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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beer Run +

I had the day off ofter a grueling 60 hour work week so after a long and refreshing sleep I decided to take care of some business downtown. Earlier in the week I got a call from the company uniform shop that my uniforms were finally ready. Yes, uniforms are required for my position at work, they are similar to aitline flight crew uniforms with black trousers, white shirt and black epaulettes with gold stripes. They look like what we called in the Navy "Salt and Peppers". I got measured for these back in October so I figured it was about time. The excuses for the delay were that they were out of fabric(!?!).

So since my beer supply was at Code Orange-marginal but not yet critical-I decided to combine the uniform collecting trip with a beer run to the local booze outlet, Spinneys. Spinneys is a British institution that has a franchise in Abu Dhabi which combines a Western style supermarket with the firewater outlet. The liquor store is in the same building but has a separate entrance on the outside somewhat like Albertson's in the States. Both locations were in the city but on opposite sides of town. I like to combine objectives for my trips into the city as I would rather take a beating than to drive into town due to the insane fellow motorists I have to share the road with. Since I HAD to drive into town for the uniforms, I might as well replenish the suds supply as well.

In the supermarket, there is a room in a back corner separated by automatic sliding glass doors from the rest of the store. This room is where all the pork and ham is displayed for sale. Apparently the idea of consuming pork is so abhorrent to the locals it has to be sequestered from the rest of the store. That's OK with me as they have all varieties of pork there and I love pork. Oscar Mayer is the most visible brand. On my last visit, I bought some hot dogs -an off brand- and when I got home I noticed the small print on the package that said they were made in Kenya. Now I don't know about you, but that was not too comforting seeing how hot dogs made in even the most developed countries have questionable ingredients. As a friend of mine Jon put it, "everything but the squeal", so my imagination is running overtime about what is in the Kenyan hot dogs. I will try them and report back here, film at eleven. Spinneys is the only place I know where to get pig in this town, I call my trips there Beer, Bacon, and Tobacco (BBT) runs.

Anyway, my work at Spinney's done where I scored a case each of Pilsner Urquell and Amstel tall boys, a fifth of Wild Turkey 101 and a Blu-Ray DVD of "The Dark Knight", I headed across town to the uniform shop. I found a parking spot without grinding my teeth to nubs, always a good sign.
The collection of my uniforms went smoothly with the help of a cute and bubbly Filipino attendant and I was soon on my way. I decided to take a different route back to the suburbs as I was in a good mood and the weather was perfect so some sightseeing was in order.

After a few blocks, I encountered uncharacteristic bad traffic in an upscale suburban area. I sat in the Jeep inching forward a few feet at a time for 20 minutes and soon I saw the flashing lights of an Abu Dhabi police truck on the left side of the road. They had the left lane closed (out of three). I was in the center lane and I thought there was just a fender-bender, but as I cleared the police truck, I saw one of the most astounding sights I had ever seen. There, in the lane next to me, was a young camel lying on the asphalt in a large pool of blood. It was definitely dead. I don't know what happened, there didn't seem to be a damaged car nearby but it looked as if the poor beast had been hit. What was was surreal was that this was in a well groomed urban neighborhood where one wouldn't expect camels to be running loose. Maybe it was someone's pet. Anyway, I felt bad for the animal, he was definitely out of his element in the urban setting and unfortunately paid the price. It shook me up for awhile. You never know what you are going to see here when you venture from the house.

Ironically, two days before the uniform shop called to inform me my duds were ready, us employees were sent an email saying that uniforms would no longer be required and business casual will be the new dress code. That's too bad as I now have 6 shirts, 3 trousers and a double-breasted blazer (with sleeve stripes), all custom hand tailored at my employer's expense, that I cannot use. Oh well, I needed some rags to wax the Jeep with, and there is always Halloween! 
I could go as Isaac from the "Love Boat". Or maybe not.



Neil Roberts said...

I reckon you should wear your uniform evefry time you drink your beer, just in honour of your trip!

Sad about the camel...

Neil Roberts said...

..shame I can't spell "every" though!

Roger said...

Enjoyed the narrative of the day's happenings. Maybe you could t'o't as the doctor. Maybe you might run into Julie!! (purrrr) FPDIB should be back up in the next week or so (I hope).

Ace said...

Looking forward to your updates!

Yes, that is all they are good for now. I looked good in them,too. A shame.

I have imbibed beer for a lot less reasons!

I still feel bad about the camel.