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As Dubai is quite young, meaning it sprung up at a very rapid pace. The sightseeing here is quasi-inexistant (old town Dubai is supposed to be a definite tick on your list, as well as the museum). On the other hand one can, if feeling particularly bored or lonely, visit the many malls scattered around the city and/or sightsee numerous towers. Most of them are just inhumanly huge. Each one of them wanting to be bigger than it’s neighbour. But quite frankly, malls are the best cultural thing to do with a lot of spare time on your hands. People here spend a lot of time in 3 specific places while not at work, namely :

  • In their Air-Conditionned Room/Home.
  • In their big, fat, long, huge, wide, white 4×4’s vehicle (air-conditionned too).
  • In their favourite biggest, most luxurious Mall, which is also – of course – air-conditionned.

In malls you’ll see every layer of civilization present in Dubai, and no matter their origin, wealth or religion, they will congregate to those malls and spend a enormous amount of time away from the direct sunshine and heat of the outside. Not necessarily to spend money, but just like an English couple would walk a muddy path and find it thrilling, or a French would invite his neighbours for a drink or maybe more and speak nonsense, then getting into an argument…

By the way Flip-Flops are the way forward here.

So I decided to go for a sightsee, experiencing the cultural things that malls have. I headed to IKEA, in the Festival Center near Al Garhoud bridge for those who know how to locate themselves in Dubai. I needed to revamp the flatshare and make it a little more attractive. Since I moved in this flat, me & my flatmate have been walking on horrible mats every morning… A Zebra one, a Lion one, a Cheetah one and a hidious Tiger one. All faded with time (the previous tenant had very bad decorating tastes). So here I am in IKEA. The only place that feels like home ! Yeah everything in IKEA looks exactly the same and this is why it’s so nice ! So grabbed a basket, thinking I wouldn’t need any more than bathroom set and a few glasses. I was wrong the whole way ! You know the IKEA trick just as well as I do but you force yourself into thinking you’ll only spend that much money, then you finally realize that not only you will need a big trolley, but you’ll be spending A HELL A LOT MORE THAN PLANNED ! It has happenned to me again ! only when in for a couple items but came out of the air-conditionned swedish heaven with a trolley load of goodness :

  • A pair of Japanese-like table lamps
  • A 120cm tall Japanes-like living room lamp
  • Blankets to cover the disguting sofas (one cream white & a brown-greenish one)
  • 4 black cushions to complement the sofas
  • a bathroom set
  • an alarm clock
  • 2 sets of glasses (cocktail & regular tumblers)
  • a drying rack for the sink
  • a set of trouser hangers
  • Bath rugs
  • to corridor matts
  • a table cover (that matches the sofas)…
  • and some other things I can’t remember

All in all a very good shopping session that made my day. The downfall was at the check out point. My Credit Card wasn’t so happy. She overheated. But IKEA will remain IKEA right !? So spent around 700 dirhams which isn’t an awful lot compared to european countries. Came home and started unpacking to pimp my flat.

Before that I had the great pleasure of waiting a cab for God knows how long in heat and mosquito infested area of the Festival City Mall taxi rank. Waited there for almost 1h and a half before getting the chance to cool down in a Toyota !

Today was spent entirely at the Emirates Aviation Training College where we did mock exams of doors operations, cabin systems and communications as well as emergency equipment tests. Very misleading because of the three different types of aircraft we’ll be flying on : Airbus A330-200, A340-300 and A340-500. They are quite different from Boeing ones. And french engineers didn’t make it easy for us either ! WHO ON EARTH would name lavatories in an un-orderly manner ? This is just an example, many things just seem not thought after. Like they just named things out of the blue, just because they thought it sounded OK. Ohhh well I guess we’re gonna have to learn them…

Tomorrow is EXAM DAY and we’ll be tested on arming/disarming Airbus doors, emergency equipments and drills. Very stressful as this exam will determine if we’re competent or not for the aircrafts we’ll be operating on. Passing the exam will lead us to GMT (general medical training) or First Aid as you like to call it ! We’ll be giving birth to dummies, wrapping ourselves in bandages and so on…this will last for a week and then onto service (again, provided we pass the exams).

Otherwise here are some picture, those are the girls from my class :

Airboy - Sodwee - dubai - Emirates - training

and some more pictures from Momoko (Japanese girl in my class) :




  1. And what, may I ask my darling Benjamin, is wrong with strolling meditatively down romantic muddy paths hmm??? Many a philosophical, earth-moving, seriously ground-breaking moment has germinated in just such an environment…..you’re not moving with the groovers poppet, move your paradigm and adjust the mind-set and then abandon yourself to truly living THAT moment……..get back to me when it happens…..till then big hugs from my very own muddy pathway….. xxx

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