Thursday, June 16, 2011

Splish Splash

It is summer here in Dubai, I'm not complaining about the weather because I prefer Summer to winter. The humidity makes you a little more sticky wicky here but that's nothing a shower or two can't resolve. I have been taking Omar to the pool, he loves it and  I've been taking a dip in the water myself too in my Ian Thorpe inspired suit aka Alien swimwear. Fashion aside :D, we've been having a splashing good time in the pool and making some new friends Alhamdullilah. 

Here's Mr Baywatch in action, don't ask me how he got hold of the life bouy, here's where I insert, That's Dubai for you !  

I put arm floats on him despite Lesley ( swimming instructor in Perth) not recommending floats on children because it hinders them from using their upper body reflexes to move. Sometimes you just break the rule!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I am doing that comparing business where I go into a shop and rely heavily on my XE calculator (this super amazing  app on my iphone) that so conveniently exchanges rates for me. Most of the time I hear myself saying "oh my god oh my god , this is so cheeeeap!". Like how is it that I'm paying much more for BEGA cheese in Australia .It's made in Australia and I pay much less for it here in Dubai. I paid 80 cents for a bunch of bananas yesterday, can't help to think how it justifies us paying up to 12 dollars for a bunch of bananas in Perth. Point of story is that food is amazingly cheap here. On the other hand some other things are so overpriced. Took Omar to a Jungle Gym equivalent and paid something like 25 dollars for an hour of play. So all in all it adds up and it's  pretty much back to square one. Some things that are really expensive in Perth I am learning are cheap here and vice versa...

In the meanwhile we are enjoying snacking on this ,
I haven't found a super wow shawarma kiosk yet but if anyone knows of super duper shawarma place, please do tell.

Just for the math, you get 4 shawarmas here for the price of one kebab in Perth . That makes me a happy shawarma diner!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dubai Update

We are adjusting, slowly but surely. It is boiling outside but its not much of a bugger if you plan your day well and there's air conditioning Alhamdullilah.

So the past week has seen me mainly house hunting. We have seen at least 15 or 20 "potential homes" and so far nothing has won me us over. Being the fussy pot that I am or that we are. We have spent countless hours scouting the net for a suitable place to call home.Our main criteria is that it shouldn't be too busy a place and I don't know if thats a criteria to play by because everywhere in Dubai is  pretty much work in progress.You see cranes and construction sites on every junction which makes Omar very happy. It's an amusement park to him. It can be a little off putting for us adults hearing the constant drilling but I suppose if you want to make the best of your stay, you'll have to learn to live with it. I hope we find something soon, a sanctuary that will tick our boxes InshaAllah.  As they say everyone has a different cup of tea but I'm pretty sure I know what I like and what I don't like . Our freight should arrive the beginning of July so we have just about 2 and half weeks to find something permanent.  I'm on it pronto, feeling a teeny weeny doob doob anxious !

Oh and need I add I have learnt that things work differently here with Property agents. It's interesting to note that one house can be advertised by 10 different agents/ real estate companies. They put up different pictures and descriptions on their classified ads which makes you assume its a completely different house and then you arrive at the open house and realize sharks its the same property you viewed yesterday.Confusion much! That's Dubai for you, you'll be hearing me say that alot.

At the moment , we are at a service apartment in Dubai Marina. It's very city like, very chic modern.It's surrounded by sky scrappers and  has a stunning view of the marina where all the yachts are berthed. On the other side of the marina you have the ocean.I haven't been brave enough to venture out to the beach in this weather but I will in due time. Overall, coming from Perth , I am feeling very much like the country mouse who has moved to the city.

Oh and for my very dear friends who are reading this half way across the globe. Can I assure you that I have been doing what I know best. Yes ,I'm on that , how could I not be (exploring the city's shopping spots). I've been able to sneak in trips to the shopping malls on the pretext of picking up groceries at the supermarket. So much to be posted on that topic, it's a shopping paradise. For all my once upon a time shopping buddies. I wish you were all here to share in the magic too :)

I better get back to house hunting now .

Saying it with love,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Perth To Dubai

Alhamdullilah ala Salamah , we arrived in Dubai and the reunion was sweet. Omar was super excited to see his father after whats got to be the longest 3 months apart.The moment he caught a glimpse of Big k  standing behind the glass panels at the arrival hall, he ran towards him and smothered him with kisses and big hugs. Not letting his dad go for the next hour or so. It struck me how genuine his missing feeling must have been. That void of not having his dad around. Not a day went by in Perth that he didn't say '' Mum, I miss Abah, I miss Abah!" and truly he did.

I wish I captured that moment on video but I was sort of in a daze after a 12 hour flight .

