I tried this car the first time around for three days in February, this time around I had a chance to drive the car for exactly 17 days and it is a beast, and I can’t blame anyone for loving this machine. Infinite have an amazing machine on their hands, excellent navigation, simple controls, very comfortable and spacious interior.
Things That I love:
Honestly I was very surprised how much I liked the QX56, it surpassed my expectations. I am extremely loyal to Toyota because the car just lasts after taking so much torture from my use, but this machine is a beast and I am seriously impressed. I am keeping it in mind in the coming future for an SUV choice. And I wouldn’t buy the Lexus over the Infinite, doesn’t make any sense, its a better car, more options, more powerful, and for a lesser price.
While traveling the last couple of weeks I was walking to a store when my Nexus 4 slipped out of my pocket and landed face first into the concrete side walk in Los Angeles. The phone had a protective cover so I thought that it would be fine even when I heard the flat splat when it hit. I picked up the phone and saw that lovely crack across it.
The was crack across a quarter of the screen, I could have lived with that until I got it fixed but then only 1/4 of the screen work, the other 3/4 of the touch screen didn’t work, so I literally couldn’t access anything on that part, all I could do was see the notifications and go to them and get stuck.
I went nuts, unlike the iPhone not everyone can fix a Nexus 4 or have the parts. It was Saturday afternoon I had to go travel on Sunday and they wouldn’t be able to fix it until Tuesday, and I was at loss, I would be back in Los Angeles in a week but still no phone for a week.
So I went into TMobile and picked up a Nexus 4 for $500, locked to Tmobile and my line was Tmobile, even though Google unlocked sold for $350 but I was in a spot where I didn’t have much options so I got it and signed in with my Gmail account which automatically downloaded all my Apps which were on my Nexus 4. Loved that, I love that Google did that automatically and I just left it to the wifi for an hour to get everything working again.
The only thing I was crippled with was WhatsApp wasn’t working and that was my main mode of communication with family and friends. The reason it didn’t work is because WhatsApp groups I was associated with and people, are with my Kuwait line and they send a msg to that line, and this phone only accepts Tmobile lines not Zain. So I was out of touch of WhatsApp for a while.
I read somewhere that people can handle their cars being stolen, but they can’t handle their phone being stolen. I now really believe in that, in Kuwait I have a few other phones to back me up and I could be up and running in a few hours, in this case I was stranded and lost for a while, I couldn’t even call a few people because I didn’t have the numbers memorized.
I knew that Tmobile had a 30 day return policy and all they would take is a $50 restocking fee which I thought was worth it in this case after getting my phone fixed. But it took a bit longer and I had to live without WhatsApp and honestly it felt pretty good to be a bit disconnected while I was traveling, not totally disconnected but at least not my phone dinging every 30 seconds.
My screen was fixed but the battery was acting strange and the back plate was still cracked but I was very happy to have things back to normal. But it was very annoying situation to be in
Liquids are one of the things that I keep far away from my desk, but every once in a while I have a bottle of water there, and even that I am very conscious of it. There have been a few incidents but luckily nothing has been damaged. Until the other day I was working late into the night on emails and posts, and I had a bottle of water next to my Nexus 4 and Keyboard. I turned around and I knocked the bottle over, I could even see it in slow motion, I was saying “Nooooooo”. I tried to grab it but my mind was operating on fumes so that didn’t work. I quickly lifted the bottle removed all electronics from the vicinity.
I got some water on the screen of the Nexus 4 and the keyboard, everything else was fine. I soaked up the keyboard quickly and the Nexus 4, the keyboard didn’t have any issues. When I used the Nexus 4 it was fine but the speaker by the ear pieces sounded like a radio from the 1950s. I tried drying it with a kleenex and forcing it in but didn’t work, still sound crappy 15 mins later. There was only one solution that I knew off, I got a small glass flower pout and filled it with rice and stuck the phone in it all night long. Next day I used the phone crossing my fingers, and it was perfectly fine, no issues. I don’t know why but I always remember that rice can soak up water and humidity from electronics, they tell you to take the battery out but in my case I left it in there and charge it over night too, worked perfect the next morning.
Everyone thinks of the things that they did the year before whenever they come to the new one. In my case I’m thankful for all the good things that happened in 2012 and learned from the bad. I managed to accomplish a lot of my goals and enjoy a lot of adventures, but there are a few things that I missed which is sticking to the gym and losing weight, that always seems to evade me, my craving for food is just too much.
