a Fesler in UAE

A Day Off

Hi all,

Yesterday was our first day off so Marie-Cecile and I went to Abu Dhabi.  We visited a huge mosque and then went to the Emerates hotel.  At the mosque, all women have to put on a black gown and black head bonnet thing and staff members will come around and tell them if too much of their face is showing.  The men can wear what ever they want.

The Emerates hotel is located at the edge of a private beach that is absolutely beautiful. The hotel was built to be the standard for all hotels to follow.  It makes the hearst castle look like a motel 6.  There is a separate entrance for the really rich people where the driveway leads into a private garage on the second floor.  I took a video of the place so check it out on photobucket (will forward link when done uploading)

The kings palace where I work is 100 kilometers around.  All of the food is for him and not his wives.  He has 19 wives.  He has a mini-palace behind his to keep them in.  My Dad and I agree that he must be deaf.

Arranged marriages are very common.  When I asked one of the guys if he got a chance to meet his wife before he married her he gave me a stupid look and said, “Of course Jeff, she was my cousin.”  He was serious.  I left that one alone.

 All the best,

Jeff

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 4

Hi all, 

Yesterday started by driving to the king’s ranch/compound thing that produces food for him and him alone.  The compound is more than 75 square kilometers in size.  It contains a cheese factory (the only place with internet), yogurt factory, a dairy and beef production facility (not cattle but buffalo), and many fields that produce row crops and food for the animals.  There are also a number of other facilities in which we see people entering and leaving but no one really knows who they are or what they are doing.  Almost everywhere you look there is some kind of construction taking place.

The scientists live on site and rarely leave the compound.  They are from india.  We brought them two newspapers which made them really happy.   In the labs everyone walks around bare foot. Its like a mens locker room.  Marie-cecile and I wear flip flops.  They dress in their best clothes all of the time.  Dress code is pressed collared shirt and slacks with sandals.  They are strictly business when Marie-Cecile is around but when she walks out they talk about 4×4 jeeps, Shakira and belly dancers.

There is a cook on site as well.  Yesterday he was making some kind of rice curry with fried intestines and fried vegetables. Before you have a chance to decline a hefty portion they just scoop a whole bunch on your plate. They gave me a spoon but most everyone eats with their right hand. They drink lots of tea.  After every task was completed, everybody takes a half hour break for tea.  We did that like 6 times throughout the day.  Sometimes they said that they take a 2-3 hour nap mid day.  On the way home yesterday, many people had stopped their cars on the side of the freeway to pray. 

Our hotel is a hang out spot for the Emirate sheiks.  They wear the all white outfits.  There are many high end restaurants where they talk and smoke the hookah.  A Heineken costs 10 bucks. At the hotel pool there will be women in swim suits right next to women in head to toe clothing.  Our dinner was a rich persons buffet style feast.  More than 20 appetizers with really good main courses (smoked duck, veal, tenderloin, etc.).  All meals, room service, food bar in the room are super expensive but complementary for us.  I ate a burger and fries at 1am.   

cheers, jeff

Day 2,3

Hi all,  Yesterday started by driving to the king’s ranch/compound thing that produces food for him and him alone.  The compound is more than 75 square kilometers in size.  It contains a cheese factory (the only place with internet), yogurt factory, a dairy and beef production facility (not cattle but buffalo), and many fields that produce row crops and food for the animals.  There are also a number of other facilities in which we see people entering and leaving but no one really knows who they are or what they are doing.  Almost everywhere you look there is some kind of construction taking place.

The scientists live on site and rarely leave the compound.  They are from india.  We brought them two newspapers which made them really happy.   In the labs everyone walks around bare foot. Its like a mens locker room.  Marie-cecile and I wear flip flops.  They dress in their best clothes all of the time.  Dress code is pressed collared shirt and slacks with sandals.  They are strictly business when Marie-Cecile is around but when she walks out they talk about 4×4 jeeps, Shakira and belly dancers.

There is a cook on site as well.  Yesterday he was making some kind of rice curry with fried intestines and fried vegetables. Before you have a chance to decline a hefty portion they just scoop a whole bunch on your plate. They gave me a spoon but most everyone eats with their right hand. They drink lots of tea.  After every task was completed, everybody takes a half hour break for tea.  We did that like 6 times throughout the day.  Sometimes they said that they take a 2-3 hour nap mid day.  On the way home yesterday, many people had stopped their cars on the side of the freeway to pray. 

Our hotel is a hang out spot for the Emirate sheiks.  They wear the all white outfits.  There are many high end restaurants where they talk and smoke the hookah.  A Heineken costs 10 bucks. At the hotel pool there will be women in swim suits right next to women in head to toe clothing.  Our dinner was a rich persons buffet style feast.  More than 20 appetizers with really good main courses (smoked duck, veal, tenderloin, etc.).  All meals, room service, food bar in the room are super expensive but complementary for us.  I ate a burger and fries at 1am.   

cheers,

jeff

Day 1

Hi family,

All is well. Will send a more detailed update hopefully later today.  I have been super busy teaching a crew of 4 indians how to do some science.  Plus the jet lag has really been messing with my sleep so at times I am full of energy then at other times during the day I will be exausted. ok will send something later when i can find an internet conection

bye love jeff

Travel Day

Hi all,

Made it to Abu Dhabi in one piece.  The 15 hour flight went smooth.  Surprisingly, the food on the plane was really good and I was able to get seconds on every meal.  The plane touched down at 8pm and I got to stay an hour extra to be interviewed by customs and security.  Last month Israel had commandos enter dubai with American passports and Dubai is still pretty mad about it.  Apparently I fit the build and got stopped 3 times and searched twice.  It was fun.

Tomorrow, I will go to a compound that provides all of the food for the King.  In addition to the livestock housed here for food are also project areas set up for nature conservancy where I will be working.  The hotel is surrounded by some really amazing mansions. I am allowed to take pictures, so I will send some next email. 

Ok bye,

Jeff

One Response to a Fesler in UAE

  1. Pingback: some Fesler’s on the move « The Life and Times of a Fesler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s