Monday, August 08, 2005

There was an old Lady who Lived in a Shoe ...

... and her housing was infinitely better than that in Abu!
My word, I have been looking at housing in Abu Dhabi - for a number of new employees we are expecting, and to say that I am disgusted and depressed is putting it mildly. I am left wondering just what lived in these places before - not who, but what!
The first one had a lovely blue green pattern on the ceiling, but on closer inspection, this turned out to be mold, which, like the Andromeda strain had taken over the entire lounge area.
Toilets and kitchen cupboards are all, with rare exceptions, broken or ripped up, or have whopping great stickers stuck all over them. Ceramic floor tiles are chipped, cracked or have crater-sized holes - what were the previous tenants doing??? Ceilings hang and sag and are cracked and often just plain missing. Light fittings have been ripped out - just bare wires hanging down the walls with chunks of paint and wall missing. The mirrors are also mold-covered (this time, the black kind) and most are chipped or cracked.
Paint is peeling in banana-leaf sized chunks and in many cases walls are chipped down to the concrete - really, what were the previous tenants doing??
One flat with a wooden staircase had at least two stairs missing - the spaces covered up with carpet, so if you didn't know not to tread there, you would have had a sinking experience!
Geysers and airconditioners have leaked orange gunk down walls and into puddles on the floor. Any type of mesh on outside doors is usually torn and always rusted.
A flat in a very exclusive and expensive building on the corniche had the remains of a meal scattered all over the floor - all moldy and stinking to high heaven.
I have had various wildlife scuttle around and over me, from cockroaches to birds to rats and cats!
Gardens - if they exist - are either concreted over or have been left to revert back to desert type scrub, with papers and garbage strewn around most of them.
And these were the upmarket, more expensive villas and flats that are in respectable areas - one shudders to think what might be lurking behind the doors of the inner-city flats which look rundown from the outside.
The rentals for these atrocities is skyhigh and, outside of this country, would never be paid for such disgusting hovels.
I know there are some good places, I stay in one, but they are very few and very far between. No wonder newcomers would rather live in Dubai - at least they have relatively new, relatively inhabitable houses and flats - at a relatively reasonable rental!

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