Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today in Groupon: Fertility tests for men and women!

Group buying in this country has given us discounted STD tests, packs of gold playing cards and large packs of prophylactics. Today we have fertility tests from an Abu Dhabi lab. Eight people have already bought it - the deal is on!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Overheard in the newsroom: The start of a long, wintry week edition

I have a hand crush on her.

Whenever I need to take a taxi someplace, when I don't have the car, I just don't go.

I've got a new wrinkle I'm really upset about.

T Emirates launches in the UAE or Well hello Jude Law

The first issue of the New York Times Style Magazine, Emirates edition, is now on select newsstands for Dh20.

I haven't spotted it yet. If anyone else has given it a flip-through, I'd be eager to hear your thoughts.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Winter in Abu Dhabi: Scenes from a not very cold place

So, yes, it's winter in Abu Dhabi. But even though I have adjusted my internal thermostat over the four years living here and get colder at higher temperatures (I wear tights and boots now, in January, as opposed to sundresses, and that's a good thing because I looked like a freak the first winter I was here)  it's still amazing to me how other people adapt.

Photo courtesy Katie Trotter

Keeping in mind I get that 65 degrees would be chilly, even with bright sunshine, if you are from a very hot country, and also that people get excited to wear their winter clothes here, and sometimes bring them out when they are not really needed, bundled-up-people-watching remains a constant source of entertainment for me these days.

For example, while driving with the windows open and a T-shirt, three-quarter trousers and sandals on, I saw an Ethiopian woman crossing the street with a knit reggae-coloured hat and a thick, matching scarf wrapped around her neck and face, leaving only her eyes. I can't be sure this was not her attempt at a makeshift shayla, of course, but it didn't seem like it. There have been at least 3 earmuff spottings - sadly, I was not able to photo-stalk these subjects for various reasons - and several puffy-coat-over-shalwar-kameez incidents.

Then there were these cosy-looking Uggs, at the local yoga studio:

Anyone else loving this time of year, for this reason? Feel free to send me your snaps. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 in a nutshell: "Do Things"

One of my New Year's resolutions is so simple it makes me giggle. "Do things." Seems easy, right? But I, like you, I am sure, get busy and wrapped up in being busy, and although it's ironic that someone who spends all their work time writing about the best of arts and entertainment and food and other lifestyle topics would make a resolution like this - there it is.

Do things. Sometimes, I think, I get so busy writing about the things that there are here to do - and there are so very many, people - that I forget to go. Or rather, I forget to push myself to go. And it's always easier not to go, isn't it? Sometimes I think my life would have been easier if I'd never come to Abu Dhabi. Easier, sure. But about 80 per cent less awesome.

And although I do seem to take advantage of the travel opportunities that exist due to me working here - London, Berlin, Bali, Paris (right now!) and Kish Island, Iran (a blog post is coming up about THAT one, it was a doozy) - closer to home, I'm not always so good. 

But all that is about to change. In the next month I am going to try my hand (or hands) at Stand Up Paddle-boarding at Yas Marina through one of their free introductory evening classes. On January 31 it will be Kanye West at the du Arena (my friends all raved about his show 2010 show, which I missed) and sometime this month the much-anticipated relaunch of The Yoga Juice's instant-zen-in-Abu-Dhabi outdoor yoga classes, this time by the Emirates Palace marina. Stay tuned. Looking ahead, I have already said 'yes' to joining a friend for the Mariinsky Ballet: Homage to Fokine at Emirates Palace on March 14 at the Abu Dhabi Festival. Somewhere in there I am going to get to the Hyatt Capital Gate's Rayana Spa to get my face underneath an expert's hands for one of those organic, rejuvenating June Jacobs facials everyone is talking about.

And that's just for starters. And since I'm telling you about it, I am obliging myself to report back on the awesomeness.

Happy New Year everyone. 

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