A large update

I was without internet for so long, that once it was connected I forgot what it was I missed about it.  But I am now able to blog with some sort of regularity, I just have to get back into the rhythm.

As always, we’ve found a lot to keep us busy.  Let’s see how much of the past three months I can remember.

Moving to Tecom
We finally moved into our “permanent” Emirates accommodation in Tecom – Al Barsha.  There were many trials and tribulations in finally getting here, but they’re almost all forgotten now.   And besides, the delays I had were nothing compared to some of the guys before me.

Now it’s all finally happened, I can’t remember all the noteworthy events.  With the internet and TV connected, I can say we’re as settled in as we’ll ever be.  There was a few sad moments when we left our former apartment in Deira. Both Myles and Lewis had grown quite fond of our security guy, Manoj and our cleaners Sathi, and Kargenny.  Due to a mistake in translation we also called him “Clinian” for some time without anyone saying anything.  We’ve dropped in a few times since for a chai (local tea), which has made all parties happy.  In fact the first time we visited Manoj again he said plainly to me, “Please don’t forget me sir” which I could never do.

In Tecom it’s been nice to see other families around, and even most of the cabin crew have been great.  Myles has certainly started making an impression.  I took  the kids up to the pool area last week, and there was a lady and her daughter.  We got on well, and shared our room numbers so the kids could play together.  As we were getting out from the pool the lady had just finished saying it was nice to see other kids around when Myles headed back into the pool, yelling to me “I have to footy snot”.  With this he proceeded to lean down from the pool deck so he could blow his nose in the water – metres from the lady’s daughter.  It was amazing that they could see the funny side of it.  At the time I couldn’t, I was too busy looking for a large rock to hide under.  Myles and I had a good chat following this about proper footy snot etiquette.

Elle and Jo upstairs have taken some initiative and started a facebook group for the families of Tecom.  We probably had 40-50 people attend. It happened to coincide with Myles’s 5th birthday so he had a captive audience to help him get through his birthday cake.

We finally got a place for Myles to attend foundation school. He had been enjoying nursery, but approaching five he had the opportunity to step up, so from the 7th of September, he’s been a student of Regent International School. It was an interesting process.  When I first arrived in February I started calling around the different schools, and each and every one claimed to be full, and they had huge waiting lists.  Regent just happened to be the closest school to our apartment, it had all the prerequisite things on the web site we were looking for, and they had plenty of spaces.

Like most schools, Myles had to undertake a brief assessment. It turned out the lady was just looking for any learning difficulties or personality challenges. She tested him by drawing the outline of a car and getting him to put the wheels on, and to colour it. She may have started to worry a little when he proceeded to add a thin vertical line of each and every colour she had.  I can almost visualise her curious expression at him not simply colouring the car simply.  In fact, and she went on to ask him why he was doing it that way, which Myles had an instant reply “It’s the Rainbow Sheikh’s car”.  Classic.  Weeks earlier we had visit the Rainbow Sheikh’s free car museum – which clearly left an impression.

Internet connection
All I’ll say is, I shall never complain about the quality of telecommunication companies or the care they provide in Australia again.

It has been good to have some visitors from home come stay with us.  We couldn’t really do it well in our last place, but there’s more than enough room now.  In August we had my brother stay, and early this month we had my parents stay for nearly a month.

We didn’t do too many things out of the ordinary, but it was good to give them both a taste of Dubai.  Corey especially so. He got to see a common site (not really) of a brand new Lamborghini dragging off a brand new Ferrari down Jumeirah Road.  It was something to behold, even for the BMW police car that was parked on the side of the road at the time.

We experienced our first ramadan period. It was certainly different to not be able to drink or eat outside during daylight hours.  But the time went extremely very quickly. We attended a few Iftars, which is the large buffet meal Muslims typically eat to break the fast.

As per their plan, the Metro was launched on the 09/09/09  for VIPs.  The day after it was for the rest of us, but it was too busy when we tried to catch it.  Unfortunately they’ve had a few teething problems.  In fact there was a story published that the metro had a glitch one night during Ramdan which prevented people from breaking their fast.  It was a nice story that some people apparently divided up the bags of shopping they had to share with their fellow Muslims.

The metro”s a great way to travel though.  It’s hard to believe how quiet it is.  Once our local station opens I’ll consider catching it to work each morning.  I’ve tried it once on the way, and there was a 30 min delay.  And on the way home twice there have been similar holdups. Probably a good reason to leave it a while to get over these hiccups.