Well Hello There.......

Ok so this is me- blogging! I do everything else so why not this! Welcome to my blog and hope you enjoy the shennanigans!

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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Car Insurance Rant!!

Just going to have a little rant about my car insurance here in Dubai now- sorry- it drives me mad!!

So got a good deal last year through my bank and have had no probs- need to renew by March 8th- the dude from the insurance company has been ringing me to renew since January 1st- that put me in a New Year's hangover panic I can tell you until I checked the date!! So I told him to email me through the renewal cost. I didn't really pay much attention to it as had checked my docs and it didn't need renewing till March.

The proceeded 2 calls a day following up!! Every day! Which I ignored for a while.... then I called back and said dude- why are you calling me twice a day in Jan when renewal is not till March- doh!!

Anyway, so we're sort of near renewal time now and I decided to just have a little shop around and am glad I did- I can save 400 AED (That's £70 ish) and get better coverage! So decided to ask the dude why- here is the fabulous email chain...enjoy!!!

Hi Insurance Dude,

I have been shopping around for this and realised that the prices are more expensive than I paid with you last year- can you explain why the charges are higher this year for renewal especially as I have never made a claim.

Also have checked with other providers and their quotes are cheaper too for the exact same if not more coverage.

Warm regards,



HI Manodrama,

Maybe the insurance company that you asked for quotation gives you cheap premium like ABC Insurance company. In the market ABC Insurance is the one who gives the cheapest quotation for cars, we are dealing with them before but we lose so many clients because of them. They give so less premium and yet when the customer go to the point of having accidents the benefits are so less.

Trust me ma'am the Insurance Company I gave you is best Local insurance company now here in Dubai.

Don't look on the premium ma'am, see the benefits. Take it as an advice ma'am.

All the best,

Insurance Dude

Dear Insurance Dude,

I have got a much cheaper quote from AXA Insurance with better coverage- I think they are just as reputable aren't they? Never even heard of XYZ insurance.

I have attached it for your reference and this is even insuring the car at a higher value.

So tell me why should I go with XYZ and not AXA?



Hi Manodrama

That's a good premium you are having right now ma'am, but I can give you lower than that with RSA ma'am if you like. XYZ is high because they are not applying the nationality and if you have convertible license. But in AXA and RSA they are accepting.

What is your nationality maam?


Insurance Dude


I have not replied yet- all of a sudden he can get cheaper with reputable companies!

If he calls me ma'am one more time the patronising little git I will scream!! He has all my details from last year- so he knows what nationality I am and that I have a transferable licence- that’s it I’m out!

Needless to say I am just on the AXA website now doing all this online and not being harassed or patronised or having to deal with numpties!!!

The names of the insurance companies except for AXA and RSA have been changed to protect their identities hahahah!

It’s at times like these I really want a husband grrrrrr- they don’t give men out here the same run around that’s for sure!

Peace Out!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Should You Ever Go Backwards?

Me don't want to be in boring domestic bliss!!
Sorry for the silence folks- been mega busy- but here I am!! Got a few topics whizzing around in my head but this one popped out first!

I am a great believer in going boldly forward or going forward boldy- whichever way round is the correct non- Star Trek version. What I mean is- live life with no regrets, don't look back and get maudlin, learn your lessons and move ever onwards with a big happy smile :)

So over the past 6 months have had ever single significant ex boyfriend and one ex fiancee get in touch and re-declare undying love for me- yes freaky I know! Was the universe trying to tell me something? Were they all going through a mid life crisis at the same time? Had they all just split up with someone and done that bloke thing- you know- ooh let me get in touch with the one that got away! Or was it for me to be able to do an Eminem and clear out my closet! Well, needless to say nothing came of any of it- I was nice and polite to all- forgave them their imagined sins and said if that's really the way you feel about me do something about it- show me your undying passion- needless to again none did- exes are an ex for a reason! So I thought it was over bye bye boys!

But the surprise- a suprise blast from the past- who has popped up in the last- was going to say 3 weeks but have just checked the date of the first message- January 1st- so now am worried it's a new year's resolution thing!! Eeek! Anyway before I spotted that was going to say this one could possibly be different! We had our first and only date 7 years ago- at which he declared I am not looking for a relationship- to which I declared well why the heck are you registered on a dating site then???? Grrrr! Anyway that aside we did actually become really good friends after that- culminating in maybe 2 years after that a snog and fumble up north as I call it- after which he promptly disappeared- I now know he started to have feelings for me as I was for him- got scared- ran off and hid- so I met someone who I dated for 2 years- he got married in the meantime!! Complicated- welcome to dating in the 00s! We did have contact by text/ phone a couple of times over the intervening 5 years but that was that- until Jan 1st this year!

