Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bachelor's Unit in Ruwais

Thank you Ija for allowing me to take pictures of your home for my blog!

Corridor from the elevator
Entrance from the front door

                                                      Living Room



These are pictures of Ija's house in the bachelor's apartment.  It only has one bedroom and bathroom while the kitchen is an open kitchen overlooking the living room.  Frankly speaking,  if I were a newly wed or single, this apartment is luxurious in terms of space.  However, it will still be comfortable with 2 small children.   It is known that there are some occupants who have families with them in the bachelor's unit. It depends on how you can cope.

Next round would be my apartment.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Tough Decision

A few days ago, I was watching this horror movie called "Drag Me to Hell" with my son.  It is about this loan officer named Christine who was approached by a Mrs. Ganush asking for another extension on her house loan.  As Christine was eyeing this Assistant Manager position, she tried to impress her boss by handling the case and decided to turn down Mrs. Ganush's request for the 3rd extension.  By doing so, Mrs. Ganush is now faced with eviction and out of desperation, knelt and begged for the extension much to her disappointment.  And the plot escalates when Christine, hounded by Mrs. Ganush at the parking lot after working hours, was cursed that after three days of escalating torment, she would be plunged into the depths of Hell.

Watching this movie compelled me to think about my past decisions that I became disturbed by one I made a couple of years ago.  As the Form 4 coordinator of my school, I was in charge of placing students into suitable streams based on their PMR result.  As usual, most of these students, upon knowing which classes they are put into would throw hissy fits just because they either did not get the stream they wanted or that they were separated from their BFFs.

It is difficult during registration because these former Form 3 students aren't what they used to be.  Entering Form 4, with their PMR results in hand, be it a commendable one or not, they have somehow grasped some form of cockiness thinking that they know which class is right for them.  What they fail to understand is, even after 2 or 3 three times of us (my assistant and I) explaining to them, that during the first 2 or 3 months of the year, they are actually being put into temporary classes because when some students go off to other schools, there will be reshuffling and as a result, some would get to be where they want to be and even if they did not, the answer is obviously simple..they are just not suitable for it.

Nor, as I will call her here, is one of those students who I had turned down. She was put into a class she refused to be in because :
1. She felt that she was in one of those "kelas bong" (a class that students perceive as where the students are of lower IQ levels)
2. She wants to take accountancy as opposed to economy.

Taking her Mathematics result into consideration which was a weak credit, no, she is not a preferable candidate but if you take her determination, then obviously she is eligible..with some elbow grease, she might just make it to the top!

But that's the problem!  You can't just simply place a student because you know she is hard working and diligent..there are many others who are just alike her!  If I were to use this reason, then how fair would it be to others who scored a 7 for Maths, had the same diligence but are refused entry to classes of their choice?  On the other hand, if I were to treat each and every student equally, then, you would have 400 students all in the same class!

I turned her down, despite her tears and pleas..time and time again although my heart was for her and not against.  In turn, I pleaded to her to have some patience for who knows, in the first week of school itself there would be some students who would just not turn up and it usually happens. I assured her that she is on top of my list and even told her not to pay her school fees in full yet, even told her that it normally happens that in the first week there would be an empty spot, even told her that since I would be doing the streaming myself that I would put her name in, she refused!

She refused, being the head-strong girl she is, and even threatened to not show up for school.  I called my superior, who shared the same opinion with me that she would just have to wait and upon hearing this, she brought in her mother, a frail looking lady, old enough to be my mother, or maybe younger but aged by hardship.  Her mother came to us; my superior, my assistant and I with tears trickling down her cheeks, pleading that we would allow her daughter into the class she was desperately wanting.  We all turned them down but it was my voice that did the "deed".

What more could I do..there were other students with the same request waiting to see me! And words travel faster than lightning..Had I allowed her, I would then have to face this battalion in front of me, just waiting to scrutinize me and put me in the same ordeal! Most of these students don't want to be in the class that they are first assigned in.