2012 is the year of the Android, so many devices and so many advances and I’m happy I got my hands on them. Of course everyone went nuts over any new Mac Product like clock work, but there were a few improvements which I will admit to like the iPod Touch and a few other devices. I managed to ride in a few different locations this time around and I hope to ride in more locations soon, that is the plan for 2013 with regards to riding. I always have a lot of plans in my head I just have to action them, but happily I have made a lot of progress with a lot of projects, it was a very busy year but luckily nothing fell through the cracks. I need to be a bit more active, but that viral & bacterial infection that I caught at the beginning of December really knocked me out.
New Years was simple for me, just two other guys and I manned the BBQ & a few shows, keeping it simple was the goal this time around. What were your plans?
This was probably one of the dumbest situations I have been in because of a cop with a grudge. Took place around 4:00 pm on a Friday.
I just left 360 Mall and exited onto the residental road in Zahra to get to 6th Ring Road quickly, I was traveling about 50 or 60, taking my time just had a good lunch with a few of the guys. There is a police station lot on the right hand side after about 300 meters. A police car pull outs in front, about three cars in front, didn’t think twice I was driving normally, turned right and so did everyone else to get to the bridge that goes over, just like the map, below I was following the blue route. As I was taking the curving exit back onto 6th Ring Road he was still a few cars in front of me, and was the exit was merging he switched on his lights and people were passing him and as I passed he shouted “Owner Of The BMW Pull Over”, I thought to myself this will get interesting. He pulled me over at the red spot on the map just before merging onto 6th ring road.
I stepped out of the car right away and a young police officer stepped out and came to me, I told him hello and whats wrong? He said nothing, went to the front of the car and said license and registration I gave him both. He said your license place has been modified it should be in the center, then I said what do you mean modified, he said you can’t move the location I said that is the mount do you see any screws in the middle, he didn’t say anything, then I said it just passed Car Inspection and last I checked the License Plate has to be in front of the car bumper not specifically in the center. Then he said it was loud and I said this is from the dealer, then I asked him what car he thought this was, he said 625 (That isn’t even one of the models), I told him its not, its a modified sports version of it. He seemed to be ok with that and then the other cop stepped out of the police car and he was white and chubby. The First guy was Bader Al Mutari and he was pretty decent and didn’t seem intent on anything. The other guy came out, his name was Ahmed Yousef, I won’t be forgetting his name anytime soon, and hopefully Karma will bite him in the ass soon enough.
Going back, when the second guy came out the conversation took another turn and this time it was a twist and this is how it went:
Then He Changes
Then He Changes Again:
(Sometimes you have to BS some of these guys cuz they try to push)
Then He Changes Again:
Things went south from there, I tried calling a few people but on a Friday nobody was answering and I was out of luck. He told the other officer to get in the car with me and for me to follow him to the Impound yard, which is in Sabhan. He also shouted that it is illegal for me to make phone calls while driving. When we got in the car I spoke to the other officer and I said I’m going to make a few phone calls, he said go ahead and try to talk to someone, he seemed like a normal guy. I asked him what exactly was his problem, he said you are under his mercy at this point. Just my luck nobody was answering their phones so I took the car and the lot in Sabhan is run by KPTC.
Throughout this period I was talking to them in a respectful way, even when we were at the impound lot the Egyptian Manager tried to reason with the police officer but he wanted my car put into the system right away. If the car is put into the impound system there is no way the car can be released without a direct order from the Minister of Interior or the wakeel. I called my friend, who we will call “Cake”, to come pick me up because he knows where this is. The police officer left and I had my sweater with a few things in my pockets from what I took out of the car.
The Egyptian Manager called me and said he tried delaying the car registration into the system because he wanted to give me an opportunity to make a few phone calls and get out of this. But the officer was on top of him to get him in right away, no one else he did that for, even the other officer tried to make up a reason to leave. Ahmed Yousef really had a grudge and I didn’t know why, but I stayed cool because there was nothing to do about a corrupt cop. He just going from one reason to another to try to impound the car. After I was sitting outside waiting for Cake to arrive people started calling me back and when I told them the situation they started making phone calls trying to get to this guy’s boss. And the best part was that the Central Radio System of the Police was down on Friday so they were communicating Via phone, the radios weren’t working to my luck. So if someone had an emergency they would call the officers not radio them.
