Published: August 2nd 2012August 2nd 2012
I apologize for lack of pictures, but since I do not have internet yet at my new place, it is not as easy. I will take some good pictures for you this weekend and upload them Sunday.
Yesterday was another slow day at work, so I actually left early with my Muslim coworker to go to the mall. I wanted to transfer some money, start my internet/cable service and get some more necessary supplies.
First, I grabbed a ticket from Du, where you get your internet/cable/phone set up. My ticket said H383 and the board indicated they were only on H343, so I decided to walk across to the UAE exchange to send some of my cash to my home bank account, since I still do not have a bank account here and I wanted to pay off my student loan. It took a long time and I am going to worry about my money until I see it in my account (it was not there this morning). My ability to remember numbers is sometimes a blessing and a curse. I didn't have my checkbook with me, so my account number and routing numbers were done by memory. I've had that account for almost 10 years, so I am confident they were correct, but again, since this was my first time, I am going to worry until I see that it worked!
I went back to Du and they were not calling any H numbers, which was unusual because that was all they were calling when I first went there. I wondered if maybe I had been gone too long; it had been 30-40 minutes to do that exchange. So, I went to get another ticket, just in case, that way if I had missed my number, at least I would be a little more ahead of the game. As I walked to the machine, a worker came over and told the guy at the machine (kind of a host who helps you select the correct route through the system), "No more tickets for new customers. The system is completely down!" He seemed a little panicked (there were a lot of people there), and I just said, well, I guess that means there is no point in me waiting.... so I left.
I next went to a couple of shops to see what they had, then returned to Home Centre, which is set up like a Pottery Barn, but kind of like a Target, but I think the quality is a little cheaper for some things. This time I bought a drying rack, some orange towels for my bathroom, sugar and flour canisters, salt and pepper shakers, knives, utensils, a clothes drying rack, dish drying rack, coffee mugs, toothbrush holder and bread load tins. I really wanted to get all my bath stuff, but they did not seem to have wash cloths or the colors of towels that I like. Plus the bathroom accessories were a bit expensive - kind of an all or nothing deal. So, I willl go somewhere else this weekend, like a department store, for that kind of stuff. I still need dishes - I just could not decide which I liked, plus they were very heavy!
The most amazing part is the shopping cart! I was so worried that I would have to lug all that crap to the metro, but I was able to take the shopping cart into the mall, and go down an inclined walking escalator thing. I was so nervous that the cart would get away from me, but it must be magnetized or something because it stayed in place even if I let go. Then, the taxis were right out the door and there were guys waiting to help me load my stuff from the cart to the taxi. So, the only time I really had to carry anything was to my apartment building's elevator and then my apartment. Awesome.
I ordered some more Thai delivery from that same restaurant, even though it is far away. I got enough for lunch and dinner left overs for thursday. That papaya salad is really good, but this time they put in huge chunks of raw garlic. Stupidly, I bit into one and my mouth was overcome with flavor. But in a good way. :)
I then met Jamie at The Address, a swanky hotel - one is near the Burj Khalifa, but this one was in the Dubai Marina - very close, so I walked across the main freeway using the metro bridge and got a taxi. I felt a little out of place, as I was dressed to go work out and play soccer, so I felt weird walking into this beautiful, expensive hotel. The perfume was enough to gag a maggot though. But, I would like to come back. Jamie had iftar with her company and said there was so much food and it was not that expensive. I would like to experience Iftar (breaking the fast meal at night) and Suhoor (pre-fast meal, which is like 4am) before Ramadan is over though. These are like big buffets with traditional arab foods. There are some desserts that are ONLY available during Ramadan.
Anyway, we decided that we'll take the metro to soccer from now on as it lets out right in front of the World Trade Center and very close to the gym area. Parking can just be a nightmare there. Soccer was fun; our usual coach was not there - I am not sure why. But we did some fun competitive drills, again things I have not done since high school. We had a group relay race involving sprinting, dribbling and push ups (girl push ups of course). Then we had accuracy shooting. I felt really good because I helped one girl with her shooting - we would have been there all night otherwise! I showed her how to stand and where to get her power from, and her next shot was perfect! Such a good feeling - these girls are incredibly sweet and funny. Later, we had to move to a different pitch and we started a game. Then some guy came over and told us we had to switch again. This is how it works here; there are about 10 fields in the building and only 3 were being used and it was 10pm, but still we HAD to move. Jamie and I just decided to leave; the practice hours were changed to accommodate the girls for Ramadan, so we are playing from 9-11pm this month and that is just too late.
I stopped at Carrefour's to grab some more necessities: Water, sugar, flour, fruit, yogurt, bread and labneh. :) Then, it was time for bed.
I probably won't be able to write again til Sunday. Until then... adios (ok, yes, I will work on some more arabic words)