Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to reality

We arrived back in Abu Dhabi early on Saturday morning feeling knackered and went straight to bed, so didn't see much of Saturday and then went back to work today. I hate coming back after being away and finding hundreds of emails waiting. It takes me another week to work through them all and catch up.

We had a good visit home though. Kids pretty much sorted - Jess got her Uni place she wanted and Darryl got good GCSE results. Managed to see most of our folks and had an evening with some of Caroline's work mates.

On balance I would say there are more things I miss about the UK than I like about Abu Dhabi. But one of the things that is quite noticeable in the UK is the general lack of service in public places like shops, restaurants etc. Right from our arrival at the car hire company at Heathrow Airport, we witnessed the appalling treatment of a guy who was told (in a very stroppy way) that his car wasn't ready yet because he was an hour early and he would just have to "sit over there and wait". The man duly walked "over there" with his shoulders haunched like he had been told off at school. The woman delivering the instructions was called "Mrs Ruff" (I kid you not!). We stayed at Caroline's daughter Rochelle's flat in Bromley on Friday night and OMG, it was like living in a war zone. The noise went on all night right through until about 3am - drunken louts, nightclub booming away, girls being sick on their shoes etc etc. The same would probably be the same for most of the UK's major towns and cities and is definitely not missed by us.

Couldn't get away from everything though. Here is a sign in Clinton's Cards........

...don't get much call for these cards in Abu Dhabi though........

One day when I was looking for some money in my pocket I noticed that I'd been given a foreign coin in my change. "Typical!" I thought and was about to throw it away when I took a closer look at it. I was pleased to see that it was a Jordanian Dinar. We have recently booked a trip to Jordan for October, so I'll be able to use it! I was interested to know why it is described as the "Hashemite" Kingdom of Jordan, so I looked here.

While I was in the UK I bought a new lens for my camera (a Tamron 70-300 with macro - for anyone who may be interested!) , so of course I had to try it out. Here's a few results .....

Trip home Aug '09

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