Wednesday, December 03, 2003
I'm ready for the weekend! Yesterday was National Day here in Dubai which means most everyone was off work (including my baby), so we had a day to play. We stayed in bed until mid-morning and then I got up to make pancakes and sausage while Jim played with his new DVD system. We headed back to bed to finish a move and then I got our lazy butts up and out of the house. We drove all the way out to Jebel Ali to retrieve Jim's phone and then stopped by K9 to pick up these two foster dogs I wanted to get for the weekend (all the while knowing that there's no "fostering" to this situation... once Jimbo saw the pups, he was as in love with them as I was!). We loaded up the pup sisters and headed for home! They are a bundle of fur and joy. Just too cute for words! I've named them Amstel & Guiness - they're golden and bubbly, just like yummy cold beer!
posted by KKT at 3:48 PM
I'm leaving the cafe now to get them some chew toys, more food, bowls, and whatever other dog accessories I can find!
have a great weekend!!
THE WEDNESDAY FIVE!!
posted by KKT at 3:41 PM
1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not? Sometimes. I like finding great gifts that really suit my friends; I enjoy grocery shopping (especially here becuase there are so many different ethnic foods); SHOE SHOPPING - enough said!
2. What was the last thing you purchased? I bought a white, long sleeve t-shirt and a book for Jim.
3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why? In person. Most things I've purchased online have been a dissapointment and returning things is a real PITA!
4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it? I don't think so. If I did, it wasn't enough to remember!
5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing? I regret registring for this duvet cover (that I registred for ONLINE) - it turned out to be fairly ugly and scratchy!
Monday, December 01, 2003
few things really chap my ass... but PEOPLE sometimes can. I have had a few situations where I have somehow tripped into a feud between friends:
posted by KKT at 5:16 PM
(1) Friend 1 sends an email to Friends 2,3, and 4 asking them out for dinner/drinks. I forward email to Friend 5. Friend 1 gets pissed at me becuase she thinks my forwarding the email makes her (Friend 1) look as if she left her out. Friend 1 completely quits talking to me, but Friend 1 and Friend 5 remain friends (obviously, Friend 5's feelings were not hurt and the friendship remained in tact despite my forwarding the email). Years later, everything was patched up, chalked up to misunderstanding, but what wasted time over pride and bad communication!!
(2) I hear from Friend 1 that Friend 2 has been talking HUGE crap behind my back, making people feel uncomfortable by bringing up rather private information, and simply acting like a huge ass. I decide to ignore the issue - it may go away. Friend 2 has been a good, although sometimes inappropriate, friend in the past. Friend 3 calls me up and tells me the scenario about Friend 2. Friend 3 tells me Friend 2 is being completely out of line and I should really reevaluate whether or not to continue the friendship. I do. I confront Friend 2 and when Friend 2 seems content with ending the friendship because Friend 2 cannot take the friendship to another level. Bascially, it's Friend 2's way or the highway. So... now there is no contact between myself and Friend 2. AND there is no contact between Friend 1 and Friend 2, yet Friend 2 and Friend 3 (the friend who suggested I terminate the friendship) remains.
WTF?! OK. I'm sure all this "Friend 1" and "Friend 2" business is rather nerveracking, but it makes me feel better. And to protect the integrity of the "Friends" I won't splash names all over the place. Grrrrr. I just don't like being literally "CUT" out. It's so childish. GROW UP. Admit that you were an ass, people! It saves wasted time, empty hearts, and fuzzy minds. Although, it may feed your drinking demon, so I can't denouce the behaviour too much...
Sunday, November 30, 2003
Ohhh... I can't leave now. A man just came in. He's a national, too. He's wearing the sheet bit, but with a baseball cap and not the traditional head gear. He's taking paper from her... What are they saying?! Chit chat... meald bheka eo ame fadhaka eldke emdl hanan sale dh ahdndke adldke ahsw vaenea me. Savea leem eme dhaheilkda. Van d emm adke m. Ackdm edk ahd... amsana de desa desa umpak amd em. Veah.
posted by KKT at 4:55 PM
OK... I'm done with messing with this thing. I think I've somewhat fixed the comment line and have amply wasted time playing with colors and fonts. Does anybody know how I use some fun font for the date header? Hmmm... I'll have to work on that later in the week.
posted by KKT at 4:53 PM
It was a great day at K9! I placed my first puppy in a new home! He's really cute and I think the woman that adopted him will make a great new mom.
