Monday, June 9, 2014

Abu Dhabi: Table for One, Please

Yes, table for one.

No, no one will be joining me. Thankfully.

OK, except this guy.
Esquire -- Middle East Edition. 

A glass of the 2011 Italian pinot gris, please. I'm nothing if not predictable.

For the lady:

Course 1:
Cream of cauliflower soup with garlic croutons

Course 2:
Caesar salad with the hugest anchovies I've ever had
Roasted strips of zucchini
French bread with brie and fig jam
Fatoush (Arabic salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, and toasted pita strips)
Cold calamari salad with baby potatoes

Uhmm -- sir? Unfortunately a bug has landed in my wine. A big one. Normally I would remove it. I ain't proud. But, no. Not here. Despite the relative lack of bugs here. Could I get a fresh one? Thanks so much.

Course 3:
Veal piccata
Beef medallion
Jasmine rice
Sauteed mushrooms (what is it with the sauteed mushrooms here? To die for!)
Scalloped cauliflower
Roasted potatoes
Seasoned with an assorted salt buffet:
Top row: smoke salt, lemon salt, Cyprus black sea salt, Himalayan salt, chipotle salt. Bottom row: rosemary salt, wild mushroom salt, wild garlic salt.


Course 4, clockwise:
Rice pudding with sliced pistachios and chopped dried cranberries
White cake with peach filling and icing
Blueberries and cream something-or-other
Cherry cheesecake with graham crust and a single halved blueberry atop
Chocolate ganache/cream roll 

Uhm -- sir? Hi. I'm a hillbilly from Oregon/Idaho. I dropped a peach/white cake number from the dessert cabinet, on the floor, but didn't know what to do with it, so there it sits. Even tho I've returned to my seat, could you pick it up for me, so no one gets it on their shoes? OK, I know there is a general exodus from this area in June, so there's only one other person in here, but I just wanted to make you aware of the sitch. Thanks so much!

Dessert cabinet? YES. This was a BUFFET. 

Abu Dhabi: New Hotel!

O. M. G. SERIOUSLY. I've moved to a new hotel for the conference. This hotel, the Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa, is where we've brought a lot of high-profile business, so we got a sweet rate on rooms. This hotel costs us less than my business hotel in the city. 
And is like a million times swankier! And while I'm just a creative peon, I did warrant a 5th-floor room...of 7, I think. Facing the highway, not the water (featuring those mangroves) but I'll take it! 
My hotel room has a doorbell. My HOUSE doesn't even have a working doorbell.
This is exactly how my husband leaves the bath mat for me at the Chicken Ranch in the morning. 

OK, I joke, but I do so appreciate that that's not really outside the realm of reason. 
My old hotel is...over there... ;) SO LUCKY to have so many fun adventures!! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Abu Dhabi: I Suspect There's No Translation for "Redneck."

I don't think this is helping our collective reputation. 

I can't believe resources are spent to translate this for a greater audience. 

Abu Dhabi: Smuggling the Creme Puff Home

I must be acclimating, I stepped outside after work today and it was only about 97 and I thought to myself, "Ooh, that breeze is a little cool..." 

As I have been going from extremes -- from 60 degrees in the office to 109 outside, my skin has been a mess, and more powder was needed. So I checked out the meager makeup offerings at the LuLu Market, and found something to get me by in the right color. 

Upon return to my hotel room, I felt like something was a little off... I used to buy the occasional Max Factor product, because I liked the historical aspect of it...Max Factor INVENTED modern makeup. But why haven't I purchase any in a while...?

Oh. That's right. Sales and promotion of it were ended in America in 2010, and can only be purchased overseas (or online at Hmph. To focus on promoting Cover Girl? Hmph.

Lemme know if you need any 2000 Calorie Mascara.

Abu Dhabi: This is Major Tom to Ground Control...

Phew! Today is Day 24, having had 3 days off since May 12. I’m generally running on fumes, but feel much better today than I have in a past few days.

It’s dead, Jim. My phone. It’s completely and utterly dead. There was a corruption in the charging port, and it will no longer charge. It’s not been a big deal here, other than it was how I was able to chat with my husband briefly.I didn’t have data turned on anyway here, so wasn’t really able to do much on my phone except when I could catch the occasional wifi, but connecting to it at the hotel on my phone was a tremendous pain. And anyway, I’m sitting in front of a computer screen 12-14 hours a day…I’m kinda connected. 

But I could always use my Kindle for Droid app and make minute progress on a book. But no more. It's been a challenge not having something with which to entertain myself in the boring in-betweens. In the taxi. Waiting for the plotter. Breakfasting alone. 

I had to resort to extreme measures...I bought...a book. A paper book. With actual pages. 

In so many ways, coming to the UAE has been like going back in time.

  • No cell phone
  • Actual books laying around
  • VH-1 and MTV actually play only videos
  • The newspaper is delivered to me every day...what!?!
  • [Sorry for this one, Brandy] While there are lots of eco-features in my hotel, the shower head is like 8 gpm. I ADORE it. I can rinse my hair in like 30 seconds, not the standard 2 minutes. It's glorious. 
It's like 1991 here. I'll let ya'all know if I decide to replace my phone. ;)