I'm sitting in Starbucks (surprise, surprise) in the Mall using the free Internet to catch up on e-mail and my blog. Sammy's Dad just upgraded his Internet, but Sammy needs to do something with it when he gets back from Abu Dhabi because the concrete walls have decreased the signal and it's very, very slow.
We have our house!!! We finalized the rental about the 11th of October and have since been getting it ready to move in.
Our complex - view from the spare room upstairs
I decided that living with white walls was too depressing so we painted the walls. Actually I started the paint job and one of the laborers in the complex finished it. It was much easier and he did a really good job for very little money.
We also had to buy a stove and refrigerator because they are not included when you rent a house (unless the last tenant left it). Those were delivered and installed at the beginning of the week, as well as our new washing machine. As everyone knows one of my biggest pet peeves living in London was the teeny tiny washing machines. Well I have a big one now - not as big as I could get in the US, but it'll hold about 23lbs of wash. I can wash my bedding and choose the water level in the machine!
It's very exciting!
We still have some things that need to be completed but they can wait until we move in. One of them is landscaping the back yard. It's pretty big, but it's only sand. We have to find someone to put in a patio and grass. The landlady would have done it but it would have increased our rent and we found it would be cheaper to do it ourselves.
The right hand side of the yard
Sammy and I brought Gabi to the house one night and she ran around the back yard like a mad dog. She really likes the sand over here. Too bad dogs are banned from the beaches she'd have a blast.
We also need curtains but I'm going to try and make those myself (see the birthday entry)
Our furniture is scheduled to arrive on November 3rd, but apparently it takes 7 -9 days for it to clear customs so if we wait for the furniture we won't be moving into the house until the week of the 10th. But we just got cable and a new TV set (Sammy said it was critical that we have it set up asap!) in the house already - so we've been thinking about buying a guest bed for the guest room and just sleeping at the house anyway, after the Internet is connected of course, which should be next week.
Sammy and I also joined a gym - Fitness First - we belonged to it in London but the Dubai branches are HUGE and memberships include all of the classes (including yoga and Pilate's) Internet connection and movie rentals. The gyms also have very large sitting areas for the members to socialize and work on their computers. It's pretty cool. I went for the first time today and really enjoyed the workout. They have about 10 big screen TV's going that you can plug in your head phones and listen to which made the time go by very fast.
I've also been looking into Skype which is a way to have free phones calls over the Internet between Skpye subscribers. Vonage is not available here as of yet so we have to figure out another way to keep in touch with everyone without paying an arm and a leg. If anyone is interested here is the website. http://www.skype.com/download/ I've downloaded it but haven't quite figured it all out yet. I also need to purchase a headset for my computer to use it.