I think that was the very first time in my 4 years of experience as a Form 4 coordinator, that I literally killed a soul.  Her mother understood my reasoning and my request for Nor to wait but it was Nor who wouldn't.  She shot me a piercing glance and I sensed and felt the hatred she had intended for me.  She left, with her mother, both of them crying.  As I went to them, away from the registration booth, in that little privacy I had managed to gain, I assured them again and again that I will put Nor in 4PA but it is definitely difficult to mend a broken heart!

Indeed, a week after school had started, there was reshuffling.  Nor managed to get into 4PA as I had tried to convince her.  But it was the week prior to her entering the class that had hurt me the most.   Every single time that she would bump into me, she would either turn her head away or look down at the pavement avoiding any eye contact with me. She just hated me that much!!!   And even after that..her cold treatment did not subside..although she would look at me but it was just at that..even to the last day I spent in that school, she no longer smiled to me.

Today, after 2 years, she sent a request on my FB account.  Whether that is a sign of truce or not, I have yet to see.   I do hope that now she realizes what my predicaments were 2 years ago..

It is tough making decisions..very tough..even as little as saying "yes" or "no"..!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ruwais: Cost of Living and Everything Else.

When you talk about cost of living, people have this preconceived idea that you would need to have a HUGE salary to live comfortably in the UAE.  Well, although the statement could be true for some, it could also be untrue!

First of all, do not ask me how much we are getting because definitely that is a personal issue.  But what I can spill out is in what you have to look for in your salary package.   Now, this post as it says refers to the cost of living in Ruwais, so please do not generalize the information I am giving to you as applicable to other parts of this country.  And also, please, this is based on what my household expenditures are and not referring to others' here.  This posting represents my individual opinions and experiences. Thus,  I will not take or bear any liability for disagreements or inaccuracies of data..heheheh.

Since most of the residents here are employed by ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), the schools or the oil and gas companies (Borouge, GASCO, Fertil, Takreer) which are also subsidiaries of ADNOC, therefore your salary packages should include your basic salary, allowances,  subsidized school fees as well as medical coverage while some will have air fares included separately from your basic pay.

There are 3 schools that you can choose from; Choueifat International, Glenelg International and Asian Indian International.  There are also the local schools but I was told that entry is only permissible if you have a strong foundation in the Arabic language as lesson will be conducted in that language.  I chose to send my children to the Glenelg International mainly because it is a new school and that parents are given the opportunity to meet with the teachers themselves should the need arise.  As simple as that.

Mostly, for education, if you decide to send your children to school as early as 4 and 5 years old, then you will have to pay for their school fees. Depending on schools, this may cost you around 6 - 10k per annum.  If however, you do not wish to part with your own money, then schooling is subsidized up to a certain amount from the ages of 6 to16 ( Grade 1 to Grade 11). 
Bear in mind that up to a certain age, the school fees are more than what the company will subsidize, so in that case, you will need to pay the remaining cost.  Let's say the company you work for gives you 10k per year for school fees but the cost of schooling for that year is 12k, then you will have to pay the 2k.

Nevertheless, take a look at the link below to enlighten you on how the schools are.
1.  Glenelg International School

2. The International School of Choueifat

3. Asian International School
- website unavailable -

Although school fees are paid for by the company, you do have to bear other costs such as your child's school uniform ,bus fare (AED 500 per annum) and stationery and that would not cost you much, most probably around 1.2k per child per annum.
Accommodation is provided FOC by your employer and this is why you get to save a lot of money.  Rental is known to be super high in this part of the world so when accommodation is provided, you should count your blessings. A friend of mine who rents a portion of a villa that was divided into 4 units of apartment is paying AED 3000 for her small unit in Gayathi.  I really can't imagine paying that much money for rent!!! 

Types of accommodation will be given depending on your position and number of children that you have.  It is also given based on your salary package.  If you have opted to bring your family, then you will be given a family unit.  If you come here on a single package, then you will be given the bachelor's accommodation ( a very spacious 1 bedroom apartment, 1 toilet and a small dream bachelor's pad if I were one) and there are those whom are here without spouses/family but have decided to share accommodation with others therefore a 4 bedroom villa shared with 3 others is allocated to them.

