Only Etihad Airways (UAE National Airlines) has direct flight from KL to Abu Dhabi. I could see the plane took off from the screen. I was nervous moreover, when I saw the lane number is 4. It's not a good number! My series number for the course is also 4 - 44. adesss. While having my dinner, I watched new release movie but the entertainment system kept up and down. For 6 hours 30 mins..I could not finish watching 1 movie (should deduct 3 hours of sleep..hehe)...
The 1st time I stepped on the UAE land, I said oh, my good! It's hot! At the airport parking lot before boarding MLC bus, I could see rowSSS of luxury cars but dusty. Gurun la katakan. After checked in at the Blue Tower Service Apartment, I continued sleeping till 9 am in the morning. I missed the Subuh prayer!. haih...At 12 noon, I went to Al-Falah Plaza (in front the apartment) and bought L'oreal For Men mosturizing gel and Nivea For Men body lotion. You need that if you are here. Then, to Pharmacy because someone ordered ubat perancang. The price much cheaper here. I bought 6 boxes for AED148.
FOOD It's expensive! One set of meal without drink is at least 25 dirhams...around RM24. Thai fried rice is AED28 and fruit juice is AED10. So, you need at least AED30 for complete set of regular meal. I tried shis tawook, chicken kofta, zareshk rice and other local foods. Since I had long schedule during day time, I frequently bought subway sandwich downstair for my dinner - Tuna, Spicy Italian and Chicken Teriyaki are my favorites, not Subway Club/Melt.
PEOPLE They are rich. Own big bungalows and nice cars. Lexus, Bentley, Merc, BMW, Crysler, Hummer are everywhere. The speed limit is 120 km/h but the radar will only catch you if more than 160. So, take care when crossing the road! The customer service in Abu Dhabi is not good. They dont know to say thank you, please come again and even smile. Even when we were having class dinner at Abu Dhabi Shang-Ri La..we do not feel invited. Other bad thing about customer service here is if the balance is AED5.25, they will not return you the AED0.25. They did that more than 3 times to me.
FREE-TIME Since there are nothing here but malls, so I spent my free time to Marina Mall, Al-Falah Plaza and Al-Wahda Mall. I bought a Columbia Sportwear cap, a GAP short and local yet famous chocs for my friends and family. I didn't manage to go to another famous mall - Abu Dhabi Mall. Tired! What else to do here???? Well, you can sleep ... sleep and sleep. I don't think Abu Dhabi is for vacation. It's only for business - oil!
WEIRD Abu Dhabi is a planned, modern city...Talls building and tower everywhere along the road. But, I don't undertstand there is no parking in the building itself. It's hard to find a parking space. And I believe this will be the major problem once the density becomes higher.
Other thing is people here are not good in making pastries and cakes. The muffin is hard, the cheese cake is just like a butter cake and so forth. Even the muffin at the Starbucks!
The Subuh, Zohor and Asar prayers are 1 hour earlier but, the Maghrib and Isya' time are just the same as in Malaysia.
No sky bridge here! The road is 8-lane and the cars are driven like in circuit. So, depends on your luck!
Fruit juices are too thick ..betul ke? I mean pekat. As an example, the guava juice. It's like they blend the guava without adding water and put it in the bottle. Same goes to strawberry, orange and others.
Canned drinks here are cheaper. Only 90 cents. Actually 1 dirham because they don't have 10 cents to return.
MY COURSE AT MIDDLE EAST & ASIA LEARNING CENTER Interesting! Lots to share other than getting a new laptop but, I just want to write on our driving test. Schlumberger really emphasizes on driving safely. Out of 45, only 5 passed the test - 2 Americans, 1 Iranian, 1 Lebanese and 1 Australian. I got NYC status in my QHSE passport means I can drive in New York City...Just kidding. NYC means Not Yet Competent. Hehe... My last time drove a car was in 2006 - Kancil. But this time, the driver seat is on the left and it is a big car - Honda Accord. I got 17 out of 27 for training at the parking lot of Marina Mall. I entered into the wrong side of the road but Peter Wilkie said "yeah, not easy because you are driving left-sided in Malaysia" (means the driver seat is on the right side). He advised me to have 6 months practice before taking new test in Kuala Lumpur. My mate from China...hahhaha...he was quite confident since he is a frequent driver and he drives big car in China. Surprisingly, his performance was not better than me. Peter said you are a novice driver and you must have 2 years practice before taking a test. Do you drive in China? Eric said yes! So, you are a lucky man as Peter replied. If I were your driving instructor, no way you will get the license.