A friend told me that this cop had it out for me and he was a dick and shouldn’t have impounded my car, it a difficult process to get it cleared since you have to go to a lot of places to get the paper work done. And even on Sunday he didn’t submit the violation into the system since I think he wants to keep it going at least another few days before I can even start sorting it out. This is the reason why we don’t respect police in Kuwait, when there is a reason for them to get involved they are not there, when they don’t have anything to do they just abuse their power. The problem in my situation is that the law is lax about what a police officer can do and even if he lies its hard to prove him wrong. A few police officers called me back and said that what he did was not within his right since he is from another department and his shift was done a few hours ago and why was he still roaming the streets. It seems it was just my luck and lets see how this turns out over the next few days.
The first round of being sick and going to Mubarak Hospital was done, and I thought I was getting better, but it seems it was the quiet before the storm. Things took a turn for the worse after a week of being sick and then we had to be hospitalized for several days in one of the private hospitals.
After several test and check ups, and cultures, and so many damn things that we were poked and prodded with they narrowed down the issues. We had both a virus and bacteria infection, the first set of antibiotics tackled the virus but the bacteria basically had fun running us around in circles, and I reached a point where I just admitted myself to the hospital because regular pills were just not doing the job. My stomach hurt so much so that I just wanted to sleep it off, it felt like someone was constantly punching my stomach hours on end.
I have to admit that the Doctors in Al Salam Hospital are very good, I always think most private hospitals want to rip you off but these guys systematically narrowed down what was wrong and tackled it with the right antibiotics. So after two weeks of being sick and week at least I’m somewhat healthy. I’m functioning normally and able to go to work, but what I went through put my whole digestive system through a roller coaster, it was painful and not something I would wish on anyone. This is probably the longest I have ever been sick and been in the hospital. There were even members of my family that I didn’t see for weeks because they have weak immune systems and were weren’t sure about infectious it was for a while.
Right now I’m somewhat out of the bad part of the infection but my body is still recovering, I know sometimes I pushing my luck but I was so happy to ride this Friday morning, I swear what ever painful was nothing compared to the thrill and joy of riding, I had a smile across my face that just wouldn’t go away that Friday morning. I’m still a bit on the weak side, but I’m happy that the worst is over, I know I pushed myself a bit on the weekend but I’m planning on taking it easy this week.
I’m not one to get sick easily or even usually get sick, the flu doesn’t last more then two days with me, even with food poisoning I have handled it differently but this is something that took me down and kept me home for more then 5 days. Being stationary at home for five days didn’t stop work from coming home, too many things to do and a few people on vacation but still had some things piling up that needed to get done.
I caught a stomach virus from someone and the tough thing about it is that the doctor wasn’t sure which type was it, and they gave me a certain type of antibiotic and pain medication, worked for a few hours then later in the evening turning to an insane amount of pain which resulted in a hospital visit. After leaving the hospital at dawn I was hoping it would kick in quicker, but not until I woke up the next morning did I feel better. I have to say that even Mubarak Hospital is pretty well equipped and they have good people but they are overwhelmed. The recovery process is slow as hell and still recovering, the bathroom became my second home, and barely functional the first few days of the week. I didn’t even bother staying in communication online, wasn’t that coherent either, was just too exhausted.
Luckily I managed to catch up on a ton of tv shows, a ridiculous amount, but I know that work piled up for me when I get and I’m not fully recovered but still gotta to go in. The first thing I tried was a few different foods to see if my stomach had any disagreements but luckily two tests were successful but I’m not going to push my luck at all.
There was one point in time where I was between jobs, so I had some time off and I took full advantage of it. I remember those days, I was getting a lot of work and errands done and meeting with a lot of people for potential work and yet having a lot of time to myself. I even remember riding during the week which was a lot of fun. That was a good time, but now it seems like a distant dream.
On The Back Burner
Personal time is a luxury that I don’t really have, even sleep these past few weeks hasn’t been at the top of the list so there are days where I just crash, I just shutdown, even an earthquake couldn’t wake me up (I have slept through an Earthquake while traveling recently). I have been thinking about taking time off work for about a week and then telling everyone I am out of town and then just get things done at home while enjoying every moment of free time, but that probably won’t be happening. I would like nothing better then to abuse the internet I have at home, on this vacation I wouldn’t want to leave the house if possible except for Riding and food.