So I didn't know he had got divorced again- anyway we met as friends and have met quite a lot as friends since the new year- he's always been a bit flirty- but I am thick can never tell if someone fancies me! Anyway I am really rambling again- long story short- if I want it it's there for the taking- but here's the kicker- I AM SCARED!

After all this time being single and thinking I want a boyfriend/ marriage etc. and now I could have something serious it is scaring the pants off me! I am having blokey thoughts like is this as good as it gets blah blah blah!! Confused? You betcha!! Not that my life is fandabbydosy I am worried it will all change- I guess giving up my card carrying single status is harder than I thought it would be. I don't know why I am feeling like this because it's never worried me in the past! Maybe it's an age thing!

So to return to my original question- do I break my rule and go backwards or do I run for the hills???

Will let you know what happens :)

Update 25th Feb- well nothing has happened this week cos he's ill! Doh!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Amy Winehouse- Dubai said no no no!!

Ok so I love her music, know she has had her troubles but had been hearing good things about her concerts recently- about how she has got her act together and recent tours and concerts going really well- so had been sticking up for old Amy when the nay sayers were trying to put her down! Big mistake!

Last night's concert was a debacle of monster proportions and I just don't get it! There were approx 8,000 people at the gig- 8,000 people who have paid good money to see Amy perform- who all started to boo halfway through song one!

Amy looked ok physically- nice dress, filled out a bit so she look less haggard and gaunt- but the postives stop there! She looked and acted frightened to death- her eyes were so wierd-no focus and skipping about like she had no clue where she was, she kept rubbing her arms, hugging herself, picking her finger nails in the middle of songs and drinking something out of a tea cup and gargling with it!

I seriously thought there was something wrong with the sound- you could not hear her- until she walked off during a song and her poor backing group took over and you could hear their vocals fine! She was whispering into the mike, miming and forgetting lyrics as well as walking off stage in a kind of huff about 4 times- the first time she was gone for 20 mins and we didn't know if she was coming back! So the backing band and vocalists got rapturous applause every song they did- Amy got booed at the end of every song. I know we are a hard audience in Dubai but I have never ever seen or heard that before out here- people were leaving in droves after 10 minutes!

She did do all her well known songs but they were like pale imitations of themselves- people tried to get into it but it just wasn't happening.

Just found the above on youtube- by the way this was about 5 songs in and people weren't shining green lights in her eyes- this was filmed off the big screen and it's lasers.

Worst concert ever and a lot of disappointed fans in Dubai today!

I feel sorry for her- she needs serious help and she should not be performing in front of such large audiences who have paid their hard earned money to go and see her perform!

Links to other commentary:

The Mirror

Update: it's happened again Amy Winehouse 'too drunk to sing' in Belgrade concert... someone needs to look after the poor girl and people need to stop paying to see her!

BBC report

Monday, 7 February 2011

Day 21

My Miracle- Champix
Well, I have been resisting blogging about this- did not want to tempt fate- but I think....I really think I have GIVEN UP SMOKING!!! Yes, a miracle has indeed occurred...thanks to Champix/ Chantix as it's called in the US of A! For those of you who don't know Champix is a tablet you take that takes away the pleasure of smoking! It's supposed to be a prescription only drug but you can buy it over the counter here in Dubai- it's pricey- 198 AED for the starter pack of 2 weeks and 444 AED for the month packs....but so worth it!

I never thought it would work- I have tried nicotine gum before and cold turkey but never went more than 3 days without caving! I have smoked for 15 years and was up to 3 packs a day- yes I know terrible, terrible! (OK have just noticed too many exclamation marks- will stop it already with them.)

So today is Day 21.... without a cigarette- was lucky to be able to go 21 minutes without a fag before. Today is a special day for me and probably why I have been counting the days- as it apparently takes 21 days to make or break a habit- and da der here I am.

I haven't really had cravings for nicotine as such- I have just had routines in my life where I would stop and have a fag- on the phone, driving, after a meal, break from work, with a glass of wine, first thing in morning, last thing at night- all a total ritual really. I was once told that I used cigarettes as a punctuation mark in my daily life- I guess that was right!

