Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Hydroplanes in Dubai?

This article is excerpted from the Seattle Times on July 29th. Hydroplane racing is big in Seattle, and when I saw this article, I thought how perfect the Gulf, with it’s smooth, glassy surface, would be for these incredibly exciting races.

In Seattle, people take their own boats to the hydroplane races and tie up at specially designated sites. It’s like one big huge boat party, people dancing, kids floating around in inner-tubes and floats, good food, all in addition to the excitement of the races. Having hydroplane races in Dubai would be amazing.

(Photo from Tacoma News Tribune Sports.

Several people in the pits said Saturday that representatives of Dubai are looking into holding a race.

“They’re very interested in having us bring our boats over there,” said Erick Ellstrom, crew chief of the Miss Ellstrom Elam Plus. “They love hydroplanes over there.”

Apparently, a delegation from Dubai was scheduled to be in attendance at Seafair next week to take in a race firsthand. Ellstrom said that apparently won’t happen, but that the Dubai group might attend the race in San Diego next month.

It might sound like a fanciful notion, but Dubai has gained an increasing reputation as a sporting destination, which was detailed recently in a lengthy story on That story quoted one Dubai official as saying the goal is “to use sport as a platform to attract global exposure” for Dubai.

While logistics might seem like a nightmare, veterans pointed out that it might not be much different than the days when a race was held in Honolulu, when the boats were transported by ship.

Apparently, part of the connection between Dubai and hydros is the business association with Boeing, which has taken on an increasing interest in the sport.

Read more at The Seattle times: Next Stop on the circuit . . . Dubai?

August 12, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cross Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Middle East | Leave a comment

Credit Card MixUp

They must have thought we were stark raving out of our minds. In the middle of a crowded dinner-time restaurant, the three of us are out of control. Normally bordering on dignified, we are whooping with laughter, tears are streaming down our faces and we are laughing out loud, totally out of control.

The waitress brought the bill for my Mom, who was treating, but when she brought it back for my Mom’s signature, my Mom said “this isn’t my credit card!” She looked at it closely . . . it was my sister’s credit card.

“How did I give her your credit card?” she asked my sister, who looked baffled.

“I can’t imagine!” she responded. Mom had made it clear that this evening was HER treat, and we hadn’t even reached for our wallets this time.

This was our third dinner together in ten days. We have switched off paying, and we figure that the switch must have happened either a week ago, or five days ago. But . . . and this is the truly horrifying part – both have been charging on the switched cards! As the total implications dawned on us, we were horrified – and our reaction was this hysterical laughter as they tried to figure out what they had charged on each other’s card.

The horror is this – neither of them had noticed they were not using their own card. And no one, at any store, noticed that the signature on the charge slip DID NOT MATCH the name on the charge card. My mother charged several times, my sister charged a few things, but no one ever questioned the fact they were using someone else’s card.

This is horrifying. it is only hysterically funny because it was my mother and sister, and they had to work out who owes what to whom – and the total lack of privacy as two grown women have to tell each other what they have charged. That is laughable. But we are still totally appalled that it could happen, and that it was never caught nor challenged. Amazing.

August 12, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Customer Service, Eating Out, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Privacy, Relationships | 7 Comments