Thursday, February 28, 2008


*Top tip for you: When you are not in your apartment, close the windows otherwise the sand and dust will get into your apartment and it will leave a film of sand and dust on your stuff which you will have yo wipe off. End of tip.

Still no definite news about when I'll be moving into my permanent apartment which is abit of a disappointment to be honest. I don't feel as though I can begin to get settled until I am in it and planning on what to buy to make it 'home'. The apartment I'm in now is fine but i'm reluctant to tailor it to suit. But that's my only slight complaint. Hopefully, it will all get itself resolved in the near future.

Alas, the weekend is here. I've needed it. I think the early starts at work have taken their toll. We start at 7am. Quite early but its quite nice to finsh the working day around 3ish. It almost seems like a half day. I guess I'll get used to it.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Since I'm not living in a democracy, I just want to see if this post actually gets posted because the posting I thought I posted over the weekend doesn't seem to be on my 'version' of this. Hmm.

Also, it seems that other websites are banned - so far Cyworld is, not that that will mean much to non-Koreans. I wonder what else, apart from the obvious that is!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


The simple task of going to the supermarket isn't often fraught with danger. You might get the odd trolley rage thing going on but otherwise, its something you just do. Well, that's what I thought til yesterday when I visited one.

I just wandered around with a big grin on my face. It's mental. It's a complete free for all - all bustle and noise and forget trying to overtake anybody. There is no way. But expect to get hit by a trolley from behind. Ouch. In many respects its what you expect from a supermarket, certainly products wise its much the same as Korea or Scotland but its just the shear number of people on the move. You definitely need to be in the mood for it otherwise you could get seriously upset!

Also, in the same shopping centre, there was the massive queue. I mean, massive. I wandered over to see what the fuss was all about. As it transpires, it was a taxi queue. Needless to say, I didn't wait and elected to walk home instead.

Welcome to Deira, Dubai.

Back to 'work' tomorrow. I wonder what this week will bring...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


And that was Scotland. Gone but probably not lost forever. Even the weather was alright.

Alas, the weather is somewhat warmer here in the desert that is Dubai. Mid-20's during the day. Warm enough not to be roasting. Haven't even turned the Air-con on yet. Aaagh.

So then this is Dubai - I'm not quite sure what to make of it all. It's all abit of a blur and its all bit hard to take everything in.

What i've noticed so far:

It's warm.
It's really hard to get a taxi.
Taxi's though are quite cheap.
Food is cheap.
Another day, another shopping Mall would be a good way to describe the city. All the shops I could ever need. In fact, the shopping is better than Edinburgh and is probably better than London. That said, there were no Percy Pig's in Marks and Spencers. Nightmare.
There are loads of Indian's, Pakistani's and Philipino's.
Mobile phones are easy to get.
Alot of English is spoken.

Currently living in a apartment downtown - its all nice, clean and quite big. There is even a gym on the top floor. Not sure when I'm going to move to my permanent apartment. Hopefully soon.

As for work - since that's why I'm here - is O.K. so far. Been at the New Emirates HQ which is really rather nice. Big, brash and very, very new. Then over to the Airport where I'm going to be working at to meet my colleagues. Then today at the Aviation College for a training course. Oh yes, and I'm waiting on a security pass to enable me to go 'behind the scences' at the Airport. I might even get onto the runway. Madness.

And it all is madness at the moment.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


'Not in time but in mind'.

So what has become the longest farewell in the history of mankind is finally on the homeward straight. I can't be bothered with all the faffing about that are 'goodbyes'. I'm much more comfortable with short and sharp. 25 encores later...a nonsense.

Perhaps its a reflection of the non-emotional self; the distinctly Scottish trait of keeping everything under wraps. Damn you Knox. There will be no waving of handkerchiefs, no banners and perhaps not even a tear. Merely the realisation that Edinburgh will again be that place where I grew up and the place where I go back to visit from time to time. A place of refuge and of moments. I sometimes think of it as a piece of ill-fitting clothes. Something you buy in the sale because its cheaper. It looks good but in actual fact isn't exactly the right size but you get it anyway.

A place kept well and truly at arms length.

In saying that, it was always going to take something exceptional to tempt me abroad again. I had decided quite early on in this job search that I wouldn't be applying to random Schools to teach; it had to be something that was going to enhance my CV, otherwise what was the point. I was not wanting to 'waste' a year or 2 in some place that wasn't going to further me. I suspect that this particular move reflects that. I have no real interest in the Middle East and perhaps even less interest in Dubai as a place but the over-riding issue is the job. Only the job and how it can develop me and the CV. I guess that makes me sound very one-dimensional and in many respects self-centred. I don't think I'm going to apologise for that though. Self-centred, yes but as I look around, I see no significant other and not even one on the horizon, so in that respect 'self-centred' it is because there is only the '1' currently. No point on relying on the chance that that might change in the future. I not one for plodding along waiting for others or opportunities to arise or present themselves. It only leads to trouble and disappointment. And I'm not doing either this year.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Oh to be Scottish. Think someone once said that is it shite being Scottish. No truer words have been uttered. It is especially when you sit through 80 minutes of dire rugby watching the best '15' that they country has to offer. A truly woeful and dispiriting sight.

