Friday, December 18, 2009

I owe everyone a little explanation. We moved so quickly to the UAE that we barely had time to have a going-away party from Los Angeles. Such is the world of television production, and why I chose it as an occupation was for the opportunity to travel to places like this and get paid for it.

My loving compadre and I were each offered jobs by the same company here. We will be setting up and running an in-house video production unit, which so far seems to indicate that by the end of the project we will have rounded out our experience as directors, producers, equipment gurus and editors. That's how it looks so far, anyway. But, the work the least interesting part of the journey.

We have been here for a week and a half already, so there is some catching up to do on experiences so far. The beginning is probably a good place to start.

Back in Los Angeles, we boarded for Dubai on the 6th of December. It was an 11 hour flight to Amsterdam where we made our connection. That connection is a more potent experience on the trip so far. Walking through Schipol, we were surrounded by preened and chipper Euro travelers and businesspeople on their cell phones, in chatty groups...until we got to the gate for Dubai. First of all, we had to go through an extra set of security to just get into the gate, which I now know was why the ticket indicated to be at the gate an hour and a half before departure. Our flight wasn't filled with the contented savvy Euro travelers found in the rest of the airport. It was filled with contractor and engineer expats, people in national dress, and haggardly military guys returning to the Middle East probably to end up back on base. On the whole, no one was excited to be on this plane like I noticed other people in other lines were. This, unfortunately, included me. A six-hour flight after an 11-hour one, and a complete unknown ahead; would we like it, what's it like, am I going to need to cover up, tack on some sleep deprivation... Worse, my loving compadre and I were booked so late on the flight that we didn't even have seats together. I was wedged in between two giant engineers who barely fit in their seats and spilled over into mine. Six hours later, at midnight, we landed in Dubai.

The car hire booth didn't have our reservation. We didn't get to our hotel until 3:30am in Abu Dhabi, an hour's drive away. However, there are certain things that can take the sting out of a 3:30am check in to a hotel. Five stars is one of those things. We had to pass through security to get into the hotel; a temporary fixture due to one of the Asian football teams staying in the hotel for the FIFA World Cup Classic (or something- I have a lot of ramping up to do culture-wise).

Within about two days, and not due to the five-starness, I realized I could stay here awhile.

After five days at the hotel catching up on sleep and meeting with company people, we moved to our town of Al Ain, an oasis resort community on the eastern edge of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. It's a 'village' compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi the capital, containing about 450,000 residents. It shares a border with Oman. We have been here for a week, and I'll post about that week in separate entries.

1 comment:

  1. in-house video production unit
    but what will you be producing?

    i know all of this happened pretty fast and it's sad to be away from George, but this looks amazing. omg be careful!


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