During this little adventure of ours we had a vast experience across the UAE and crossing multiple times in Oman. It was an adventure of discovery and it was well worth it, going from city to city to get to the best riding roads I have ever been to. I have been riding in the best places in the US and honestly they do not hold a candle to the amazing locations in Oman & UAE. Aside from the roads and how clean everything was, every time we can to a security check point or interacted with them, the moment they found out we were Kuwaiti the tone totally changed and they were more then nice to us. And on the roads people would move aside 90% of the time and give us way, I mean every kind of person, we ran into a few idiots on the road but they were only 10% and were few and far apart compared to Kuwait who are 90% idiotic and rude on the road. I always knew Emaratis were nice people, and Omani’s were very respectful and kind as well but what happened to us was different then the normal situation
During our ride I had a GoPro Camera mounted to my helmet, and as soon as we reached the Omani boarder heading to Khasab I switched it off but it was still mounted. When we got to the passport control, the officer asked about the camera and if it was recording, I told him it was mounted and switched off. I told him he could check if he would like but he said my word is more then enough for him. I know that it would have been a different situation if we were at the Saudi border. So after we crossed I switched on the camera and we went on our intense ride on the road by the sea on our way to Khasab which was breath taking. I saw an old sign that said military check point, but we didn’t think twice about since it looked old and we kept on pushing hard through the corners until around the next hill it turned out to be a full on military checkpoint with a small platoon of men. We slowed down quickly since we were coming in fast and they jumped on the road. Their captain came out quickly pointing at my helmet as I was slowing down, and they were talking to us sternly asking for IDs. Of course keep in mind that with our helmets on they have no idea who we are or where we are from. I had my passport with me and I was so thankful that I had that lovely blue passport with me. The moment they saw the color they said “Oh Kuwaitiyeen” and they relaxed right away, I was taking off my helmet and the captain came to me apologetically asking if my camera was recording I said yes since we were recording the ride. He said he is sorry but he didn’t want the check point showing up on the video and I said it wouldn’t be a problem, he asked if it would erase the whole thing I said yes and he apologized it didn’t take me 2 minutes to do that and I knew were gonna have a chance to hit those curves again. He argued with us to have coffee with him and food because of this, we spent 2 minutes on the security part and 10 minutes thanking him and excusing ourselves from stopping to keep on riding. They were more then nice to us and after that whenever a military vehicle saw us coming they would pull over to the side and let us pass. It was amazing, and when we rode back past them they stopped the cars and waved us through. Just because they knew we were Kuwaitis, what could anyone say, they went over and above being nice to us the moment they knew we were Kuwaitiyeen, I wish people were that nice in Kuwait.
Every time we went to somewhere new we would ask where is the best place to go to get some coffee and we usually get pointed to a nice mall, and a majority of them are nice. This was the fourth day on our trip and we were in Fujeirah, we went to a mall about 5 mins away called City Centre, very simple and pretty much all Al-Shaya’a brands so we stopped in Starbucks for a few cold drinks, and some of the guys wanted coffee. We were probably the only guys in jeans who were from the GCC, we sat there for a little while. Then one Emarati guy walked right up to us asking us how are we and if we were from Kuwait, at first I thought he knew one of the guys because of us very nice approach. We told him yes and from that point forward he told us we have to have dinner with him at his house, we thanked him and said we were still riding and he then said then coffee, you can’t just come to Fujeirah and not have coffee at my house. Honestly I was beyond surprise, what can you say to someone so nice, it was just something else. After we excused ourselves he gave us his phone number and said you aren’t familiar with the area and if anything happens and you need anything be sure to call me right away. What can you say to that, just extremely nice, I just couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. You can’t blame me for loving these people, not all Emaratis are like this but a lot of them are very kind.
It is just that simple! Don’t Touch My Bike!
People in the region do not have a concept of Bikes, they think Motorcycles are like Bicycles, and they just want to get on them for cool pictures or act like they are riding. But it is a very different relationship that the owner has with his bike, touching a man’s bike is just as bad as touching his woman, he will do something about it, and probably with a violent result.
90% of Bikers are very friendly if you ask them to take a picture with a bike, they will take the picture for you. And if you have your kid they will probably put your kid on the bike for you to take the picture. It is two things, the bike’s can be damaged from soneone who doesn’t know what they are doing, and the bike might fall on a child if its pulled the wrong way.
What drives me nuts are the moms who just send their kids to the bikes like they are play things for them and let them climb it. I have had my fair share of altercations with them and they act like nothing is wrong. Your letting a 4 year old grab on to a mchine 10 times his weight and 4 times his height, something will go wrong. One time a child grabbed my bike and burnt his hand because he put it on the exhaust pipe, he is a child he doesn’t know any better but I would expect the mother too.
Then there are people from South East Asia (India & China from my Experience) who have zero concept of personal property. They see the bikes and they just want to get on it and take a picture, I have had my fair share of shouting from afar to get people from throwing their legs on the bike.
There is a special bond between a rider and his machine, that is why they take it very personally, they love and adore their machines, so if you violate his machine expect some to violate you.