Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Aprons and Hammers for Dinner

Isn't it interesting to eat Aprons and Hammers for Dinner? Don't take it literally, its just the name of the seafood restaurant we went to and ate dinner. The place is one of far-ouT's many clients. They are located inside Dubai International Marina Club, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort. Dubai's one and only Crab Shack. Most of the servers were Filipino, which is always a good thing.

The table welcome us with the hammers and crab crackers. Though we weren't able to use them, it was such a delight just to look at them.

What's even more interesting is the use of Aprons instead of the usual table napkins. So that's basically where they got their name, I think.

For starters, their complimentary breads were fresh from the oven

Often its the first source of sustenance for a starving diners like us, but did you know that its a common mistake that bread were eaten before the first course arrives at the table? Geez, I didn't know that.

Right after we have ransacked every last piece of it, our server brought our drinks.

My mom ordered the Strawberry Daiquiri (virgin) glass is Dhs 15. This is quite delicious. My mame loved it. It has a similarity with 7-11's Slurpee.

Far-out has chosen Margarita also at Dhs 15. Its like the real Margarita but its non alcoholic. It was nice, but a little sour though.

Yours truly ordered my usual, mint lemonade. Dhs 12. Thirst quencher, indeed

We had our Calamari (Dhs 35) which is crunchie on the outside and tender on the inside.

This is Blue Crab Salad (Dhs 35), I love the crab meats on it, tossed with mixed lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sweet white onion, and their homemade blue sauce.

We were so full when the above was almost done but not quite though as we were waiting for our main course. The Aprons and Hammers Paella (Dhs 160). Spicy paella rice made with squid, mussels, shrimps and fish topped with lemon.

Its also an A-first as the ambiance was inside this dhow.

With a nice view from the inside

Definitely, one of the places that you should try for yourself. See you Dhow-n by the pier!

All the best.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Your next step to moving: Survey

I have introduced to you the first step on your moving requirements and how to choose the right company for bringing your personal effects and household goods, so what's next? Let's take you on to the next level. The survey schedule. When a moving company takes your call, they would ask a few questions so be sure you have all the details that you would need to save you time and the one who is getting your details. Be sure to give your correct address and contact details so surveyor won't have a hard time looking for your place. A map or landmarks would be helpful.

Have you already scheduled at least 3 companies to visit your place and do an estimation? How did you do it? Schedule them all at the same time to save you your precious time and energy? Not a good idea. The best thing to do is schedule them on different time slots. Each consultant would wish to have a few minutes of your time to discuss their services and of course, offer you their best services. They would bring to you a packets as a guide on your upcoming relocation and discuss further. Be sure to read them all. It would be a great help to check all details, especially Customs Information, prohibited items and if your presence would be required during inspection.

Survey normally would take between 30 - 1 hour depending on the size of your house. Keep in mind of several details that they would normally check, are you a returning citizen? If not, is your visa ready? Are you travelling with your family and so on.

Your consultant will also request you to show them around. They would inspect every contents of your cupboards, drawers, cabinet, all your rooms and storage area. Show them all the items that you plan to bring. Also, be sure to advise your consultant if you are still planning to buy more stuff to add on to you volume of items. It would not be a good idea to hide anything from the surveyor, otherwise, it would give you more hassle if they underestimate your belongings. At the end of the day, you  may still end up paying more.

Do you already know your destination address? Any access issue? Are you planning to take your pet? car? When is your flight to your destination? Discuss all details with your surveyor. Take note of all the details that you would need to know prior to their visits so you won't need to keep calling the moving company and ask questions. Remember that you are not the only person moving and your consultant has already alloted a time for you, use it wisely. He or she may not always be available to take your call on another day as they also have other clients to attend to. Be considerate. Should it really be important details, you may always call the office and check. They would be happy to assist you.

All the best.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

BER month first post: A-First Move

Today marks the 1st day of Ber months. That means Christmas is just around the corner, people will start buying gifts until all on list has a box for gift giving on Christmas eve. Well, not all people do the Christmas shopping this early, most of us, count me in does the rush and last minute buying of things for Christmas.

Honestly, one of my i-hate-attitude of mine is not being as thoughtful as I wanted to be. Hmm, is that how you call people who fail to buy your friends and family gifts on their special day? Or generous is it? Whatever you may want to call it, I am determined to change that somehow - since I want Bella to look forward and get excited on any event, unlike me, who were never excited on any holidays and special occasion - even my birthday. How do you think I can break my tradition? For a start, I already requested Far-ouT for a Christmas tree, not this early though, maybe around the last week of November would be more ideal. We never really had a Christmas tree back home when I was growing up so a big tree with gifts would be something enticing for Bella to look forward for Christmas. Also, since we won't be able to come home for the Christmas holidays then we'll just make the most out of it here in Dubai.