With a son and 2 daughters, we are given the Q type residence which has 3 bedrooms plus 1 maid's room.  I would guess that our unit is more or less 1900 sq ft. Not too big and not small at me at least.

Ruwais 2
Ruwais 2
Our block.

Ruwais 3
Photo courtesy of Bettina Schmit
Ruwais 3
Photo credits to Normon Solomon
Ruwais Photographers Group

Ruwais 4

Bachelor's Accomodation

Grocery is subjective depending on what brands you buy.  There are some products which are cheaper compared to Malaysia as there are which are more expensive.

PRICE IS AS OF 12/06/2012 
For example,
1. The largest jar of Nutella in Malaysia was MYR 29 at Giant but here it is AED 25
2. Beras Wangi Thai is AED 60 for 10 kg
3. 6 kg of TILDA Basmathi  rice is AED 57
4. 2 ltrs of fresh milk (Almarai) is AED 11..GoodDay in Malaysia is also MYR 11 for 2 ltrs
5. 400 gm of LURPAK butter is AED 11.60
6. A loaf of bread is AED 3.75
7. Chicken (already cut for just lazy) is AED 20 for 1.1 kg
8. Nestle Cheerios Cereal (375 gm) is AED 13.25
9. 2 kg of sugar is AED 6.50
10. Eggs- prices vary.
If you take the OMEGA ones, expect to pay a lot, if you buy the Saudi, Oman or local eggs, a pack of 30 would be not more than AED 18.

Fish: (per kilo)
Tenggiri is AED 20- 25 per kilo depending on season
Seabream is AED 35 -38
Ikan Kembung is AED 12
Udang galah is AED 45- AED 55
Shrimps is AED 30 - AED 40
Lobster is AED 80

There is ikan tongkol (Tuna) and also Kerapu  and Siakap but I rarely buy these coz we have brothers here who go fishing and are always damn lucky so we always snitch from them. Their last acquisition  was a 7.5 kg Hamoor (kerapu).

Front door of the fresh market.
The best thing is, it is air-conditioned to cool you from the scorching heat!

Hana and sweet little Zahra.

There are veggies that you might want like your sawi, kangkung, kacang panjang, petai, galangal or tauhu (soya cakes) that is supplied on a weekly basis but be prepared to pay a fortune for them.  A packet of snake beans (kacang panjang, kalau tak silapler) is around AED 15, 4 - 5 sheets of banana leaves is also AED 15, screwpine leaves are AED 5 for 10 pieces.  There is local kangkung and spinach and they are way cheaper.

Roughly in a month, I would spend around AED 2400 to AED 2600 to buy my monthly necessities like food, laundry detergent, etc.  Yes, it may seem much, but this includes my children's lunch to school (they have 2 breaks and the canteen does not offer much so it is best that you prepare food for them to bring) and husband's lunch or dinner to work. Comparing to what I used to spend in Malaysia, which was RM 2000 a month (excluding lunch money), this I would say is okay enough.  But again, some may spend less depending on your individual needs.  One thought to ponder on though..since you are earning your salary in AEDS, why should it matter how much the price is here in comparison to back home??  It is not as if your salary is converted from RM to AED kan..does it make that much difference??

Hana and Baby Zahra in front of the veggies..
Hana sure is happy here!

You are given leisure allowances and once you have resided in your accommodation, some amount of this leisure allowance would be deducted from for these 2 necessities.  It should not cost you much considering that you would be using the air-cond 24/7 especially during those sweltering summer days and nights.  Since I live in Ruwais 2, the apartments only cater for electric stoves so what we pay a month is considerably cheap for the amount of electricity that we use.  Unfortunately, I can't really say how much we are deducted as this is company's policy with different companies charging either more or less.  Don't worry though, it should not cost you more than AED 800 per month.  Despite it all, you would still be able to afford buying your wife the LV that she has been coveting!

Not too much difference with what we pay back home. Currently, a litre of RON95 equivalent (Special Grade) is AED1.72. The price is actually quite high for a Gulf-oil-and-gas-producing country that has the 4th largest reserve in the world, but hey, we cannot get everything, yes?