So I have been focussing on getting new habits- or distractions from the old one anyway- lollipops have helped, licorice sticks, baby carrots, grapes, drinking loads of cups of tea and lots of water... sweeping the floor a lot (it's been dusty here), doing too much washing, painting my nails, watching way to much TV- but thank you Lie To Me and Tim Roth- you were a great distraction- anything to take my mind off- you only need to distract yourself for 5 mins and the wanting goes away.

I think I have almost forgotten I was a smoker now....which is a hard thing to say after them being my prop and side kick for the last 15 years!

People ask me do I feel any different? Well, I am not bounding around with the joys of Spring yet- the fatigue should wear off soon but I can smell and taste things more, my singing voice is much clearer, I get dizzy a bit when I stand up as apparently my brain is not used to so much oxygen in my blood! I have amazing dreams- that's a common side effect from the Champix- I was worried as I thought they meant nightmares but they aren't they are just really involved dreams. I have put on weight but that is my own lazy ass fault- the exercise started today- can't focus on changing everything at once so was not beating myself up too much about it- was focussing all my energy on not smoking- so fags kicked- tick next is weight!

I really don't want to become one of those sanctimonious reformed smokers- they used to drive me mad and before the more someone nagged me the more I wanted a cigarette... but I do want to give hope that it is possible! I followed all the instructions properly with Champix- you start the tablets and continue to smoke and you select a date between day 8 and day 14 for giving up and work towards that. I started cutting down almost immediately I started taking the tablets- from 3 packs to 1 pack in 3 days and had picked Day 10 to give up totally- actually did it on Day 8 though. I have to take for 3 months in total which is fine.

I had been reading that the tablets have been alleged to possibly cause depression and suicidal thoughts in some rare cases- so I warned all my friends and family to keep an eye on me and what I was saying just in case- but I reckon if you know there's a possible side effect you can deal with it... like if all of a sudden I was eyeing the knives in the kitchen drawer I would be like arrrggghhh it's the tablets there's nothing wrong with your life- if you get what I mean! Had a close call with my Mum though as she sent me a text asking how things were- I replied it's a bit gloomy- she freaked thinking I was depressed- I just meant the weather- it was bit a dark outside cos there had been a storm here- whoops sorry Mum- hahahah!

So thanks for all the support from those of you who know me- and if this spurs anyone on to quit- believe me if I can do it- you can do it!

There is a really great article of what the effects of giving up smoking are here http://hubpages.com/ I found this page really interesting and packed full of useful info.

And if you want to visit the Chantix official website go here

Well it's nearly Day 22 so now so time for bed and thanks for reading! Putting it out on here makes me feel likes it's true- I AM A NON SMOKER!!! YAY!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Mmmm........... Match.com

So I have been single for some time- am fine with it- but would just really like to have a boyfriend- someone to spend time with and share things with. It's soooo hard in Dubai- especially as it is inhabited by fembots and glamazons- not that I am ugly- well I hope not- but there are a heck of a lot of 20 something, stick thin, 5 foot 8, short- dress- wearing, super tanned, blonde, cookie- cutter fembots here! I ain't 20 something, am not stick thin, have a brain hahahha....etc. etc. you get the score!

When I first moved here way back when I joined Match.com and there was a lot of choice on there at that time and I went on a few dates.....scammers hadn't been invented then......in the end I long term dated one guy- and he did propose- I said no- and am still close friends today with another- so all in all it was ok- then the site got blocked and that was the end of that!

Fast forward 9 years- have had a wee bit of a drought so I thought "Hey let's see if Match.com is still blocked?"- and lo and behold it wasn't. So I signed up for the free element of it- which is ok but you can't contact anyone or read any emails you get- so after a couple of weeks I got an email from them offering 25% discount so have decided to fully join. OK, so did that, paid the dosh and then thought oh gosh wait a minute should have checked out some reviews first- too late- money was spent! Apparently the site is full of a lot of romance scammers and the like- oh dear! Well at least forewarned is forearmed I suppose- plus it gives me something to write about on here!

