Friday, November 10, 2017

Jenny Holzer's For Louvre Abu Dhabi and 6 more lady parts art not to miss

One of three Jenny Holzer script walls in For Abu Dhabi.

When I visited the Louvre Abu Dhabi this week for a preview before it opens to the public this weekend (and boy is this a gorgeous building) I was particularly looking forward to installation commissioned from the American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, titled, aptly, For Louvre Abu Dhabi. Although she is often known for using neon light, most recently seen in her current exhibition, Softer, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Holzer’s Louvre Abu Dhabi piece features something much different - and she is not messing around with the details.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

If I knew then what I know now: Buying a car edition

I just returned from another trip deep into Mussafah, Abu Dhabi's industrial area, after taking my car into the Volvo dealership. It was to be a routine service, but as they delicately explained, there is something wrong with my engine. Gulp.

So I left the car, ordered a Careem, and am back at home expecting a big bill - or maybe having to decide whether I even bother fixing the car. But I'm also facing next week without a car, when I really need one, because the technician already warned me this was going to take awhile.

And here's where if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't bother buying a used car in Abu Dhabi. I would go new.

I bought my 2008 Volvo C70 back in 2013 because it was a) a convertible and b) a good price. And although I have loved that car more than any other in my life, it has had some major problems over the years. I once blew a radiator hose on a trip back from Yas Island, which damaged the engine (and which I suspect is the source of today's problem). That's when I found out how long it can take to get parts. I had to rent a car because it took two weeks to get the parts and do the repairs.

The next year I cracked the oil pan going too quickly over one of the massive speed bumps out at Yas Mall. Another very expensive repair, another two weeks without my car. You see what's happening here? Even a smaller repair can take days, versus the hours I was used to back in Canada. Only the biggest job there would take two days. But that is there and this is here.

And although I am sure Mussafah is lovely, the traffic is terrible, it's very confusing to navigate – I still need to Google Map it, after all these times – and I could do without driving out there for servicing.

All this to say, while I am a huge proponent of buying used almost everything, to cut down on waste and rampant commercialism and because it's cheaper, in Abu Dhabi, when it comes to a car, I say go new.

Who needs to deal with long stretches of time without their car? Long waits for parts that need to be shipped in from Europe? The worry, the hassle? I think it's cheaper, not to mention way more convenient, to buy new with a warranty. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Today in firsts: Standup paddle boarding versus kayaking

Eastern Mangroves Corniche.
I've been meaning to try standup paddle boarding for 5 years now. During an interview with an expat website literally five years ago, I indicated that I was going to be trying standup paddle boarding imminently. 

And the thing was, I meant to. I really did. I don't know where the time goes on these things, but I guess it's the same gaping hole that swallowed my book and my screenplay. But you can't really compare something that would take two hours and is a five-minute drive from my house to something that would take hundreds of hours to complete. 

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 ...