Sunday, December 26, 2010
Not to say that I loved staying in Sandymount (closeness to the beach, lovely housemates, a house), but after a winter freezing and for times without water, I decided that it was about time to finally move again to an apartment of my own.
Luckily enough, the guy who moved into Margot's old flat, moved out... and I moved in.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
It's not every day that you are asked to go on a business trip to Egypt (I did like Japan much better though!). I was sent there to provide additional training to our vendor in Cairo, and to quickly summarize, the trip was an experience. I have probably learned as much as my colleagues did.
However, not all went really well. First, the decision of being sent there had been postponed so often that I could finally only stay for 3 business days before they went live and I had to fly home in order to get going for my actual holiday. I had wanted and planned to stay at least a weekend to see something, but again it was not possible due to bad planning.
I left Dublin Sunday midday and arrived in Cairo with one hour delay at 4 o'clock in the morning. I was told that I was booked into the Marriott where all the people from my company were always staying, but the receptionist could not find my booking. Simply because, as I found out the next morning, I had been booked into a hotel at the other site of the town, close to the airport. Thank god, after some persuasive words, I was allowed to stay at the hotel.
On Monday, I had decided to see the pyramids rather than go to the office (after only few hours sleep, I wouldn't have been very useful anyway).
My first stop was at the Giza pyramids. I was told by my driver to not go with any guide, but I was completely overrun by the power of one of them. It happened so quickly and smoothly and, in the extreme heat of midday, I was caught and trapped. It was a humiliating experience and, if you need to learn to say 'no', go to the Middle East. Anyway I survived my embarrassment and purchased something I didn't need.
Next stop was the Christian quarter (I apologize, but at that stage my brain was almost fried and I can't quite remember the names of the churches). However, it was a nice quarter with one church next to the other, one for St. George, one where apparently Mary and Joseph had slept on their flight to Egypt, also a very dark synagogue, and the place where Moses was supposedly put into the river (apart from the fact that there was no river, but only fortress walls).
From there we went to the Muslimic part of the town and visited two mosques (as we had to pay for the entry, I do have their names): Mosque of l Rifa'I (19th century) and the Mosque and School of Sultan Hassan (14th century). The latter mosque was the more beautiful one and consisted of four open chambers located around a well where four different Koran schools could teach.
My last stop for the day was the Egyptian Museum (unfortunately, taking pictures was not allowed). The museum looked more like a store room for mummies, sarcophagi, and burial objects, and it wasn't cold as I expected, no air conditioning. Boy, was I glad to be back at my hotel room.
The following three days at the office were mentally busy, I answered millions of questions, often without time for a proper break. Then Ramadan started, so everybody started to be drained after a few hours too, but we didn't have time to wait, so we all pushed through (and me, back at the hotel room I had to spend time preparing the next day, reading through training material). To be honest, I loved it. I learned that I am able to make quick decisions in the middle of a training, to adjust my strategy with the speed or slowness of the class and to stay confident when needed.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
On my usual morning walk from Sandymount to Eastpoint Business Park, there it was, one big cruise ship. If you pass by walking, you get the feeling it's an apartment block floating on the water. Who wants to live in a skyscraper travelling the ocean? I do love the sea, but no, I don't want to travel that way...
Originally, me and Martina wanted to go over to London to view a certain actor, but as we couldn't figure out when he was playing, we just decided to go with the flow and watch as many different plays as possible.
So we left our countries in the early morning too meet up in London, settling for a tiny B&B in the Westminster district. During the day, we went to stroll through London, passing by Buckingham Palace, meeting a musician in the nearby park, before watching our 1st play in Covent Garden's Fortune Theatre: 'The Woman in Black', a very nice and gruesomely told story.
The second day, we went to explore more of Covent Garden, as I kind of managed to have been to London several times without enjoying this very nice part of London. Afterwards, we left for the National Theatre, because we really wanted to watch 'London Assurance'. However, when we arrived there were no cards left, so we went upstairs and waited patiently for 2 cards to be returned. We, jokingly, decided that we would like to get 2 seats in the middle. And, we got 2 seats in the middle. The play really was awesome, very enjoyable and very well played. (When I came back to London, I found that the Cineworld featured this very play as well... We watched the show live!). After the theatre, we headed to Chinatown to have a bite to eat (again, my 1st time to go there!) and to enjoy the lights around there.
Our last day, we spent in the Gallery of Modern Art, strolled by the new Shakespeare Theatre which we decided to visit next time, before Martina had to head back to the airport. I walked around the town a little longer, but then, fearing, if the English lost against the Germans in the football game, the town might be a little upset, I returned to the airport too.
London, we will come back very soon!