Dubai, Oman, Höstsimiaden & Swedish Nationals this week…

This turned out to be longer than I planned.

On the 12th of Nov I traveled back to Dubai. It was my longest trip away from home since before Viola was born. After traveling all day wednesday I had a 12 hour work day visiting our potential new supplier on Thursday. Since the hotel gym is open 24 hours I enjoyed a late work out to clear my mind.
The Emirates weekend is Friday-Saturday, but with my office working as usual on Fridays I decided to work out of the hotel. Around 16:00 local time I turned my computer off and was ready for my one day off. I went to the gym for nearly 3 hours. Man it felt so good to workout two days in a row.

Since my old Project Manager Carna is now based in Dubai we went to Meat & Co for dinner. I enjoyed one of the best steaks in a very long time. It was nice to get out of the hotel and finally get to see some of Dubai. My last trip was work and sleep for 4 days.

Saturday morning I slept in. Well I woke up at 07:00 on my own, but decided to fall back to sleep until I woke up again. At 10:00 housekeeping wakes me up, I run down to breakfast and then hit the pool. 28+ and clear skies. I relaxed poolside for 3 hours before hitting the gym again. This time for just over 2 hours. After a quick shower I make my way to the Dubai Mall. I make my way to the 4th floor and start to wonder around, floor by floor. Just before 20:00 I am on the ground floor and step outside for 15 min to watch the fountain show. Then I proceed to the lower level to finish my tour of the mall. Besides the water show, I only stopped in 3 stores. It took my over 3 hours to wonder around the mall and I skipped the Souk (Market) and the fashion hall. I am sure it would take my wife 4 days, one day per floor.

It has been a very long time since I worked on a Sunday, so the 11 hour day really drained me. Luckily I was able to convince my co-workers to just order room service. As stated in my last post I became a slave to the TV so there was no workout. Monday morning started at 07:30 compared to the normal 09:00 start. So no morning workout. And a 13 hours work day followed by dinner at the mall with my colleague left no time for a workout. Tuesday I thought I was going to be a long day, but one of the meetings was moved from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon. So I was able to get a 90 min evening run/bike in. Wednesday morning I hit the gym before breakfast, then made my way to the office. With back to back 8 hour days I thought I could squeeze in a double workout Wednesday, but I was going to have to checkout at 05:30 so i decided I did not want soaking wet workout clothes in my bag.

Thursday was going to be my first trip to Oman. We drove for about 3 hours from Dubai southeast to Suhar (Sohar) for a kick off. It was interesting how many times we had to show our passports. The georaphy of the countries was like interlocking fingers. When we had about 35km left to site, we finally had to stop and and apply for a day visa. While in the passport control building I learned something about Oman. The Emirates have Sheikhs, were as Oman has a Sultan but both countries are just as proud of their leaders.
The site kick off was a good indicator on how things work in Oman. We arrived at 09:16 but were not able to pass through the gate until 10:30 and our 09:30 meeting started at 11:00. During lunch I overheard that it cost 1.50. I asked what the Oman money was called and it is also Rials similar to the Suadi Riyals. Then I asked how many Dirhams to a Rial. I was told 10 to 1. So lunch was 15 SEK or just over $2. Later our 13:30 site safety meeting started at 14:45 and by 15:20 I was able to see the area we would be working.

Around 16:00 we get to leave site, and just outside of town we stop for coffee. I make my first travelers mistake in a long time. I go to the ATM to take out cash since the station didn’t take card. The options that come up are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and other. I usually take out 100SEK when I go to an ATM, so my reaction was to click 100 Rial. as soon as I did I realized my mistake. I just took out 2000 SEK (~$300). When it was time to pay for the ice-cream and drinks it came to 4.150 Rial. Great now I have 95 Rial left over!!! Luckily for me I was able to exchange it to Dirhams at the mall later that night.

I get to my new hotel later that evening. After check in I realize I left my jeans in the bathroom at my first hotel. After dinner I go to the Dubai mall again just to look around, and then make my way to the Marriot and ask if they found my jeans. They, had and I get them back. Back at the Radisson Blue I pack and get ready for my 05:30 taxi to the airport.

Friday was a very very long day for me. My flight was delayed more than an our. Which meant I missed my first train home. Then my bag was one of the last to get off the plane so I missed the next train by 5 minutes. Finally I get the on the 14:26 train. I get home just after 17:00 and the girls take me out for Thai food. by 20:00 the girls are in bed and our babysitter arrives so Jeanette and I can go watch Hunger Games. By the time I go to bed I had been up for 22 hours.

Saturday was the start of Höstsimiaden, a swim meet for younger swimmers and the not so fast 13-17 yr old swimmers. Saturday I was just a dad cheering on his daughter. She did so great. PBs in the 25m breast and back to back PBs in the 50m free in two relays. During the lunch break I let Lily follow with her friends and I stayed at the pool to swim 1200m, my first time in the water in 13 days. On Sunday I was the meet director/head official. So Lily was on her own. But again she did great. PB in the 50 back and she got to swim her first 25m Fly in a relay! based on the video she was just under 29s. During the sunday lunch break Fredrik and I ran together for the first time, 4.5km @ 5:40 pace being able to talk the whole way around the lake. Her next meet is in 2 weeks. There she will swim 50 fr and back, as well as 25 breast and fly. We are the exact opposites when it comes to swimming 🙂

This coming Friday and Saturday is the Swedish nationals. Coming off my unplanned 13 week taper I have no expectations. We are the smallest troop since 2009 with no relays, and even I will only swim a few events compared to swimming all of them the last two years. We don’t have a chance at top 10 for this meet since we don’t have any relays, but out goal is to remain in the 10 top for the year.

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