There is also a Super Grade (RON 98 equivalent) being sold at a slightly higher price, but why fill up with this 98 when there are a LOT of high powered vehicles filling up their tanks with 95? (Look, it's that 5.7, V8 Tundra, hey... Chevy Camaro. What, Shelby... no, there is that Corvette, next to the 2012 Mustang. Wait honey, the Panamera is about to finish, let's queue up behind it). Since these big boys use 95, why pay up more?

Charges are a bit more expensive than Malaysia. Heck we have few providers in Malaysia, whereas there are only two (Etisalat and Du) here. Packages start from AED 259 per month for 1 MB/second, AED 299 for 8 MB/second, AED359 for 16MB/s to the ULTIMATE at AED 499 for 30 MB/second! Good point is, the line is very stable and you rarely get cut in the middle if you are downloading something (Hello TM, please read this... heheheh).

Bad things are: you will be charged if you forgot your password (AED 50), you will be charged if you require their techies to help you (AED 100), and forget about VOIP using Skype coz' it is blocked here. My advice? Download and install Skype in Malaysia, and bring it here. But still you cannot make that PC to phone call. Be prepared to "invest" good money if you really want to hang on to the phone.


Credits to Ruwais Photographers Group
Reception area of the outpatient clinic
This is the new hospital.  Previously, we either had to go to Gayathi or the Ruwais ADNOC hospital which is 30 minutes away.  The new hospital I heard is rather high tech and has many departments and specialists.  I will update this post once I go there for the pamphlet.  But..servis sangat lambat!!!!!!! Boleh tanam kopi and kutip hasil.

Now, even though you have medical insurance, you still have to some fees because again. it is subsidized.  For your info, we are insured under OMAN insurance and employees from GASCO are under DAMAN (if I am not mistaken)

Registration is AED 20 and medicine is AED 30. Total: AED 50 per person.(Ruwais Hospital)
Yes, every time you go to see the doctor, you will have to pay the above amount.  And again, the fees differ if you go to different hospitals.  Nothing is free in this world right!

::Check out more beautiful pictures of Ruwais at this link::
Finito!  Now the most popular question that I have been asked is "Is it worth moving there?"

In terms of finances, first of all, it depends on your debts.  If you have a lot, and it takes much of your income well I say to think many many times.  Without any contributions to KWSP, you have to be really committed in saving most of what you earn.  But again, this is just my 2 cents.  Some of the brothers here can live comfortably despite earning AED 10k because they do not have many commitments back home.  It also depends on the number of people you are supporting.  Remember, the more mouths you feed, the more it will cost you.  This does not just refer to food alone..think entertainment, outings, medical, school, clothes.  Ruwais is a very lonely town if you do not know how to entertain yourself! Again my 2 cents.

In terms of leaving my family behind, as I have always said, I am a wife and with my En. Amat is where I belong.  Of course I miss my parents and siblings like sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomuch and it kills me when I can't talk to my sister for hours and hours like we always do but   I am a wife and my children need their father.  

Since I am here already, I would say for our family, the move is worth it! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Introduction to Ruwais

Before I came here, I was super curious to know what Ruwais looked like, how Ruwais would be.  I would dedicate myself to browsing the internet hours after hours searching for something that I wasn't sure of..and when I would finally bump into pictures or blog s that were available, they just did not seem to fulfill this flaming curiosity in me.    Wikipedia, on the other hand, was extremely too detailed for my liking.  I needed to hear or learn about Ruwais from a real person's perspective..meaning how one first arrived here, adapted and adopted to this place that was far beyond imagination.   Having thought of that, I promised myself, that once I reach Ruwais and have started living here, I am going to blog about it just to satiate the same hunger from those who had sought to know more about Ruwais.  

Before I begin, let me tell you a bit about Ruwais that most of you might have read on Wikipedia.  There isn't much difference I can tell you.  Yes, as it states we are approximately  2 and a half hours drive away from Abu Dhabi and 3 and a half to 4 hours drive away from Dubai.  In between these drives there is nothing but the desert and some industrial sites upon reaching Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  So, driving is a challenge because for the lack of scenery, sleepiness can take its toll on you.  Qatar, heading  westwards is actually nearer to us as compared to Dubai but going there you would need to cross Saudi Arabia which Ruwais is in fact very close to its borders. However, to get to Qatar from Ruwais is not as easy as ABC.  You would have to go to the Saudi embassy first (nearest is in Abu Dhabi) to get a traveler's visa allowing you to pass Saudi Arabia to get to Qatar.

