Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Life Without Debt

In my last day in UAE, I was "forced" to close my main account in one of local bank in Dubai. Unfortunately, closing this bank account means I have to close all my credit cards as well! And it also means I have to pay all the balance left in all my credit cards with most of my money in hand. I have been using credit cards since ten years ago and I never bothered to pay my debt completely. It was only several hours before my flight to Singapore so I didn't have a choice. I left the country that day without any credit cards and only some amount of cash in my pocket.

How can I live without credit cards?

So far it's been good. It's almost a week now I have been surviving in the new country without any credit cards. Everything has to be paid with cash. And we live in an era where people carry less and less money in their wallet. Strangely enough, most of places now prefer credit card more than cash. Take my hotel as example. When I informed them that I would like to pay in cash, I had to pay the whole amount of the room rate plus security deposit. If I paid with card, I didn't have to pay the deposit. So I guess people trust me more if I had my credit card.

Actually I was planning to use cash only for emergency purpose but now I don't have any options. This situation makes me plan more carefully in my daily spending. At least until I receive my first month salary :)

From the other point of view, actually this time is the first time in my life since ten years ago that I don't have any debt at all to any credit card companies or the banks. Live freely without any obligation to pay some fees every month. A life without debt.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Leaving Dubai

I’m leaving Dubai in the next couple of hours to join Cisco Systems Advanced Services – Asia Pacific team based in Singapore. I’m so happy and grateful that finally I can get in into the circle, but due to my hectic days until the last minute, I still can’t feel the excitement for now.

In my last moment in Dubai, I have been trying to remember all the good things that happened to me in the past. Things that I like the most about Dubai:

- No-tax, yes if you make 1000 it means you bring 1000 home!
- Safe and Secure environment, crime rate is low
- Anything that you would like to see in the world, may probably exist here: pyramid, indoor ski, white beaches, rock mountain, opera house-like in Sydney, twin towers, 7-star hotel, world's biggest shopping mall and tallest tower will come soon, and they are planning to build something like Great Wall in China.
- Cars price is cheap, even low-skilled labor like me can drive BMW :)
- Girls are pretty, well they may not be available but it's good to see yourself surrounded by pretty girls
- Peaceful Moslem environment, there are so many mosques and I have seen some people even prayed next to the road because they are so keen to pray exactly at prayer time. I'm a moslem so having moslem environment is important for me

On the other hand, things that I hate the most about Dubai:

- Summer time, can reach up to 50 degrees celcius! Even the official never admits it since 50 degrees means public holiday
- Traffic jam, anyone can afford to buy car and there are so many new construction sites in Dubai and most of them disturb the traffic so it’s always jam and unpredictable not only during busy hours
- Apartment Rent is ridiculously high, Dubai is no.25 in the most expensive City in the world and frankly speaking I don't think Dubai deserves it
- To many hypes: for example in my opinion apartment rent price should not go up because there is no big changes in number of people living in Dubai, when the first time UAE stock market was opened the price went very high but now it reaches the bottom of the barrel, etc

Anyway, I really enjoy my time and I may come up with some other like/hate things later on. I have been in Dubai for almost 5 years so even I will go to my dream job but I still can feel that something is missing. Will continue later.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Emulating Internetwork Expert

I read Brian McGahan email in CCIE SP forum yesterday about How to Run Cisco IOS on Your PC. It's nice to know that Internetwork Expert now provides dynagen files for both of their CCIE Routing Switching and Service Provider workbooks.
Download the files with initial config here.
Hopefully they will launch the SP workbook soon.