I'm glad that my welcome to Dubai sailed through beautifully. It took me less than 5 minutes to pass through the immigration. I felt like I  was given sort of a special treatment, I say this because I had joined a que with 50 odd people and suddenly this immigration guy looks at me and  opens  a new lane  and says, "you come through here" .  I'm not too sure if it was because I had a child or that my hijab worked some kind of a miracle or that he just knew I was Adla who blogs on Ta-da!... hahaha I'm sure it is not the latter. Whatever the reason was , it helped and I felt very welcome which was contrary to how I was feeling when I was about to board the flight from Perth .

Ok to tell the next bit of the story let me tell you a bit about Perth International Airport. If you've travelled out of Perth, you'd know that their boarding system is one which requires  you  to climb down some stairs before boarding the plane, so if you know how steep those stairs are  you'd also know that it is such a hassle when travelling with kids and having hand luggage. Just to be fair I'd say that if you are accompanied by another adult then you could work the hassle out. Unfortunately for me I was not travelling with another adult and that evening Omar was not feeling very well so he was lying a little weak on the " airport stroller" and I had  a hand luggage filled with what every mother packs for a long travel. Diapers, wet ones, extra change of clothes  and some other necessities. So basically during my check in earlier I had requested for assistance and they said I'll be able to request that again at the gate and thats exactly what I did and have a guess what the response was when I asked politely? 

This guy says to me , " Maam , you should only travel with what you  can afford to carry, we don't offer assistance."  I shook my ear in astonishment. The thing with me is that I need a little  time to rebut and give anyone who says something extremely idiotic to me a good piece of my mind. I try to be nice at most times but if my arrogance needs to be displayed then you shall receive it well and good.
I  turn to him after a few seconds and say; " Excuse me , this is not the first time I am travelling. Emirates is a world class airline and I have travelled on Emirates and many other airlines many times prior to this and so has my son. He  is a full fledge paying customer, if he needs assistance then I am positive the  assistance is available upon request and just for your info, what's in the hand luggage are necessities for the long  12 hour flight. so please, don't tell me you don't offer assistance, please learn some tact and don't tell me just carry what you can manage. TACT is the keyword here. No tact for someone working in a service industry, appalling to say the least.

Two minutes later a smiling lady comes, takes me to a lift where some other 'western mums' travelling with children are already waiting. This lift will take us directly to the aircraft and she helps me with my luggage.Wonderful, what I needed I received because I made a scene! Had I not seen the other mums with children there I would have let it go that this was not a racial discrimination. The trials of being a hijabi in Australia exists. For those who  are hijabis and say it does not exist, perhaps you are wearing a really good pair of tinted shades. I for one have had to open my mouth , speak intelligently and voice out my opinion on many occasions just to receive that ' FAIR GO'. Just for the sake of proving my point, I asked another mum if the guy  told her what he told me and  she said, " No, that was awful what he said!" So there goes, it does get a little tiring having to prove that you are not a towel head who is fresh off a boat and be treated like a second class citizen. I am writing to Toll and Emirates and telling them that such inapt staff need more training on how to converse with customers.

Ok thats my rant, any-hu the hijab is taking me to a new, " I am respected if I wear something on my head " level here so I'm happy for that, Alhamdullilah.You are respected as a hijabi so much more, I think I might just go abaya shopping now. Be back to report on that soon .

Monday, June 6, 2011

See ya later Mate!

It is 7 am and I am awaken by the sound of a huge truck chugging into our driveway. I peep out of the window to see a 20 foot container parked outside. The container that will  travel the high seas with our precious memories.Two men come to the door equipped with bubble wrap and butchers paper ready to tackle the move. They work in the most efficient and systematic manner ever. I have nothing but high praise for how they did it all so quickly.If you are ever in need of a removalist, get in touch with Chess .Big thumbs up for them.

Seeing things get wrapped and packed away, it sunk into me that the day had come for us to bid farewell to the place we called home for the last five years.

Not that I am not accustomed to farewells , between Big k and myself, the last decade has seen us in 4 different countries, The UK, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia respectively but Goodbyes are always hard, it does not matter where we are in the world. However hard I try to fight the sad feeling , it creeps up every single time accompanied with tears ofcourse. If you have ever said goodbye to me in such a circumstance, then we must have cried in each others faces in one way or another. I know crying is such a raw emotion and nobody likes to do it in the open, well I don't like doing it in the open because I can't cry like Miss Universe . I'm so not a pretty crier but at the same time my emotion gets the better of me. If only I was a little more dramatic, perhaps I could use my tears as a weapon but thats a topic to be discussed some other time haha

I can't thank  all my dear friends in Perth enough,. I am overwhelmed by the kindness and farewell get togethers we've had. Thank you for opening your doors to us and just simply being part of our lives in Perth. We will miss everyone very much  but in true Sandgropper fashion, it is not a goodbye but rather See ya later Mate!

Big cheers to the lovely memories made in Perth, many accompanied with photos on my harddrive which  I will have to organize and when I do that, I'll be posting lots of "Perthy" photos up of places and of all you beautiful people, It will help me not get too homesick, so stay tuned for that.

For now Saying it with love and  let the Dubai adventures begin with Allahs blessings,