Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Is the World Cup taking a toll on you?

I was reading an article on how employee's productivity is expected to drop during the World Cup in the UAE, it must be true. The streets in Dubai and Sharjah are empty in comparison to the normal rush hour, because people are going to nearest place that shows the games.

Personally, I have been staying up late watching the games and my time has been revolving around the matches and where to watch them. If you think I’m bad, my friend has a story that I will remember for a long time. He had to get married as his future in-laws were loosing patients with him so he agreed 2 weeks before the World Cup, on one condition, that the honey moon would be after the World Cup is over.

Now beat that for a World Cup fanatic.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Turning a hobby into a profession

How cool would that be? Turning something you like doing as a hobby into something that would make you money. That must be the ultimate dream of everyone. After 3 years of deciding to buy a proper camera to take better photos, I am now taking my hobby of photography one step further.

My habit of sharing some of my photos by email, has got some good responses from my friends, but I always took that lightly, because I thought they are being nice to me when they complemented me.

This changed after one of my friends sent my photos to an advertising agency in Dubai and they approached me after a business dinner to talk to me about the photos, I started to have 2nd thoughts.A few months later, a couple of people from work approached me and wanted to buy some photos, that’s when I decided its time take this matter more seriously.

So I got my photos enlarged and printed, and I was able to sell 5 photos the very next day to a new start up company. They initially wanted 9 of them, but had a change of mind when it was time to pay. But hey, who's is complaining, it’s my hobby and I recovered the cost of enlarging and printing all the photos. I am now in the process of making an album to enable me to approach some art galleries and see how far I can take this hobby.

So if you know anyone who wants to buy photos from Oman, Iran, Vietnam, Colombia, Cuba or underwater than please direct them to me and we can do some business.

Friday, June 09, 2006

San Andres, Colombia: Fantasy Island

A fantasy island by Nicaragua, lush green, protected by a huge coral reef, where diving is perfect all year long, no mosquitoes, where the weather temperature never changes, where Henry Morgan ,the pirate, hid his treasure, an island who’s inhabitants speak English as their first language and Spanish is the official language, where people are laid back and don’t consider themselves Colombian or Latin, for that matter but, Caribbean, this is the tiny island of San Andres.

I know it sounds like a commercial but it felt like fantasy when we were there last September. Everything looked like a fantasy; the hotel, the bar, the tranquil crystals clear waters, even their history and music instruments.

I hope these simple photos above can illustrate this fantasy Island. I was amazed with a band that used a horse’s jaw as a music instrument to make nice rattling noises and used a big bucket to make a deep base sound. It was really great fun and I would recommend everyone to check this island out.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Nets Kill Turtles in a Nature Reserve

The Daymaniyat Islands, in Oman, are one of the best dives spots I have ever been too. I have dived in the Red Sea, Cuba, Thailand, Thailand and the UAE but I am yet to see such large quantities of fish and marine life like I do when I dive in the Daymaniyat Islands.

This UNESCO nature reserve is supposedly protected by the rangers and fishing is prohibited. Sadly the enforcement is levels are weak and fishermen fish in these water using nets that destroy the vegetation and kill many marine animals.

Last week divers found a dead turtle stuck in the nets left behind by the fishermen. This senseless death could have been avoided if fishermen are penalized for hanging around the area and fishermen are made aware of the problems they cause when using such nets.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A feast for the beasts

It was my friend’s birthday and he wanted to have lunch at the Park Hyatt Hotel, Dubai. The lunch in the Thai Kitchen turned to into a rowdy feast, when two girls stated daring each other if they would can drink their wine with red pepper.

Matters got worse when one of the guys said he would give one of the girls a bottle of Champaign if they drank the bottle of vinegar…. it all went down hill from there….but the food was good I must say.