Over to AUH 

​After five years in Bengaluru, we have moved again. This time to Abu Dhabi.

 In fact, I have been living in Abu Dhabi for the last one year and I brought the family back recently after sorting out the accommodation and the school for the kids. Life in Bengaluru was okay. We did have our happy moments as a family, but there were
quite a few social aspects that could have been better. The perceived class difference and the indifference at a time of need within our secure gated community at Marathahalli were too stark that it didn’t befit the quality of that place.

Now, looking forward to a much more happier existence in United Arab Emirates.

Life’s simple pleasures

Interesting that a fellow passenger walks up to me at Abu Dhabi airport and says,  “Chakra sir. How are you? I used to work for Wells at Bangalore. Do you remember me? “.

For the life of me, I couldn’t place that guy let alone remember his name.

He further embarrassed me by saying that after my refresher session on ITIL about couple of years ago (yes, I did few in 2013 & 14), he went on to get certified in ITIL and moved out of Wells. He was returning back to Bangalore after his brief on-site sojourn at Abu Dhabi. He believes that the certification is the game changer in his career and kept thanking me profusely all through the conversation.

Simple conversations that really make your day. BTW, made my day is a massive understatement. :))

Settling down at Abu Dhabi

Happy New Year and all that.

It has been a little over five months since I moved to Abu Dhabi. Should I use the cliche “time flies”. Cliche or otherwise, it sure does. Family was here for the last two weeks in December 2015 and we managed to sort out the residence visa and the Emirates ID card while they were here.

Getting the medicals done was a breeze. Due to paucity of time, I thought of paying for express service that would make me poorer by 500 Dirhams, but would get the results out within 24 hours. However, even with the normal service, I got the results in less than 24 hours.

Process related Emirates ID proved to be a bit of a pain, due to less number of female staff available to take finger prints for women. Wifey had to revisit the centre twice to get past that stage. All is well that ends well and they all got the residence visa on the nick of time, just a day before they were scheduled to go back to India.

Exchange houses of UAE

After Oil, the next best successful business in UAE appears to be the exchange houses. Thanks to the predominant presence of South Asian community, who typically send their earnings to their home countries – these exchange houses do brisk business all through the day. In the downtown area of Abu Dhabi where I live in, the streets are literally peppered with exchange houses under some banner or other.

UAE Exchange seems to be the market leader here. In either side of the building I live in, UAE Exchange have got branches. Don’t understand the logic of having two branches adjacent to each other. I am sure someone in that organization would have done their maths.

Talking to few of the acquaintances here, they all have their favourites and they back their preferences with some strong logic too. Personally though, I haven’t used these exchange houses, as I work for a bank and it doesn’t make economical sense for me to use one of these blokes. The exchange houses in UAE, the  way people prefer one over the other would one day make an interesting case study.

RIP Selvakumaran

Quite sad to learn that a classmate of mine had passed away. Selvakumaran was my classmate during under graduation at National College, Trichy. I wouldn’t say that I know him very well, but I remember him hailing from a village called Allur near Trichy. Once I have seen him ride a bullock cart into the town with some agricultural produce.

Thanks to the WhatsApp group, I just got to learn that he passed away about two years ago after suffering on kidney related illness. Upsets me a lot to think that a guy in mid-30s passing away leaving behind his young family. Rest in peace Selvakumaran.

Home and all that…

After a month’s stay at Courtyard Mariott, I have moved into my own space now. It is a studio flat just across the road from the hotel that is good for a bachelor’s life that lies ahead of me for the next year or so. 🙂 Just sorted the Internet connection that comes along with the landline phone and a IP TV.

Among other channels, I have been blessed with Jaya Plus, Jaya Max, Star Vijay and Zee Tamil channels. Evenings would never be the same again, I guess. 🙂

 

Modi in UAE?

Just heard the news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is travelling to UAE this month and possibly as early as next week. As far as I am aware, the complete itinerary is not out there on the media yet. If there will be a public address like the one in New York and Australia, I would love to go.

There are lot of ifs and buts though. First, I don’t know if he is travelling to Abu Dhabi. Even if he is, not sure if there is going to be a grand reception of sorts. And, would that be on a weekend? Fingers and toes crossed.

Abu Dhabi

After 4 years in India with Wells Fargo at Bengaluru, I have moved job and that too to a different geography. I have moved to Abu Dhabi and have joined a leading local bank here. For the previous move to Bengaluru, I had the good fortune of lovely friends who made us feel that international relocation is a piece of cake.

For the moment, I have moved in alone and have been put up in a hotel by the bank. Once I sort out the residency visas and other mandatory stuff, we need to focus on the greater problem of finding a good school, home and bring the family along. There is a long road ahead of us and it remains to be seen how that pans out. As has been the case, I will update this blog sporadically with updates from Abu Dhabi.

Smart Phone story

After a gap of couple of years, I have started using a smartphone.

The first smart phone device I bought was a HTC Wildfire in 2010. At that time, Android was at its infancy and a smart phone was look at in awe. Having used that for three years, the screen got smashed one fine day when Srivaths accidentally dropped it. Then, I switched to a basic Nokia phone that served the purpose for the last couple of years. The only thing I missed during my non-smart phone days was the Twitter. Although I haven’t been actively tweeting, the amount of information that I got and the way it helped me to kill time while waiting for something was phenomenal.

In the last couple of years or so, WhatsApp seems to have replaced the email and I seemed to have been blissfully unaware of this. Accidentally, I got to know that quite a lot of communication among my college mates are happening on that platform and even a get-together is being planned at my backyard. It coincided with the timing that someone decided to gift me a smart phone and I was presented with Lenovo A6000. A nice, little toy to play around. Having habituated with the bare bone Nokia mobile for the last couple of years, I am still yet to come to grips that this stuff is an extension of me. Hopefully, will be there in due course.

🙂