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Archive for the ‘On Vacation’ Category

Heading overseas again.

Last time I posted I was in the process of exiting from the Kingdom. I’m happy to say that I did finally receive my clearance and have been back in Australia for about 6 weeks now. For those who are interested, I have been writing up my experiences of the exit procedure and I will post what will likely be a 4 part series in the not too distant future. My one problem is that re-living the experience is almost as frustrating as when it happened so it is taking me some time to complete to my satisfaction. I can understand why people don’t write about exiting from Saudi Arabia because it really can be quite a traumatic experience. To help me in this matter I could really do with some editing assistance, so if any of my lovely readers have experience, send me an email, otherwise I am going to have to do it myself and it is taking a lot of time.

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The bus ride from Abu Dhabi to Dubai was uneventful and unfortunately the scenery along the way was rather ordinary (unless you’re into flat expanses of nothing). We timed our trip perfectly and arrived on the outskirts of the city right at the start of peak hour so it was slow going from there in. We all craned our necks, searching everywhere for the Burj Dubai and were surprised we could not see it. Surely a building that big can be seen from everywhere? Our question was answered when we got closer and the tower suddenly appeared through the thick haze covering the city. The dust in the air at dusk formed a thick blanket over the city. We admired it as we drove past in the bus and kept an eye on our maps as we tried to determine where the bus would stop. With the help of the young woman next to me we got off the bus at a non-descript stop on the side of the road. We had a look around and made our way over to a row of fast food shops to get our bearings and ask for directions.

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After a few hours of light sleep I was suddenly awoken by all the lights in my hotel room turning on. Mum & Dad had arrived and the porter thought it best to turn on all the lights when he entered. It was 2am and lots of hugs were had and we chatted for a bit before settling back down to get what little sleep we could before morning.

We got up around 8am and got ready for a busy day taking in the sights of Abu Dhabi. While getting ready Mum and Dad gave me some presents that they’d bought back from their trip to Europe. A block of ComtĂ© cheese direct from Paris and a Harrods bag from London. Now you might wonder why my parents would bring me cheese. Its not that I don’t have access to cheese here. I do have a fairly decent selection in the supermarket if I so desire. But there is no cheese in the world like ComtĂ© and while its common and affordable in Paris, its very uncommon and extremely expensive in Aus and I’ve not seen it here. Tho I can’t bring myself to eat it without a fresh baguette so I must find a good bread shop (if only they had a Pauls here).

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As I’ve mentioned frequently in this blog, one of my main goals for the past 2 months was to get to Abu Dhabi to spend the weekend with my parents when they transited through on their way home from Europe. This weekend I finally saw that happen.

The morning before I left (Wednesday) was exceptionally stressful and wasn’t helped by the bad mood I woke up with. First, I bought phone credit from the corner store that turned out to be for land line only and not for mobiles (so now I have 20 SR of credit I have no use for) and secondly, the advance cheque I requested was signed 30mins before my taxi was to arrive and take me to the airport. With those stresses out of the way I happily sank into the back of my taxi as he drove me out to the airport to catch my flight.

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