesty” from the bronchitis I’ve fought.  But it is fun listening to them and following along on the internet feed.  There is always something going on here – always some entertainment to have if you want to.

 

I shoulda listened.

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But I didn’t.  My friend Kenny gave me some very good advice when I asked him “So, Kenny…. now that I have all this nice new tile in the house, what cleaners should I get to keep it looking good??”

Kenny said “Nuttin.  Just use plain water with some vinegar in it.”

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Simple, right?  The cleaning solution, not Kenny.  <grin>  OK, anyhow, he was absolutely right, I used nothing but plain tap water and white vinegar and that tile looked fabulous.  Lesson learned!

Then, I moved here.  This villa is completely tiled, there is nothing on the floors except tile.  About 22 square miles of tile.  With grout.  Some of which is less-than-new looking.  But, I used Kenny’s magic formula, and it worked great, tile looks great.  Grout?  Not so much.

So I went googling in search of something more “modern” or something “stronger” to make it look better…. and found this concoction containing water, baking soda, vinegar and bleach.  Mixed it up, smelled like it oughta clean grout….. put it all over the 22 square miles of tile and mopped it all right up.  Felt pretty dang proud of myself too, all naturally-cleaning and all, floor all wet and shiny.

TILL IT DRIED.  OH MY GOODNESS.

Streaked and spotted and dried up powdery-looking stuff, I thought “Holy crap.  I’ve got to re-mop this entire 22-square mile freekin floor!”

And this tiny little voice inside, you know-the one you know you should listen to….. said ….

“You shoulda listened to Kenny.”

About six buckets-full of vinegar water and two hours later, all 22 square miles of the floors were all clean and nice-looking.   But, hats off to you, Kenny, and yes, I shoulda listened.

So, I was processed

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For a resident visa.  Without this, I can’t have a bank account, can’t get a cell phone in my own name, can’t receive my household goods that were shipped by slow freekin boat about a year ago, can’t get a liquor license,(to buy, not sell) there’s a bunch of stuff that you can’t do if you don’t have a resident visa.

First, you gotta have a guy.  Well, technically you don’t *have* to have a guy, but it seems to me that almost everyone I’ve spoken with has a guy.   The company TBG works for has a guy.  This guy is called a PRO, Public Relations Officer – and their job is to smooth the way through some pretty complicated procedures.  Apparently in NO FREEKIN WAY does it mean to rush, as the guy was 45 minutes late meeting us for our appointment, and wasn’t even in touch with us till WE called HIM about his lateness.  Grrrrrr.  Anyhow, to get this visa, there was paperwork, no surprise, my passport, 2 passport photos, and some money.   I’m not certain how much, things aren’t exactly as crystal-clear as I like them but I’m adapting and learning to appreciate the murkiness where it is.  OK, not appreciate, exactly, but at least recognize, OK?  I don’t put my fingers in my ears and sing “la-la-la-la-la” so that the murkiness doesn’t exist for me, I just grudgingly acknowledge that it’s out there, and will intersect with my life from time to time.  And we move on.

Anyhow, money, paperwork, passport, photos, and the guy.  We followed him on a weird route to this obscure government “health assurance” building….. pretty non-descript for the kind of place that issues resident visas, I thought…. And talk about a melting pot – about the only people that had business there were expats like us, so there were few natives.  Inside, there was a male waiting area, and a female waiting area.  This “separate-ness” used to cause me to bristle…. Wanting to puff out my chest and announce that we were all equal now, that we could even vote and everything….. then, I remember that I am no longer in the US, and can just leave those feelings behind, and appreciate that I get to wait in a MUCH nicer, quieter, better-smelling area than TBG.  <smile>

The guy does something PRO-like I’m sure, he’s definitely not the most communicative human I’ve encountered….. and within just a few minutes, I am called to a desk WAY in front of the probably 75 other people seated in the waiting room(s).  I go to the little counter, sit at the desk sideways, the processing man is on his cell phone, and shortly I hear “look to cameurrah”….. and I stopped.  “Cameurrah”??  WTH is that?  I am certain I appeared to have that deer-in-headlights look, not having a clue what the “cameurrah” was – because he gestured to the side of the divider directly opposite me with a photo of a camera on it, and there was a hole cut in the part where the lens was….. the cameurrah was gonna take my photo.  I got this now.

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Photo taken, the PRO guy comes along, hands the processing guy some money, change is made, “Inshallah”  is exchanged, they shake hands, and my guy motions me to come along for the medical check evaluation.

Examination?  All I want is a resident visa, not a health check.  *shrug*  apparently you won’t get a visa without the medical check.  Again, the separate waiting areas, the female physician (I assume) questioning my health and meds….. stamped the papers, and sent me for my blood test and chest x-ray.

Apparently, the medical check is a blood test and chest X-ray for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilis. If results come back positive for any of those conditions, the person is deported, except for syphilis which is treated. TB cases are quarantined first then deported.   Hepatitis B and/or C cases are definitely deported, might be deported, might not be deported.  The rules are a bit fuzzy.

Yikes.  OK, so, all that is finished now, just waiting for the visa to be issued.  And, as if by magic, a few days later, this is what you get!!

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