Friday, August 15, 2008


It's been nearly a month since we stepped off the plane in Dubai and entered our new world. Something to reflect upon.

In this last month the kids have fallen in love with geckos, something they never saw before. Here, Bethy has fallen asleep with her "gecko eyes" sunglasses still on (named such by us for the speckled greenish pattern).

In the last month I've been excited to meet and have been welcomed by many new people from many, many places.
Sadly, I've also had more than one occasion to be taken aghast, disappointed, or embarrassed by the behavior and opinions of my fellow westerners towards those less fortunate than themselves.

'If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.' JK Rowling

In the last month Thomas developed but then overcome his fear of the vacuum cleaner with lots of encouragement on the latter by the room guys, especially Selvam. I don't know which of the three of us was most excited when Thomas took the vacuum and started to sweep boldly with it. We were practically jumping up and down like little kids. I think Thomas was the calmest, if you want to know.

Just yesterday Bethy discovered she'll eat (and likes!) beef tongue. Wait, wait, control that gag reflex for a moment. It was very, very thinly sliced and we got to cook it ourselves at the table at the Seoul Garden restaurant when we went out with co-workers and their families. We all liked it, including Mike, so there you go. We also liked that our group was put into our very own little room. This is a really good plan for going out with small kids past their bedtimes. Clever people, those Koreans.

I cut Thomas' hair yesterday with kitchen sheers and he still has both ears and all ten fingers. Not bad.

I've lost some, 13-15 lbs and have acquired a killer camel T-shirt. Not to mention self-portrait skills.

Try to contain your jealousy on the T-shirt deal.
It'll be difficult, I know, but do your best.

Bethy is (oh, thank God) enrolled at Gems World Academy, the Seussian Big Blue School. Check.

I found a villa for us! Check, check. (I think checks are called 'tics' here.)

Our new home: a little white villa in the Springs with all the things we wanted, albeit smaller than some of the others we saw, but which I think will be just right for us. I made the deal before Mike got to see it. That's faith for you.

The landlord has promised to plant more trees in the little grassy yard and our Pakistani gardener has a sense of humor. We move in next weekend, have to say goodbye to all our helpful friends here at the hotel, and have the adventure of finding all the things we'll need; appliances (including stove, refrigerator...), furniture, and all the housewares, linens, a whole new kitchen, and so forth.

In the last month I've learned that Mike, Thomas, and Bethy are a strong and wonderful team to travel with, and that together we can handle whatever needs to be done.

The last thing from the past month since we stepped off the plane, and one that you all probably already knew, but has been brought much more sharply into focus with the newness of this experience, is that I'm not afraid of looking like a total idiot, as long as I'm being a nice and not thoughtless total idiot and that I'm trying hard. Has to be for a good cause, that's all.

My apologies for not having blog entries on a daily basis. (Sorry Mom! Sorry! Sorry!) There are several in the hopper partially done, and I have more ideas and discoveries I want to share with you every day.


carol.penney said...


What a delight to be able to share in your experiences through the Blog! The way you write makes it feel like we are all right there with you. You should write a book!

Carol Penney

Natalie said...

Carol, you are a dear. It's so lovely to hear from another Co-op preschool Mom. Isn't it fun to read about the kids you knew as kids and their kids, all going though all the same things you remember?

Your compliments take my breath away. We can tell where Megan gets her sweetness from. Thank you.


sherrip said...

Well, I'm not as jealous about the camel t-shirt as I am about the weight loss...although if I was spending my time doing CRAZY things like running around in 100+ degree weather, I might lose some weight also..hmmm... maybe I'll just be jealous about the T-shirt, after all!

Congrats on finding a place at last! I'm sure it will be nice to actually nest in.