Saturday, July 26, 2008

You're the one that I want...

Yesterday we went house hunting with our new friend Cat, who has been very helpful. She liked her flowers. We found one house we loved, in a residential area with a view of the park. We are going to keep looking though, since this house was over our allowance and didn't have maid's quarters. We could convert the laundry to maid's room, as many do, but the one in this house was teensy. (Everyone keeps asking me why the children aren't with their nanny!) Since that house has been on the market for almost a day now, it's probably sold. Things move quickly here. The hunt shall continue. The air conditioning had been turned off in the vacated houses we viewed and they were sweltering! After 2 such houses we were getting pretty warm, flying through the houses and dripping sweat, so we took a break to worship the great and benevolent god of air-conditioning, have ice cream and check out a sports camp option for Bethy and a nursery for Thomas (that he could attend once or twice a week). The heat here is really quite impressive. On even short trips we stock the car with cold water and some sort of electrolyte replacement drink and bananas.

Thomas has been eating bananas pretty much nonstop, which is not a bad plan: all of us have some sort of stomach affliction, as to be expected while our bodies adjust. Last night both kids were put to bed with a dose of kid's Tylenol, Kid's Tums, and each had a bottle of Isostar electrolyte replacement drink. "Tummach ache", said Thomas sadly. This hadn't stopped them in the least from gamboling happily in the pool half an hour before, so I think they're doing pretty well. Thomas keeps burping and saying "scoose me! scoose me!" What a polite kid.

They watch far more TV here than at home, which can hardly be helped. On the days when I have the car I'll make sure to get them out and about as much a possible, but for now we get out of the hotel as often as we can, though it seems as though most parents don't let their kids outside at all. Again and again people are surprised (and politely make sure this idiot has at least been informed as to how very hot it is) when we go out.

Cat asked if I plan to drive, and was quite complimentary that I do. Apparently many of the American women refuse to! I've zipped out to the grocery store twice now, a good way to practice traffic circles on a smaller, slower scale. I think I may actually get to like them as well as Mike, though I know the first time I head out for any real destination I'll be white-knuckling it.

I feel certain that the prospect of exploring souks and book shops and furniture stores will be plenty of motivation.

In the meantime the kids "help" the room guys with their tasks (here fluffing the duvet, all three of them giggling like crazy, and opening and closing the curtains).

They also beg nonstop to go "inna pool" and to hunt for "geckos" (both of which Thomas says very well) and to go to the"paydown" (playground). We can't do any of these activities once the sun is blazing in the sky, shaded areas or not, so early mornings and the evenings have become the extra fun times for the kids.

Yesterday I took advantage of Mike being home (Sunday is the beginning of the work week here) and went down to the gym for a run. The lifeguard saw me coming, left the pool (only a few slabs of pale folk sizzling poolside anyway), came into the gym room and stayed there the entire time I was running. Now, he wasn't watching me, per se, never spoke to me, but he was very much present the whole time. I wasn't sure if he had been instructed to be there to administer first aid for when nutso westerners collapsed on the treadmill or if I was just a convenient excuse for him to be inside out of the heat. Mind you, even the air conditioning didn't keep me from sweating harder than I ever did back home. But my breathing was still great, and I cranked out a 5k well enough.

To get the kids though the middle of the day today I plan to make chocolate chip cookies with them. While the pastries here are amazing, (there's a very good reason to run besides just love of running!) and we are trying out all sorts of wonderful new delicacies, I think the husband and kids could really use a bit of home cooked goodness. Just don't expect to get the recipe off the back of the Hershey's chocolate chip bag (unless of course you're fluent in Arabic)!

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