Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I can't steal anything now

My fingerprints... and palmprints... and side-of-hand prints (!?) are filed away electronically in some Emirati database. It only took the entire morning. And once I got to the office, it was just like any other bureaucratic experience. Here's a shot (taken with my cell phone--my apologies for the Third World quality of the picture) of the waiting area. I am No. 266.

The envelope says "He doesn't speak Arabic, so be gentle."

By the time it was all over with, I had to roll off to an appointment with a real estate agent. She took me around to several properties in various neighborhoods and of varying qualities. All were flats converted from what once was a single-family home, the ubiquitous Middle Eastern villa. I had set out to take some pictures too, but it was too dim inside to really get a usable shot with the cell phone. Sorry.

This is basically what the nicest one looked like on the outside:

Only slightly more upscale than the real thing.

Inside, it had been divided up into four units: a studio and two-bedroom unit upstairs, and two one-bedroom units downstairs. Somewhat strangely, there are very few pictures of apartment interiors available on the Internet. But the picture below kind of illustrates what this one looked like: high ceilings, straightforward angles and halls, tile floors.

The one I saw didn't have nearly as much natural light as this one seems to. Or a random tripod.

And that was my day. I'm tired. I'm a little stressed out--the last three places I looked at weren't options for a variety of painfully obvious reasons. My last act of the evening was to visit the Marina Mall (huge) near the Palace Hotel (amazingly beautiful) and buy a copy of TimeOut Abu Dhabi and a good map (indispensable).

Tomorrow: High-rises!

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