On the way to Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

The nearest lively town to Ruwais is Gayathi.  However, shopping in Gayathi is said to be more expensive thus the reason why residents there would take the 30 minutes drive or bus trips to Ruwais just for provisions but with a Lulu branch recently opened (our Giant hypermarket sort), there is now a stiff competitor for the local shops in Gayathi.  If you are searching for entertainment, be forewarned and do not get your hopes up high because you would be utterly disappointed.  There is nothing much that you could do in Gayathi, if  the cinema, snooker center, pubs or shopping malls had ever crossed your mind.  It is also a quiet town, a lot busier than Ruwais, but indeed a quiet one.

Being relatively a quiet town, to ease the mundanity of life that some might face here, ADNOC has provided residents with a recreation center which houses a bowling alley, small cinema, a swimming pool and some other indoor games, a cafeteria and a library.  There is another recreation center exclusively for the ladies which is the ladies' club.  The facilities are just like the RC without the bowling alley and theater.  I have to admit though, as much as I am embarrassed to..I haven't set foot on this place let alone pass by it.  So, excuse me for not providing any pictures.  Like me, as the recreation center has not been put to much use, my children would find solace at the big park situated just 30 footsteps away from our apartment.

Cafeteria at the RC
Photo credits to Bettina Schmit.

The big park at night.
Photo credits to Shahin Sha from the Ruwais Photographers Group

If not, a costlier alternative to having fun would be to make it a point to run away from Ruwais every fortnight.

Apart from that, we do have 3 banks, a post office and some small shops like a book shop, electrical shop, clothes, textile, tailoring, sports shop and one that has just about anything or everything you need at Ruwais Central but if you are quite fastidious about brand and quality, then I do advise you to go Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Ruwais Central.

Ruwais Central
Photo credits to Ruwais Photographers Group

In terms of security, so far, Ruwais has a low crime rate.  As far as it is made known to publiclah.  You rarely hear stories of either children or adults being kidnapped or molested or raped.  There was only once between Jan to March that there was a robbery at the Fatima Grocery shop situated just three buildings away from where I live. But that is as far as it goes. The police are always making rounds so there is this confidence factor to allow your kids to go by themselves to the park or the grocery shop nearby. However, bear in mind that although the chances of being kidnapped is down to nil,  our children might be victims of bullying from children of other nationalities who are known for their notoriety and rude mannerisms. 

Well, that is about it for the next post would be on the schools and markets and also the accommodation.  Hope you find this post informative enough. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Getting your Driving License

I was supposed to write this post like many moons ago but being malas has always been the reason to procrastinate..well..until today.

Let's get to the chase, shall we? Now, if you have a Malaysian driving license you can either decide to use it or not.  You don't really get much leeway after all unless you are confident that you would pass on first strike. However, it doesn't hurt to try.  So, getting back on track, if you do have a Malaysian license:

Translate your driving license at the Institut Terjemahan Negara.  For translation services, you can contact Pn. Siti Nuraznie at the Malaysian Institute of Translation.  (I do have her contact number but feel it inappropriate to freely display it here.. so feel free to message me for it.) 
What we did was, we contacted her and scanned the documents to be translated, send it to her e-mail where she would reply with a quotation, pay her for her services, she would then translate the papers, and then set a date to collect it.  Once you have your documents (license in this case) go to Wisma Putra in Putrajaya and ask them to verify it.
Once you have done this, the remaining procedure could be done at the Malaysian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Advantages of translating your Malaysian driving license:
1.  You don't have to take your parking test.
2.  You will straight away go for your road test.

You will have to go to Tarif , about 120 km away from Ruwais to open up your file at the Traffic Police.  Submit your translated Malaysian driving license with a copy of your passport along with the visa stamp, a passport size photo (if you forgot to bring one, there is a small shop which provides services for photcopying and also instant photos) and a letter from the company hiring you or your spouse.