For the past four days, my head has had a dull, aching sensation. Let's face it. It's a major headache that won't go away. Finally reaching my breaking point last night, I downed a couple of Tylenol PM and let Jim tuck me into bed. The bastard pain was trying to sneak up on me this morning, but I zapped it with some precautionary Motrin. It's almost 5 PM and still no sign. I guess I shouldn't celebrate this clear head by going out for steaks & wine tonight, eh? Comon! let a girl have some fun!
There are two national girls here in the cafe. They have been here for about 20 minutes and have only ordered a bottle of water. They're on their cell phones giggling - not getting online or anything. I think they're waiting here for a secret love liason. I should stay to spy, but I'm freezing.
More tomorrow... Ahh!! The cafe lady just came to check on them. I think they're up to something, but what?!
I just found these posts that I typed up pre-high speed connection... enjoy!
posted by KKT at 3:06 PM
October 5, 2003
Today is our five month anniversary. I would have never imagined five months ago, on our first date, that Jim and I would have been so in love and living in Dubai, planning the rest of our lives together. We slept in again today after a night out with some guys from Jason. Around noon, we grabbed a taxi and headed for the Dubai Museum and souks near the creek. It was pretty hot and we were both hungry. The only place we could find to eat within several blocks of gold jewelry stores was Kentucky Fried Chicken, so we settled for that. We devoured our spicy chicken and walked back toward the museum to purchase two tickets. The museum was surprisingly nice: air conditioning, excellent exhibits, and very informative with realistic displays and authentic artifacts. Our plan was to do a bit of “souking” for the afternoon, so we found a boat taxi to take us across Dubai Creek for Dhs.10 to the spice and gold souks. The first spice store we spotted in the market had bags of things I had never seen, and some that looked familiar. I recognized the curry, lavender, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and peppers. Jim asked for licorice root, but the man looked at us with a confused face and just asked us if we saw anything else we would like to buy from him. The mosques began to sing around 3:30 and the shops began to close for prayer. Jim and I spotted the Heritage House and decided to spend our “prayer time” exploring what the Dubai Tourism Department offered as an example of a sheik’s home. I welcomed the few air conditioned rooms and deep wooden benches to sit on. We noticed the shopkeepers beginning to reopen and we continued on our walk to find the gold souks. Finally, we found a street map of the area which told us that were clearly headed in the wrong direction. We returned where we came from and discovered one million jewelry stores. I have never seen anything like these markets. Every single store carries almost identical items – gold dripping with diamonds and other gems of every color and in every style imaginable – and some that you would rather not imagine. Jim and I walked and walked, never seeing anything that caught our eye – besides the really obscene. Just as we seemed to be heading out, I spotted the only thing that had really caught my eye and decided to actually go in to have a look. I reluctantly tried the ring on (much to the shopkeeper’s glee) and smiled. Jim obviously saw the sparkle in my eye because he began bargaining with the man immediately as I was trying to pull him out the door. He eventually came to an agreement with the little Pakistani man and they scurried off to size it. I scolded him for making such a hasty decision, but deep down was happy and know the ring will always be special and remind me of our time here. While waiting for my ring, I decided I should get Jim’s ring size as well and ended up purchasing his band.
Practically skipping out of the store, we began our hunt for a coffee maker and thermos to solve the Jason coffee issue. The thermos was easy enough to find. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that the majority of the world’s coffee thermoses and Toyota Camerys can be found in Dubai. The coffee canisters were on every corner, in every color and size. The coffee maker, however, was a different story. Just as we were about to grab a taxi for dinner, we ran into one more store and found a Sana (not Sanka) coffee maker for $10. Our shopping spree was complete.
Our taxi dropped us off at Long Bar where we sat for a few pints of beer and a good dinner. As we were hot, sweaty, and tired, we returned to the apartment for hot showers and . . .
October 11, 2003
Over ten days in Dubai and I am still finding every day to be a new adventure. Because we do not have our own car, getting around town to run errands in a taxi can be a tricky situation. I find myself mapping tasks according to location, time, and whether or not I’ll be buying something heavy or perishable.
Jim and I decided that we should try to find an alternative to the hotel laundry service as they are quite expensive. The hotel laundry individually wraps and folds EVERYTHING – right down to a pair of panties folding around lightweight cardboard and sealed in “Dusit Dubai” plastic. Having a pair of panties cleaned to the tune of Dhs. 10 is not something the company wants to see on a regular basis.
A co-worker of Jim’s suggested Queen’s Press so the next day I bundled up our dirty clothes, grabbed a taxi, and instructed him to take me to the Jumeriah Beach Center. Once I located the laundry inside the mall, I found that it would not open for another hour. (That is one thing I cannot get used to – stores close from around 1:00 to 4:00 PM, but remain open until around 9:00 PM.) I decide grab an ice coffee and window shop for the next hour. Finally, the cleaners opened. I presented my bag of dirty laundry to which I received an equally dirty face and was told, “We don’t do underwear and socks.” Flustered that I had just wasted a taxi ride, over an hour of time, and was still left holding a bag of smelly clothes, I departed the laundry without so much as a wave goodbye.
