Monday, June 30, 2008

Sleepless in....Dubai

I’m not sleeping well at the moment. I’ve never been a good sleeper – apart from the weekends when I could possibly enter the Sleeping Olympics – and win gold! I don’t seem to be able to switch my brain off. When my head hits the pillow, my mind goes into overdrive.

Just some of the things it was contending with last night:

Moving into the new apartment – and all that goes with it: re-connecting water, electricity, getting internet/phone/tv /extra car park pass sorted. As each of these items takes about ten years, an office trip, and 85 documents photocopied, passport etc, the combined list is a big undertaking.

Furniture is getting delivered, whilst I’m at work (can I get out to let the delivery men in?) before that the flat needs to be cleaned. Trying to book the cleaning company involves a number of unfruitful calls, each time saying they will call back. They never do.

Need to actually move all of my possessions: one enormous suitcase, two huge boxes which I had shipped, in addition a myriad of house stuff which is under the bed.

I need to hire a car as yes, you cannot walk anywhere in Dubai, and despite the flat being a 15 minute walk from the office, I would either: a) die of heatstroke, b) get mown down by lunatic drivers if I attempted to walk. So I need to arrange to collect the car and get it home. Compounded by the fact that despite reserving a car online, the rental company have no record of my booking, and cannot tell me which car I have reserved. Oh, and I have no clue where they are based. And I’ll need another 85 pieces of paper in order to pick it up.

I have no bank account as I can’t open one until my visa comes through. Which could be another month at least. So I’m having to manage my finances from an envelope! It’s also a complete gamble whether or not my UK debit card is accepted in shops, as they prefer local credit or debit cards – which makes for interesting experiences when stood in the local supermarket.

Oh – if my visa doesn’t come through in the next month I’ll have to do a visa run – where you exit and re-enter the country, either by plane or car – neither option is exactly handy or ideal.

Layer all of the above over the fact that my working day runs from 830 til 730, I’m in week 2 of my first job, working on pitches, new account wins, have a new team to manage, and a long list of existing clients to service, and you can imagine the inside of my head when I lay down to sleep.

Is it any wonder I can’t drop off?!

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