So far have had a few very obviously scammer emails and also from members whose profiles are removed by Match before I can even check them out- so they must be scammers. Anyway one dude seems genuine- so I emailed back- I am not 100% sure yet whether he is a scammer or not yet...here are the red flags to watch out for that can also be found on the website Romance Scams here but to sum up:

1. Want to leave the original website and get on Yahoo chat as soon as possible
2. Say they are soldiers from US stationed in Iraq/ Afghanistan read more about the soldier romance scam here. It's an article in today's Daily Mail- apparently the African fraudsters make £80 million pounds a year from it!
3. Ask you for money- any money for any reason
4. Say they love you v v v quickly!
5. Say they want to visit you- if they are in another country
6. Really bad grammar and english
7. No knowledge of where they say they live
8. Start talking about God helping them to find you
9. Have a sick child/ mum/ sister etc!
10. Totally forget what you told them in the last chat you had- that's because they are on to so many people or it's somebody new from the gang now talking to you!

By the way men get scammed as well as the ladies! And the profile photos you see are on the dating sites are stolen off the net- those poor people whose pics they use- must be a nightmare!

So this guy now...let's call him Marco........let's see how he fares-

1. He's American based in Afghanistan as a body guard- eek red flag!
2. He wanted to go on Yahoo chat- I said no- red flag!
3. Not mentioned money yet!
4. No love yet- but this is only chat one so let's wait and see!
5. Said he spends his time off in Dubai- eeek- so let's see if I get asked for ticket money!
6. English ok- some typos but nothing too chronic yet
7. He has local knowledge- I asked about weather, and the weekend there and whether they can get booze- he answered all correctly- but he could have been googling.
8. No God as of yet!
9. No sickness mentioned!
10. Chat one- so no comment!

Red Flags- 3 out of 10- will let you know more! Am not getting a good feeling about this now actually!

Another fabulous website about scammers is www.419eater.com this is a community of people who particpate in baiting the scammers- revenge is theirs! I am not suggesting for a minute that you do this- but the site makes a good read!! I think the funniest thing on there is the pictures they have got the scammers to take with silly slogans on cards- maybe I am just warped hahahhah!

Pic from Daily Mail @sam Furlong SWNS.com
I know I may be laughing a lot at this phenomenon- but I actually it's not really funny- real people who are not as internet savvy as some of us- get their hearts broken and lose their life savings- so if I can help spread the word and raise a smile at the same time- job's a good un!

My advice- if you are unsure about anything at all- any email or anything you are not sure about- bank emails, prize emails, texts, long lost friends needing money, lost kid appeals, chain letters, weather warnings- anything at all- google it- it's all there on the web for you! Check out www.snopes.com for the best scam and urban legend database....keep safe and savvy out there!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Rescue Me!

I have this thing- I watch TV shows and fall into crush with certain male characters. When I started to think about it I realised the thing in common with all these crushes was I reckoned all the guys would be able to rescue me! Now those who know me in real life know I am mega strong and probably would not dream I want to be rescued by a man- well I guess deep down I do!

Maybe it’s a primeval urge- you man, me woman- come bash me over the head and drag me off to your cave! Who knows- maybe I need therapy hahahah! Anyway so it appears I do have a type and whether he’s a hero or an anti hero (as in Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights- see I remember my sixth form English Lit lessons) he’s one strong, intelligent dude that’s for sure!

My top 8 fictional character men I want to be rescued by... the only order is chronological- i.e. when I first realised I wanted them!

1. Mulder (David Duchovny, X Files)- possibly where all this started! He’s smoking hot looking, intelligent, strong yet fragile, tall, smoking hot... oh wait I said that already. And his lips- he has the most lovely looking soft lips! I spent my formative years yearning to be your Scully! How many years did I watch waiting for you to kiss her!! Shame that damn bee got in the way! I wanted to believe so badly- believe me!

2. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, X Men)- this is an old crush of mine and the only time I fancy Hugh Jackman- he’s just too camp and pretty in real life!! So what is it about Wolverine that gets me every time- is it the grizzly facial hair? The finger knives?  The smouldering eyes? Whatever he’s in my top eight! Another “ pick me up and carry me off to your cave” favourite! Always good for a weekend hangover box set fest- all the Xmen films- always perk me up!

3. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland, 24)- Oh Jack- what can I say that hasn’t been said before? You are the man of men! Alpha male does not even begin to cover it! You had me from hour one and when you kissed Audrey’s knee I nearly fainted! I loved you from the tip of your toes to the strap of your man bag. You would be able to rescue me and I would promise not to keep dithering off like that dippy Kim! Once rescued I would stay rescued! Now upload the schematics to my PDA, dammit!

