Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Day at Work & Fantastic Fish

(Fresh Fish at Tripoli Marina)

Work starts at 7:30am here and as I’m still on UK time it was definitley like starting work at 5:30am. Without any breakfast and completely shattered I was taken to two hospitals to have chest xrays and blood taken, a governmental regulation in Libya for any expat (even though I had a full medical in London in order to obtain my entry visa). All I can say is Thank London for the NHS, you have not seen a queue for medical attention before until you see the “concert crowd” masses waiting to be seen outside the hospital here! Absolutely crazy, but luckily for me as a female and as a member of my company I was taken straight in on both occassions.

After this I went to meet my boss and discovered the HUGE workload that awaits me. Initial feelings were of complete panic but now I’m thinking "bring on the challenge". The department is struggling hard to maintain order and the amount of paperwork is huge. Administration is very old fashioned and traditional here, with signed and stamped memos being favoured over emails.

Having been introduced to all the senior members of staff I then got to meet some lovely Irish secretaries who have been working there for a while (one as long as 26 years). I also got to meet my assistant, an absolutely adorable girl but we have one problem....she doesn't speak a word of English. As we collapse in fits of giggles with her speaking Arabic in response to my questions I realise how interesting this is going to be.

To top the whole day off I got picked up at lunch time by my middle man & his colleagues again, who arranged for me to have the rest of the day off work (result!). They took me to Tripoli Marina where there is a fresh fish market running through the centre of a bunch of restaurants. So I got to pick my fresh fishie and chose how I wanted it cooked! I had a whole divine grilled sea bass and loved it! Now thats what I’m talkin about...

(Dinner at Tripoli Marina)

Tomorrow morning I shall be picked up to see my new apartment and hopefully if it’s all up to scratch and I am happy with the conditions... I’ll be moving in!

The journey continues.....