Once you have opened your file, the officer would send you to a doctor to get your eye tested just to check whether or not you're color blind.  Don't worry, the doctor's office is just 20 steps away from the registration office and the doctor was super cool man..a friendly chap.

After bringing your eye test result to the traffic police, you will then be asked to register yourself at the Emirates Driving School (the only driving school in the UAE). 


The classroom
Enroll yourself for the 2 day theory course, you can either choose to learn in Arabic, Urdu or English.  Obviously I chose English.. and once you have completed the course, there will be a written test  the following week.  As a woman, you are given the privilege to sit for the test on the nearest date as there is a maximum number of people for each tests.The males however will have to fight for the remaining seats. Hahaha...most of the males would die to get the nearest dates.

The written test is nothing to be nervous about.  If you are an experienced driver, then prior knowledge and common sense will get you there.  Mostly, the road regulations are quite similar but what may trick you is that here, we drive on the left side as compared to back home we are always driving the right way..hehehe (get the joke..we are on the right hand side so we are on the right way...hahahah..funny? no? well..hmmm..okay..)  Secondly, pay attention during your theory classes because during lessons, your instructor will pass on to you very useful tips. Thirdly, study your handbook..not religiouslylah..but just browse through it..

The handbook does come in handy!
Make sure you come for your written test..and be punctual!!!!  If something arises and you can't make it, inform the school beforehand via e-mail and set another date.  If you fail to turn have to book another test date. Free you say? Nopeeeeee... thats AED 50!
When you have passed your test, then you should prepare yourself for your road test.  Bring your test result back to the the traffic department and apply for a temporary ID card for driving that is.  If I can recall, I think this should cost you no more than AED 200. Then, once you get your temporary ID, you will also be given an appointment for your parking or road test.

For your information, the entire cost from opening your file to the written test should take you around AED 800 to AED 1000 which is relatively cheap.  I heard from some Malaysians in Dubai that these classes would cost them more than AED 3000!!

There are 2 scenarios when you have passed the written test.
A) If you declared your Malaysian driving license upon registering for the very first time at the police department:
Because you are recognized as a person with a license from Malaysia, you will directly go for the road test. Therefore, call the driving instructors, Kamal (for manual vehicles) or Javad (for automatic), of both whom are based in Mirfa which is located just 20 minutes before Tarif, for some driving lessons.  I would advise you to take the lessons in Mirfa despite the long travel because your actual driving test would be held there.  So, it is better to familiarize yourself to the roads and traffic in Mirfa.
Each driving lessons would cost you AED 50 for manual and AED 60  per hour for automatic cars.  My say is that going for 4 to 6 hours of lessons should suffice depending on your confidence level.
Come early for your test.  Bring your temporary card and appointment sheet and submit it to the traffic department in Tarif.  The road test, as I have said, would be done in Mirfa.  A bus is provided to bring all candidates to the venue.  There will be two police officers with you in the car.  One in the passenger's seat while the other at the back.  It is not easy peasy lemon squeezy as they will really look at your driving skills at every angle..hence the two officers!  One silly mistake..then, they will tell you to stop the car and then you're out!
If you passed the test..mabrook..mabrook..the officers will sign your test form and take your temporary ID.  Go back to the traffic department, bring the test result and apply for your driving license.  They will serve you with sweets and a smile!. Your picture will be taken for the license. Pay AED 200 and you will get your 10 years driving license!  Voila!
On the other hand, if you did not pass the test, well, then you have to go back to the traffic department and apply for your parking test before you can do your road test the second time.  
I am not sure if they will be smiling or offering sweets and all because I passed my road test the first time as well.. hahahhahaha.. gloat gloat gloat again..