I began walking back down the street toward the Mercato where I knew I could do my grocery shopping. Being the stubborn and practical girl I am, I refused to pay another taxi fare. I stomped into Spinney’s grocery store, dropped my bag of clothes into the basket, and proceeded to seek out coffee creamer, cheese, conditioner, and kitchen towels. Needless to say, I brought our laundry back home and reluctantly gave it to the Dusit to clean for Dhs. 1 billion.
Today I am going to look at some villas and speak to the church about marrying us. I’ve made several calls, but have no luck in receiving the information Irene promised me. I guess I’ll just have to take myself out there and knock on the church door to get some attention.
Sunday, October 19, 2003
I cannot believe I’ve been here in Dubai for almost three weeks, away from family, friends, work, and everything that has been familiar to me for the past 29 years. Dubai and Jim are my home now and I feel absolutely comfortable, safe, and enveloped in love. Every morning I wake and wrap my arms around him and kiss the back of his shoulder and run my fingers in his hair and think how lucky I am to have found him, at last.
Last night was the first night I’ve spent alone since all those days apart from him. Sleeping in a big empty bed was less painful this time because I knew he would be home soon. Trips to Saudi Arabia only last a day or two, at most, and then swiftly return him back to me.
Jim and I were eager to depart the Dusit Dubai so I have spent the last week house hunting.
House Hunting Day One: On Jim first flight to Dubai, he met a woman named Kim that has lived in Dubai for the past seven years with her husband and young son. Coincidently, Kim dabbles in real estate and gave Jim her number so she could assist us in finding a new home. Once our “honeymoon” week was over and Jim had returned to work, I phoned Kim to set appointment to see some properties.
Kim first sent me out with Angie, a dikey English blonde, who took me to several rental properties all of which were shockingly substandard. The first house looked like a 30 year old miniature version of the White House. I walked in, had one look at the gold crushed velvet drapes, and walked out. I instructed her to show me something with half the square footage and less Liberace-esque home accessories. We went to several older villas, none of which made a good impression. The lesser of all evils actually had mirrors on the ceiling of the voyeur, which I consoled my self by thinking I could camouflage with some crafty Martha skills.
The next day, Kim took me out herself to look at some properties for sale. Although I had informed her that I had already seen the mansions offered at the only subdivision that ex-pats are allowed to purchase, she immediately drove me there because she, herself, wanted to have a look. After finally noticing my hostile body language (crossed arms, walking through a house that I had already seen and decided was too large for us), she drove me to our next appointment. This house was smack on one of the busiest streets in Dubai and faced a mall. Our last stop was the home of her co-worker so that I could see what a furnished house looked like. As if I do not know what a furnished house looks like? I wondered, does she realize I’m from Houston, not Mars?
Frustrated, I texted Jim my frustrations and asked him to get the number of Rose Marie, a woman who had helped other Jason families find homes.
The very next day, Rose Marie came to pick me up in her tiny Volkswagen, prepared with a list of properties in the exact price range I gave her. The very first home made my heart skip a beat. I wanted to run from room to room screaming, “This is it!!” Although I was certain my search was over, I allowed Rose to take me through the rest of her agenda. When Jim got home, I was beaming and drug him over to the house for a quick look while it was still open. He did a quick walk through and agreed it was fabulous and perfect for us.
Lying by the pool the next afternoon, we called Rose and told her to hold the house – we wanted it and would be in touch with company details the next day.
The next day, we jump up with excitement and Jim goes to the computer to re-check his housing allowance numbers. He can’t find them. He phones Holland. He waits for a return call to verify the exact housing allowance. He receives the call and it is bad news. Jim had added the car allowance and the housing allowance which put the house significantly over our budget. Both our hearts sank a bit so we consoled ourselves with free drink coupons at the Bunker.
The next night, we were asked to a bar-be-que at Martin and Diane’s house. We had too much wine and discussed getting the house. We decided that I would tell Rose Marie we made a mistake, the house was out of our budget, and see if she could get the price down. If she could not, we would have to start looking again. Rose called me back with good news – the owner would come down much closer to our budget, but we had to start the paperwork immediately. I anxiously agreed, thanked her profusely, and emailed Jim the good news – we had a house!!
Now the fun begins – our lives, in our new city, in our new house, to be filled with new friends.