The first step onto rehab is to acknowledge the problem. We're crap. There I've said it. And there is no getting away from it. 1 try in 5 matches tells its own story. A one man team? When it comes to scoring, that would be a 'yes'. Another wooden spoon on the cards. Think the time is up on the coach, Hadden. He seems bereft of ideas and has started doing a 'Domeanch' - the French coach who blamed the ball-boys for losing to Scotland at football - apparently it was the funny shaped ball, it was poor refereeing, it was the weather. Whatever. The simple fact is we can't score, we can't pass and we can't even catch. Elementary my dear Watson. 2 more games to try and avoid getting a kick in. Not going to be easy. Can't really see us winning any of them to be fair. At least England play for half a game. Perhaps if we are within striking distance of them at half-time we might do something against them. Thankfully though I'll be in sunnier climbs and more able to 'miss' the games.

Also, how come the Scottish top is so crap? Canterbury make our strip. They also make the Irish one and the Australian one. Yet, their tops are all the same colour - green and gold respectively. However, ours is blue and grey. It's crap. Make it all the same colour. We are Scotland. We play in blue tops, always have done. Think we need to get a petition going in order to get us back to basics. Perhaps the SNP will jump on the bandwagon after all they want us to pick our own song for the Eurovision song contest this year /see, they really are going for the big issues/ I want a blue top, white shorts and blue socks. Some flashes of white on both the socks and tops are fine but punt the grey. Oh and the away top is fine - it's all white. Or we could get Harry Potter's invisibility cloak because the opposition play like we are.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


What on earth is that all about?
Honestly, its just stupid.
All this talk of the Premiership being taken abroad so that a complete weekends worth of normal season games can be played in 'exotic' locations around the world.

It's got nothing to do with bringing football to a new audience or expanding the 'brand' or allowing ex-pat fans to see the team they support in a new environment. It's money. Pure and simple. It's about getting more money through tv, sponsorship, selling more replica shirts and ticket sales. And its a faff. A total faff.

Imagine travelling to Beijing in January /the only month free of Champions League, UEFA Cup and International games/ for a game of football against a team in the bottom 3 of the league. If it had taken place last month, it might have been Portsmouth vs. Fulham. Not only is it freezing in Beijing but who is going to sit for 90 minutes in the cold watching 2 teams that really aren't 'big' names battling it out only for it to end 0-0. Also, the game in England would only attract 25, 000 punters. Alternatively as others have suggested, having a Merseyside derby in Melbourne. All that way for a game of football. Someone is having a laugh.

Not only logistically is it a faff but who will decide the games and how far a team has to travel compared to another? If Man Utd have to play a game in Tokyo whilst fellow title chasers 'only' have to travel to New York, do you imagine Sir Alex is going to be impressed? Not on your nelly.

And all for the sake of money.

This is evidence, if any further evidence is necessary, that football has lost all sense of itself. Where did football come from and who made it popular? The masses. The working class. In the 1930's and 50's mammoth crowds went to football. Crowds of 100, 000 weren't uncommon here in Scotland. Why? Because it was the only entertainment in town and cheap with it. As prices have risen so has the working classes involvement and influence. In its place are the corporations or the 'Prawn Sandwich' brigade and it is this audience that are the reasons behind this 'super weekend' of football action.

It's the English League for a reason and moving about with it or forcing change for the sake of money is a dangerous game. By doing this, they are ripping the heart out of football. The reason the Premiership is where it is, is because of the history, the tradition, the bumpy pitches and the fans singing and abusing each other, the officials and the players on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon slugging it out for 3 points or bragging rights. Is that going to happen in Malaysia or in Manila? Is it nowt. It's going to be something completely different. Something alien. Something crap.

Monday, February 04, 2008


'Tis been an interesting few days.
Becoming unemployed for awhile, having a leaving party and then finally finding out when I was due to leave. Strange.

But, that's the state of play. Last Friday saw me finish up in Perth /did I actually write that here? can't recall/ anyway, I had a couple of classes which weren't really 'classes' at all merely dvd sessions followed by photos and a 'thanks for being a nice class' which on this occasion was true. This was followed by a card, a couple of gifts and a glass of wine in the teachers room. All very unexpected but appreciated all the same. I guess it shows that even though I was only there for 5 months that I /must/ have been doing something right. I had thought that on my last day, I would have plenty of time to stroll back to the Bus-Station taking in the sights of Perth, perhaps taking a few photos to prove that I did actually work in Perth. Alas, it wasn't. It was a mad dash to the Bus-Station in order to catch the bus back to Edinburgh. It was that or sit and wait for an hour til the next one. Perth is nice but not that nice.

The following day was the 'leaving do'. It's funny actually because even though I'm a teacher and stand infront of people for a living, its not something that I actually enjoy. I'm not one for being at the centre of everything. You might argue that is a nonsense since that is what a teacher is 'at the centre of everything' but the difference is, that I'm usually in control of the situation. Being the centre of attention when I'm not in control of the sitution is something different and thats what I don't like. Anyway, 'my' leaving-do meant I'm was at the centre of attention /kind of/ and its not something I'm overly comfortable with. Plus, I do worry about who's going, who's not and why et al. But, it was fine. Perhaps not the shocking, gossip-laden events of the previous weekends leaving party but it was great to see people again even if it was only for a short time.

And of course, the official confirmation. 15.02.08, 1.30pm. Tminus...