Abu Dhabi Weather

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hash House Harriers

I first hear about the Hash House Harriers about 15 years ago when a friend's father came to visit him in Japan and he was telling us about living in the Middle East. The way he was drunkenly describing this club of people who just run around in the desert following trails then getting drunk afterwards sounded insane. After my experience with the Abu Dhabi Hash House Harriers, it seems no less insane, but I feel that this "drinking club with a running problem" is the perfect combination of fitness and alcoholism that I have been looking for.

 I'd always meant to look into it when I originally got here, but I got caught up with running triathlons and my "serious" training. Fortunately, I'm past that for now. Finally, things have settled down at work and I'm done with my master's degree, so I have time for this sort of thing. Another stroke of luck was that a couple of friends of mine are members of the Hash.

My friends were kind enough to pick me up and give me a ride home so I could fully partake in the beer afterwards. We arrived at 6:30 for the 6:30 start time and were congratulated for being early. Fifteen minutes later, we began following arrows drawn on the side of the road in chalk. At some points we saw a circle and x pattern that indicated a turn so we had to find the trail. Sometimes I was near the person that found the trail and other times I was further away. I learned to just stay near the person who designed the trail because he wasn't going to run any further than he had to.

After the run, we drove the cars into a circle and had a mock award ceremony where I had to introduce myself. This seemed to be the real social aspect of it with a bunch of singing songs and hazing each other. While I have never been part of a fraternity, It reminded me of the positive aspects of what I imagine a fraternity to be like.

Also, I had been worried about the 6 km distance as I hadn't been running much over the past few months. However, with the running followed by all the searching for the trail and switchbacks, I needn't have worried. Since the heat and humidity kept everyone running a little slower, my legs were fine for the run. Anyone who is mildly in shape who likes socializing should come to this. It is free to run and 50dirhams for all you can eat and drink with beer and soft drinks included. I'll definitely be going back.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Al Ain Wadi Adventure

Last Wednesday my place of employment had a team building exercise at Al Ain Wadi Adventure. I was pretty excited about the whole thing because I had wanted to go and taking my family would be prohibitively expensive. Besides the cost of getting in, whitewater rafting is 100 dirham for an hour bringing the cost of an hour of fun to 400 dirham not including food and entry. Of course there is the 100 dirhams for all day kayaking, but that is something that you have to actually be skilled for.

When my director told us that we were going, I was pretty excited as I probably wouldn't have gone otherwise. There were three levels of rapids ranging from pretty tame to reasonably thrilling.

There's a rock climbing wall which is 40 dirham for 20 minutes. Unfortunately, between the heat and being tired out with that being the last activity for the day, I couldn't fully appreciate the full 20 minutes.

There's the air park which you can climb on all day for one price of 50 dirhams and is largely the reason that I was too tired for the climbing wall. It was pretty cool and don't worry, they have a harness for people to keep them from falling.

Included in the price of the air park obstacle course is the zip line, which was pretty much fun. You can even ride it as many times as you want.

I don't know what the pricing for this thing was, but for you get to have someone strap you and your two closest friends to a log and let you swing back and forth for a while. The sudden drop was pretty exhilarating. I was in the first group and lulled the others into thinking that it wasn't that scary, but that was more due to being afraid to open my mouth for fear of what would come up. My advice is to avaoid doing this one directly after lunch.

They even have a wave pool that creates a 3.3 meter wave for surfing, but I would never be able to do that without lessons. pictures aren't all that impressive, so here's a video to show what this is like. (Despite what the title of the video says, this is Al Ain, not Dubai.)

I enjoyed the rafting the most and would like to learn how to kayak as that looks like better value. The other activities were fun, but with the heat the water activities were more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend going to Wadi Adventure and having someone else pay for it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I've had an exciting past year of work and classes which has been so exciting that I had no time to write this blog. I am now finished with the Master's degree in Mathematics and finished with the teaching semester. I am probably not going to go back and talk about everything that happened, so will probably just pretend that I have already written about everything.

Another thing that I noticed is the excessive amount of spam in the comments section since I last looked at this blog. I might get to deleting it, but the interface is so clunky that it might not happen. from now, I have now restricted who can commented on my posts. If you want to comment, you need to be a member of the blog or a friend or whatever they call it. I'm pretty open to comments, I just don't want people clogging up the comments section with garbage.

I intend on starting to write this blog again, and depending on whether I get tired of it, hope to continue. I have a lot of Guitar Hero to play and a lot of TV to catch up on so I can't guarantee it.