4. Sawyer (Josh Holloway, Lost)- Guess I like a bad boy- but was he bad boy really? I got so lost in Lost I can’t remember! This is one that does transfer to “real life”- fancied him in the Davidoff commercial too hahahah! Not usually into blondes but make an exception for him- plus I really want him to call me Freckles, pick me up and carry me off to his bivouac! I also want to play with his hair!

5. McSteamy/ Mark Sloane (Eric Dane, Greys Anatomy)- while most other girls were dreaming about McDreamy- I just couldn’t see it- I wanted the tall drink of water that was McSteamy! Why? He’s stronger a bit more mysterious, less wimpy- more of a real man in my eyes I guess!  His face is what gets me- it’s lush! I want Dr Mark to smile that hot smile at me! 

6. Captain Jack Harkness- NOT Sparrow! (John Barrowman, Torchwood)- I can’t believe this little sci-fi gem passed me by for so long- found and watched all last year and oh man did I crush Captain Jack. Sometimes living in Dubai we are out the loop TV wise and stumble across things not knowing what the background is- so basically I had a full on crush developed before I found out JB is gay in real life- so illusion shattered! Still think he’s hot though but I know we can never be together! Not cos he’s gay but because he is possibly the Face of Bo! (geek Dr Who reference- sorry!)

7. Eric Northman- (Alexander Skarsgård, True Blood)- yes I know he’s a vampire- I don’t care- I would, I would! This one is a cross over from crushing of the Eric character in the books to adoration of the screen character! I never liked Bill in the books either! He’s tall, brooding, so strong, hot bodied, funny- oh man getting all hot and bothered just thinking about it! Ok so him rescuing me might make me have to join the legions of the undead but who cares! 

8. Dr Cal Lightman/ Tim Roth- a new surprise entry! Have just watched all of Lie To Me- except the last episode of Season 3- I don’t want it to be over yet!  So I keep dreaming about him and he rescues me every time! Guess I want him to do the head tilt and funny hand thing at me- see to the centre of my soul, fall madly in love and let me cook him baked beans on toast for the rest of our happy lives! Yes, luv!

Oh god just realised maybe it’s a long coat thing??? 

Time to do a comparison to try and draw some conclusions?

The Man Chart- click on it for larger version!
So I guess in summary I am looking for a 42.5 year old, American, brown/ blondy haired, clean shaven, short haired, over 6 foot guy in some sort of long swishy coat, must look good in a white vest and with a degree and who knows how to handle a gun!
Now where in Dubai am I going to find him? 

Answers on a post card please- or in the comments section below at least!
(Am worried now- is it just me that has these mega, never gonna happen crushes on fictional characters??? I do hope not!)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Hala Febria!

Have been wondering what to muse about for the last couple of days.... do I mention The Benihana Kuwait Social Media PR Fiasco? Not sure- don't want to get sued! Click here though for the full story.

It was amazing watching it break all over bloggerdom and tweetdom yesterday morning and now seeing it in the broad sheets and on the radio...still can't get over the GMs comment in the middle of his I am going to sue you rant- BTW are you Lebanese? I know this is a serious issue but that bit makes me laugh so much!!

I really want to credit the photo above but cannot find the link to the person on Facebook anymore- so sorry- but thanks for the laughs! Let me know if you know who you are...and I will credit you! I really hope that Mark from 248am.com comes out of this ok!

So I think the power of Twitter has finally arrived in the region- it was flailing around for a while but now has the power to bring a whole country into revolution and issue an SMS (that's a Social Media Slap) to companies sueing bloggers! So get ready for the Twitter take off UAE!

Oh and I bet you want to know why I've called this post Hala Febria- it means Welcome February and is the name of the DSF like shopping festival in Kuwait- during February (believe it or not!) and it's the first day of the new month and been watching the Kuwait blog and twitter scene with interest... so now you know why!

What else is going on? Bit dusty in Dubai- everywhere had a layer of dust on it inside and out- I wish it would just rain already! Dubai needs a cleanse! We do like a bit of weather here as even though you would never believe it- clear blue skies do get a bit tiresome after a while!

So that's it from me- off to do more Twitter/ facebook investigating, researching and stalking! I will get Tim Roth to reply to me!

BTW I am British :)