The Third & Fourth Day

August 20, 2008

Tuesday was a difficult day. We would have liked to just stay in the hotel room, rest, and avoid the humidity, but we needed to go to the apartment and document any damages or problems so that we won’t be charged for them if and when we move out.

We started by walking two blocks to a restaurant, the Ritzy Palm (a bit of a cheesy name, but a very nice restaurant). We had the special, which was an Arabic entree and comprised of mostly meat. Four lamb chops, four sausage like meats, and several kabob type meats, a green salad made of mainly onion with a little lettuce and various pickled vegetables, served with flat bread and a plate of French fries. Way more than we could eat. Why French fries? I don’t know, but they seem to like them a lot here.

There are no street addresses here. You give directions by referring to landmarks. So to tell the taxi driver where we need to go we have to say “Al Majid building in Al Muteen across from the Marks and Spencer or Toys R Us” and hope that he knows where that is. To make things more interesting the street in front of our building is under construction for the rapid transit train, so one has to drive up to the back of the building. So, we made it to the apartment, documented a few things, took pictures, some of which are posted here. Our apartment is nice — all the flooring is tile. The entry and living room have grey granite tiles, the bedrooms have some sort of composite tile, the bathrooms have brown granite tile (on the walls as well as the floors) and the kitchen has brown composite tile. There – more than you ever wanted to know about our flooring.

When we were done in the apartment, instead of calling a taxi to pick up us at the apartment building, we walked a short distance to the shopping mall, thinking it would be easier to just get a taxi there. We went into the mall to cool off and look around a little. After leaving the mall we ended up walking around in the horrible heat and having significant difficulty getting a taxi. Lesson learned — call a taxi, don’t expect to find one spontaneously.

Wednesday was a planned shopping trip. The college provided a bus and driver to take us around to the large furniture/housewares stores. The good part of this was that we met others who are new employees also. One is another librarian that I will be working with. The others were two families of four. The children ranged from 4 to 7 years of age. I can’t imagine doing this with young children in tow.

Our shopping trip apparently doubled as a sight seeing trip. We drove past the Deira Palm Island construction site, the zoo, the Burj Al Arab (7 star hotel shaped like a sailboat), we saw the Burj Dubai (world’s tallest building, still under construction), got a glimpse of the Persian Gulf, and a glimpse of the Sheik’s palace.

The stores we were taken to were Home Center, Homes R Us, and IKEA. It was a whirlwind shopping trip with only an hour or so in each store, but it gave us a chance to see what was available and what prices are like. Paul and I found a few things we could agree on. There is a Home Center in the mall near our apartment, so it won’t be too hard to go back and purchase the items later. Prices are comparable to the U.S., so no big sticker shock, yet.

We went to dinner with my new boss and new co-worker in a very nice hotel restaurant (buffet style). There was lots of salmon, so I was happy. That was one of the foods I was afraid would be difficult to come by here. Buffets are very popular here and have a marvelous variety of foods.

It is three a.m. now as I am writing. We are still having trouble adjusting to the time schedule. That will wear off eventually.


One comment

  1. I rather liked the Castles in the Sand, but I am a bit of a romantic anyway. And I loved Ice Castles! Wow. Very wow. Thanks for keeping all us home bound folks up to date. Miss you.

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