Got to Abu Dhabi late last night. It was difficult to know quite what time it was. Add in the extra time I had for completion of my immigration formalities, got dropped at hotel and finally reached my room I was even more uncertain! I had however remembered to ask hotel reception for a 7.30am wake up call. Not necessary as it happens.
We are 5 hours behind Seoul so I was still quite awake during the course of this morning. Beginning to flag now and I think early to bed this evening is looking very attractive.
Went to the office about 08.00am and started the process of meeting the new team etc then onto work permits, including more form filling. Seems never ending.
Opened my emails only to get a very sad message that a very close friend Clarence in Sacramento had died. So a sad start to the day. But not much unfortunately that I can do about to help apart from say a few prayers for him it.
Popped out for lunch at a small sandwich place recommended by one of the girls in the office. Initial impression of my first 5minutes in Abu Dhabi streets is that every one seems gentle and very polite. Also on the way back to the office I called into what appeared to be a local grocery/supermarket. Full, I mean busting at the seams type full of everything you could want. Fruits, meats, breads spices and nuts. Loads of nuts and dates. All combining to produce a beautiful smell.
Now this afternoon I am off to get a medical, necessary to be able to complete the Work Visa. Going to be tested for AIDS, HIV, TB etc. Could be some interesting results! Watch this space. They always say they are testing for TB. Well I had TB as a kid yet no one ever picks that up in a medical. I did crack some ribs a few weeks back coming off a motor bike. After the x-ray I might ask the Doctor about that. Then again why bother just get it all over and done with?
Tomorrow is no more exciting. HSBC are sending someone round to open a new bank account for me. The rule is if you work here you must be paid here. Simple enough so the banks are very keen to sign me up. I’m not so sure they will be keen when they realise just how small my monthly savings are going to be!!! This event will be followed by buying some site personnel safety kit. Plastic hat, safety goggles and steel toed hard boots. So shortly I’ll be all set to hit the work site running. Well I plan to do it as more of a quick walk!!!
Abu Dhabi. Well that’s going to have to wait till after all the above is done. Then I am free to roam until the work permits are all sorted. Already decided I will do some walking. Weather is good and I’ll get a chance to look round and see what’s what. I was last here in 1978’ish so it is all completely new. Photos and comments, observations and views to follow.