Technological travel: the only way to ‘Branner’ (v.)

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Purchasing a couple new tools for the road was essential for this trip.  The new Macbook and Canon point-n-shoot have been crucial for documentation and in use every day.  It is amazing how long new lithium batteries last –  just over 4 continuous hours for the laptop and a few days for the camera.  I’ve been lucky with internet connections – they have existed (on the ground and in the sky)! –  largely due to extremely hospitable people I’ve been staying with.  The internet also made it possible to connect with the couch surfing community (www.couchsurfing.com).  I am meeting some tremendously nice people (expats), particularly an American and an Australian who are working in the construction industry here.  I was able to talk to them about architecture and the economy, their lives in Abu Dhabi, and their plans for the future….when and if this construction boom runs out.  It is a priceless opportunity to really get a taste of what living and working in a city is all about, and in my humble opinion, it only truly happens when you venture out of the hostel world. 

Some observations on the upper middle-class expat:  There are an overwhelming number of British expats.  They are mainly 20-35 years old, men and women, single.  Companies generally cover all living expenses, including a car.  No one anticipates growing old here, rather Abu Dhabi is a pit-stop along the road of professional development.

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