NOTE:  It is not easy to pass the road test as the police officers are VERY stringent in assessing! 
(Amat Apis you get the underlining meaning???? Do you you?? Hahahahha)

B) If you did not declare your Malaysian driving license and played dumb and fragile as I did or have never had a license before, then you will have to take a parking test:
Call Mr Abdul Rahman in Ruwais and go for parking lessons.  His fees are the same as the above.  But for parking, 2 or 3 hours is fact 3 hours is more than enough unless you are a beginner.  For parking, practising in Ruwais is okay because what you need is the technique unlike for road test, you would need both the technique and road familiarization.
I passed my written test some time in October but the parking test was scheduled for me in December.  You can opt to bring forward your test date for a fee of AED 50. 
Come early for your test.  Bring your temporary card and appointment sheet and submit it to the traffic department in Tarif.  For parking tests, the test would be done in Tarif..just beside the driving school.  My husband and daughter was there to cheer for me!
If you pass your parking test, alhamdulillah.  Go back to the traffic department to get an appointment for your road test.  If you failed, then try again and again and again.  
I passed mine the first time..hahahah (gloat gloat gloat). 
After passing your parking test, then you will have to go for your road test.  Procedures are as in  paragraph A.

That's about it I guess.  To be frank and never to gloat..seriously.., the most gruelling part about the experience was never the tests but actually the long journey from Ruwais to Tarif and Mirfa for both the classes. driving practices and tests.  And again, I am lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful husband who diligently sent me and waited for me throughout the entire time although he was considerably tired...I am so indebted to him.  I guess it is because of this that Allah made me fortunate enough to pass in the first attempt for both tests.  Alhamdulillah..

My Enche Amat just came home, read this post and informed me that the Traffic And Licensing Department will be implementing new rules.
They are:
1.  Now, there is a mandatory 20 hours (if he is not mistaken) of driving practice before you are able to take the road test.
2.  When this is better save up would roughly cost you another AED 1000 just for classes..pheww...glad I took mine already!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday??? My days are always wordless!!

Who says that only Wednesdays are the days that you become speechless..if anyone say "Ay",  I give you my fullest respect..Boy do I need some people to tell me how to live my life because got it..EVERYDAY makes me wordless! 

Come noon, this mess is what greets me!

Iman, my ever loyal assistant.
And after toiling for nearly 3 hours sorting out the mess made by a certain somebody, this is what the end product is.

And lookey look..

Dia pulak yang tidur..yang mengemas sepah dia orang lain!

So geram with this "beautiful fairy princess ever and ever" !!!!!  Sleeping with no shame at all after her Mum and sister cleaned up all her mess..eee...sabo jelah!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rain..oh rain..please come again.

Last 2 days for the first time ever..I mean in my 7 months of residing here, it rained heavily.  Er..what I mean by heavily is definitely according to the standards here and not like the rains that we have back home in Malaysia where 'heavily' could cause flash floods and all.  Hujan ciput jer kat sini..heheh

A typical sandstorm in Ruwais.  This is nothing compared to the ones in the open desert!

It began with a sandstorm in the morning and followed by strong winds at around 9.40 pm.  The kids just returned home with my En. AA from the park.    I thought I heard the sound of wind clearly from inside the house..opps..apartment..and I asked my eldest to check whether the front door was ajar or if the windows were slightly opened.  He didn't bother to check but instead replied rather casually.."'s raining, Mum."  Upon hearing that, Q himself and I were super excited that we called everybody and told them that it was indeed raining! Say what??? Rain??  And there we were, the 5 of us in our living room balcony watching the rain as it dropped from the clouds to fertilize the desert grounds.

As we were gawking, there it came a flash of a light.  At first, we were uncertain if it was lightning or not..come hardly ever rains here, let alone to have thunder and lightning?? must be kidding me. Even if it does usually is bouts of water like those that come from a sprinkling has never exceeded 5 minutes of raindrops but yesterday was different.  As we were debating, with my hubby strongly saying that it was definitely a lightning..there it came again right before our eyes..a thin bolt of light running from across the horizon into the dark nothingness.  And we all scrambled into the house apartment like little mice being shooed away with a broom when we heard the roaring of thunders one after another.  ( Alah 4, 5 kali jer..tapi kira banyakler tuh)  That was when unianimously the kids decided it was time to sleep. should rain more often!

