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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Boredom, heat, Runescape and pre-historic AC

Yes, it's hot now. The ACs are humming away, blowing their slightly chilled dirty air into my home. My son finds it too hot to play outside so he's hiding in some virtual world called 'Runescape' where the temperature isn't so fierce. I'm in limbo waiting to hear from various people about our coming and going procedures and I have just found out that I can't get hold of our three years prize money until I've cleared the car loan....oh dear.

I also hate my landlord. Thanks to him we have pre historic air con units that really should be sitting in the zaballah. He won't replace them, instead he sends round men to do 'bodge jobs' so they run for a few more weeks. When I say run, I mean they switch on and blow slightly cooled air into the house while racking up an electricity bill the size of the GDP of a small developing nation because they are so damn inefficient and old.

Photo Credit: The Al Ain Air Con Museum

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cars and Cats

Opening up the latest issue of Al Ain Times, I am happy to say that the improvements continue. I was particularly pleased that they covered the issue of those reckless and downright dangerous road pests, the fast-lane-full-beamers. You know the ones, they come up right behind you in the fast lane (and sometimes the middle and slow lane) and flash their headlights at full beam so you can't see a damn thing behind you. Well, it turns out some moron decided to do that on Thursday night as he was driving through the Diwan underpass and it all went horribly wrong.

Reading on to page 6, there's an article about the inhumane treatment of cats that's going on in Al Ain. I've always been an ardent animal activist in a land where animals are often treated like vermin or as toys which can be tortured and killed for a few moments of pleasure. I've written on this blog about the disgusting state of pet shops here, the lack of care of animals on sale that most of the time shouldn't even be in the country in the first place. Well done, Al Ain Times for highlighting this issue. BUT...

Why were these crucial 'public issue' pieces only published in the English section???!!!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


At this very moment, Bahraini blogger Mahmood Al Yousif is in court defending himself against an accusation of libel made over mild criticism directed at a government minister back in December.

Today is an important day for all of us. It's not just about Mahmood and his blog, it's about freedom of speech in the region.

For my own reasons I hope that Bahrain bloggers will be able to blog without fear and self censorship.

UPDATE: Mahmood has just posted on his blog to say that the case has been deferred til May 8th.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Al Ain Times pat on the back

In the past I've been a little critical of our local paper The Al Ain Times, especially the English section. I know they read this blog and that's why I give them feedback here.

Anyway, I'm delighted to say that the latest issue is a huge improvement! The English section actually has quite a lot of news in it this time and not so much of the 'health advice' filler stuff.
I got an e mail from the paper and I'm sure they won't mind me reproducing it here:

Good afternoon,
Just read through your input on our paper and I must say OUCH!!
We do appreciate your feedback on the paper and we are happy to understand better what our readers would like to see.
We would like to point out that none of our articles are pasted from the internet - it is unfortunate that they seem that way.
Feel free to contact us anytime with your comments. This email address is open to all - just please write the word feedback in the subject line.
Thank you and best regards,
Al Ain Times

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Noor Al Ain

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Fish and Chip shop was an April Fool's Day joke. This is for real:


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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fish and Chip shop opening tonight

Good news for fans of the traditional seaside Brit-dish: Al Ain's first ever Fish and Chip shop is opening tonight!

Called 'A Plaice in the Desert', it's run by a South African couple who lived in the UK for ten years before moving to the UAE.