29 August 2008

I'm Baaaack!

I’m back after a little vacation. The Mrs. and I cashed in some frequent flier miles and took a trip to Paris and into Provence. I thought I was totally away from The Sandbox until two Lamborghini showed up one day and parked in front of the Hilton Tour Eiffel. They both had Abu Dhabi registrations. (But not low numbers so they must have belonged to a low level sheikh) My wife asked my why they would have Abu Dhabi license plates if they were in France. I explained to her that the sheikh probably loaded his personal cars into his personal jet airplane before departing for France. She found the concept of someone having that much wealth difficult to reconcile with her life experience. But, as she is fond of saying, “The rich are different”.

On scanning the Gulf News, I see that Ras al Khaimah has instituted a special plan to arrest beggars during Ramadan. It seems they use the Holy Month to take advantage of people’s charity and the police are only trying to protect the citizens. And besides, this was in the works before Ramadan. I may be a lapsed Anglican, but I thought that charity, and giving Zakat, was one of the main points of Ramadan. Anyway, stay out of RaK if are a panhandler.

I’ll have an update shortly on the fate of the Kohail Brothers and their arrest in The Kingdom. These are the two Canadian boys that ran afoul of the law and were subsequently tried for murder.

07 August 2008

Pump It Yourself Coming to Dubai

Emiratis will now be forced to pump their own gas at several stations. It's the end of an era. Of course, the west made this shift years ago. Gone are the days when a young man checked your oil , water and air while he filled your tank. Many a senior citizen had their first job as a gas jockey back in the 50's and 60's. But in the Emirates, I fear for the safety of the public. Most Emiratis are not familiar with manual labor and mechanical devices. The operation of a gasoline pump may be beyond their ability without extensive training. Second, too many Emiratis like to smoke and pump gas at the same time. And I always took advantage of the free windshield wash that came with the fill up. In the dusty atmosphere of the Emirates, washing your windshield is a continuous job. And don't forget the heat. Who wants to jump out and pump gas in 130 degrees? And finally, there's the man/woman thing. I can't see Emirati women (and they do drive in the UAE as opposed to KSA) pumping their own gas.

PE thinks its a bad idea, and possibly a dangerous one. And the poor guys working at the station don't earn enough for there to be an economic reason for the change. Anyone care to wager which station has the first fire?

01 August 2008

Head Count

July was a very slow month for the executioner. Only one murderer was beheaded in Saudi Arabia bringing the year to date total to 66.