First things first, I don't want to get too excited now for that. There is still Trick or Treat which is one of the occasion that I also missed growing up. I don't know yet how we can celebrate it but I will find an upcoming event and hopefully Bella can participate in one of them.

On a different note, today is also mark the start of my entry for new topic that I'd like to introduce to you. It has something to do with what I do. I hope this would be an interesting topic as this is what I do for a living. Something work related. I find my job interesting. Demanding and yet exciting. Stressful sometimes and wish you would be in a different environment most of the time.

Some are not familiar with what I do. When someone ask me, what my work is. I always tell them, I'm working for a moving company and I always got the follow-up question, a moving what? In Filipino translation, we call it, lipat bahay. Like, if you will be transferring from one place to another, we are the ones doing that. For the lower to middle class family in the Philippines, we normally hire a small time company with open truck or a jeepney to transport our belongings. Because hiring a professional company who will pack all your items and take extra care not to damage anything is somewhat pricey. Although, some people, who are concern about their expensive items, hire us to do the moving for them. But if you will be moving from one country to another then you would definitely need a reputable company to do it for you.

Do you happen to know how you can send your personal effects and household goods to a different country? For example, you will be repatriating back to USA? United Kingdom perhaps? What about France? Or your company will transfer you to Asia? Every country  has its own different rule and customs procedure. Some countries are strict on importation of containers, some are not. Depending on the country that you want to send your  goods (PE and HHG), you should have enough knowledge prior to sending your items. What would be the steps in getting your PE and HHG to its destination?

First, if you are concern about your expensive items to reach its destination without a scratch, it is recommended to invest in a reputable moving and relocation company. You may want to call and schedule at least 3 companies to visit you and assess the volume of your goods. Keep in mind that a good company and their representative should be able to provide you with details on how you can move your items, guide you on your country of destination, warn you of prohibited items that you cannot include in the shipment, recommend to you items that needs special crating and offer comprehensive insurance to protect you and your items against damages and in case of total loss of your shipment at sea which is an isolated case but nevertheless a good decision to make.

The tricky part comes next, choosing the right company to trust in moving your goods. You may be tempted to choose the cheapest right away but it would be better to assess and go through thoroughly on the proposal submitted to you.
  • What are the inclusions and exclusions of the quote
  • Is it door to door service
  • Does it already include the Destination Terminal Handling Charge (DTHC)
Normally, a company will offer you their quote with the packing charges, freight charges and destination charges in a lump sum amount inclusive of DTHC. However, please do note that DTHC are most of the time, indicative as some of it are only known upon the arrival of your shipment at destination. There would always be extra charges at destination. You may always check with the moving company what are the charges for but do understand that there are payments that are out of their control so no need to fight with your life for it but be vigilant on the charges that you will pay and check again the quote you receive, it should be noted on your exclusions especially duties and taxes.

Third, a professional company should have a dedicated person assigned to look after your shipment. He or she does the coordination from arranging the packing dates, boxes you requested in advance, arrange the insurance for you, advise you of the shipping information and update you on the status of your shipment, introduce to you the company and the contact person who will take care of your items at the other end and still remains available for any assistance that you would need. In short, that person will be your main point of contact from beginning to end.

You may also request boxes in advance should you wish to prepacked some of your items. Note not to seal it as yet as the packing crew would need to check the contents of the boxes and include it on the packing list. Packing list is essential documents required for customs clearance. You may want to request from crew a copy which they normally can provide.

On the day of the packing, you are also given a team leader assigned give instruction to his team on which area in your house to pack. You should always keep your personal belongings like jewelries, cash and other confidential documents safe and secure. Make sure your passport is with you. You don't want the crew to pack it and include in the shipment. Otherwise, this will cost you more than what you plan to pay on your relocation.

Remember to check if you already have provided all the documents that the company will need to clear your shipment at the destination. There are paper works that you have get from your origin city before you can safely fly to to your destination so make sure to check with your coordinator. Also, if you have a preferred date of delivery at your residence, make sure to advise your coordinator so he or she can check the vessel schedule for you. Please note though that vessel schedule are tentative and subject change which is beyond the control of your moving company so give an allowance to yourselves.

Last but not the least, don't stressed yourself too much. Remember, everything is a learning experience for you and your first moving may not be the last so be sure to learn from your first.

All the best.