Saturday, January 12, 2019

How to be a happy expat

Because a cloud wall makes you want to take a selfie. 

After 10 years living in the UAE, some of that time happy, some miserable and the rest just about everything in between, I finally feel qualified to write this piece.

The answer to the question "How to be a happy expat"?

Friday, September 7, 2018

That time when home feels more strange than away

Me and my dad, Larry, on his birthday. 
There are a million great things that have come into my life ever since I left Canada for the UAE more than 10 years ago – a trip I thought might last a year or two, tops.

I've been aware that the experience has altered me totally and completely for most of the time to varying degrees. (I often liken those first few months to having my personality disintegrate, and then the rest of the year as me rebuilding it into something I could vaguely recognise. It's something else, leaving one life and building a whole other one for yourself.)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Tadweer is recycling in Abu Dhabi: Be still my heart!

Me recycling for the first time in years.
Two days ago I saw two men putting what looked to be recyclables into a dumpster just like the one above, in the parking lot outside the Park Rotana, and I thought, hmmm. Then I spotted two of the same bin outside my apartment and literally, my heart soared.

I still don't know anything about the bins, other than that they are there and I am happy about it, but believe me, I'm looking into it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I want to lose my heavy baggage next trip with this $1,000 Travelmate robot suitcase

Wouldn't it be fun to walk through the airport with one of these "fully autonomous" Travelmate suitcases, which cost US$1,000 (Dh3,672) and come with a removable four-hour battery that can also be used to recharge any mobile device. There is also a fingerprint lock system, a built-in scale and a GPS to locate it if the absolute worst happens and your flight lands at 3am at Abu Dhabi International Airport and your suitcase is MIA and you have to line up at that little kiosk when you are so tired you can barely see. 

Of course I have also begun to envision scenarios where this robotic suitcase turns on you and refuses to stop at Duty Free, or some similar, or you run out of juice and it just refuses to move, like those petulant three-year-olds I always see slowly killing their parents at airport security. And I question: is it really fully autonomous? If that were true, couldn't it just flat out refuse to make the trip with you, or start spitting your clothes out as soon as you laid them in while packing? I shall never know. My trusty Victorianox looks set to last forever. 

The Travelmate was one of the exhibitors at the inaugural Amaze Expo 2018, which featured an array of high-end lifestyle products at the Dubai International Financial Centre's The Gate and wrapped over the weekend. 

Travelmate was one of the exhibitors at the Amaze Expo 2018 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Image of the day: Instagram bait galore in the INDEX Dubai's Off the Wall feature

Belgian "street luxury" artist Pablo Lucker. 
I've been seeing these all over Instagram lately and now, Dubai. It's worth a trip to the 28th INDEX Dubai, on at the Dubai World Trade Centre until Thursday March 29, for lots of reasons. But one is to get a shot like this in the Off The Wall feature

The side-ways room was created by Dubai-based interior designer Sharon Jutla and features furniture and d├ęcor worth an estimated Dh1.4 million from US designer Jonathan Adler. 

Overheard in Abu Dhabi at #MediaMondaysUAE – #ToroToroAD edition

"Please don't take my picture. My image is worth money."

How to be a happy expat

Because a cloud wall makes you want to take a selfie.  After 10 years living in the UAE, some of that time happy, some miserable and ...