It was raining heavily last 2 nights. It usually never rains like that..and for the first time, it felt like home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Glenelg's International Day 2012

It was a success..the booth and the Tarian Endang.  Looking around, I have to say our team made it. 

Compared to the Malaysian team, most of the other countries had a large number of people in their groups to help out.  There were also groups that had 2-4 countries combined. (what a cheat..hehehhe) We were green with envy.  For our small group of 4 ladies, the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Egyptian, Indonesian, Emirati and the Palestinian groups were like giants who could easily topple us!  They had these massive tents, adorned with trinkets from home, carpeted and draped with curtains that yelled out their origins.  The Emiratis had a grand 'majlis' for onlookers to rest in, while the Egyptians built a mini pyramid the size of me!  Looking at our humble booth, our self-esteem was nowhere to be found.  Fortunately, our husbands were around and helped to set up the booth, along with another pair who had nothing to do with Glenelg but had willingly assisted us in the name of patriotism and friendship.  Alhamdulillah..we made it through. 


Weeks before the event, we started off being petrified.  There was nothing that we could offer to introduce Malaysia to the crowd of onlookers, no items of handicrafts, no posters and not even the Malaysian flag (yeah yeah..scorn us lot..we forgot to bring these items here!)  All we had were pieces of kain batik Terengganu, our baju Melayus, baju kurungs and a set of congkak.  Not knowing what else to do, we contacted the Embassy of Malaysia in Abu Dhabi and requested for some posters and brochures to display.   Since the embassy did not have what we needed, the corresponding officer took the initiative to contact the Malaysian Tourism office in Dubai on our behalf asking for whatever brochures that they were able to spare. Two days later, what we were given was a small box with different sorts of pamphlets. They were very helpful indeed; the pamphlets, the embassy and Tourism Malaysia staffs.  Although the reading materials were not enough to hand out to the passers-by, however, it was sufficient enough to add colors to our empty booth.  What more could we ask for, better something than nothing. And we finished decorating and preparing the stall, it was immediately transformed into a mobile branch of Tourism Malaysia.  Our booth was more like an information counter and it was the only booth to have offered brochures!  Three cheers for Malaysia!


Apart from the brochures, we also displayed our traditional game of congkak and batu seremban.  Since we could not find any rocks here where the desert looms, Kak Marlina made them out of rice in small packets of cloth.  It wasn't quite peculiar to the westerners as they a have similar game called "Jack" or was it "Jumping Jack" ?  The array of traditional delicacies also did not fail to impress people.  The 'keropok lekor' made by Niza and her 'sambal cicah' had fast gained popularity. And by the "mmmss" and "ooohhhhsss.." that were heard as these kuehs had found a new home in people's mouths, we knew that Niza's 'lepat pisang' did not disappoint us either as well as the 'kueh kole kacang' by our masterchef Ila.  Unlike the other countries which offered a buffet enough to keep you full till the next day (oh did we pig out!!!  So malulah these Malaysian housewives gorging on almost everything.. but i tell you ah..Palestinian and Egyptian food is absolutely delish!!!! and Kenyan too..oh the black sesame paste..mmm)  our simple servings of kuehs were just the right amount. 

Then at 5pm, the time we waited for had finally come.  After two weeks of practice from 4 to 7pm, the cryings and complaints of small children, the fatigue of having to be patient with them, hindering myself not to yell when they screamed, trying to understand that a 5-minute break in reality is 25 minutes, having to keep them going-on when they all sighed upon hearing me say.." more time!"..the moment had arrived.  As I stood in front of the stage, assisting the little ones so they would not forget the steps,  I noticed that my being there was not needed at all!!!  They were doing a fantastic job..each and everyone of them..the small blunders they made were nothing to make a fuss about because they they all knew their steps and they looked nowhere near being afraid or shy..even the little ones..even Tabina who joined the group not more than 48 hours prior to the day. All the effort had finally paid off!

By the end of the day, we were all so tired!  It was a good experience for us who had had the guts to be involved in this event although we were lacking in manpower and materials.  At least, for the years to come, we are now prepared with ideas and plans to bring in more things from home.  This is surely a day to remember.