Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Needlepoint and a House Blessing

I've slacked off a little on my needlepoint, but I'm almost finished with my 3rd project and I've put my 4th into a lap frame to make it easier to work on.

My first needlework project 
Number 2!

House Update: We have Internet now! It was just installed today.
Furniture Update: We've hit a snag. Customs decided, as of last week, a residence visa is necessary to obtain your furniture. Well yesterday Allied said that customs was allowing people to get their stuff if they paid a duty, which would be refunded if proof of residency could be shown within 30 days.
The woman at Allied - Daisy - said that they would pay the duty and bill us so we could get our furniture on November 10th. But she was going on vacation and she was handing over our account to her colleague - Astrid. Yes, Astrid. I had a good laugh with that one, an office full of flowers.
Well today I spoke with Astrid, and she said she didn't know when we would be able to get our furniture. Interesting, the reason was because she may have to deal with a different customs agent than Daisy. Needless to say I was a bit peeved. Astrid is going to call me tomorrow with a delivery date, let us all cross our fingers, toes too if you can, and hope that it will be the 10th.
Tomorrow I'm going to the house to get the dust off the floors and counter tops in preparation for our move, on the 10th.
Hope springs eternal.
Sunday we had a House Blessing. This is something that is done to ensure a happy home. The function was attended by my Father-in-law, Sammy's Uncle, myself and Guru (who is my Father-in-law's live in help). It was a really nice ceremony and I like that the reason for it is to promote a happy home and a long happy life.

Sammy's Dad, Uncle, Sammy, and Guru

The first step is to consult with an astrologer to determine the auspicious day and the auspicious time. Which for us was this past Sunday between 9:00 - 10:00am. Then you bring oil, bananas, flowers (including jasmine which smelled wonderful), and a picture of the gods.

Ceremonial items

Prayers are then said.
Sammy's Uncle Sundrum Praying

Part of the ceremony includes heating milk with saffron and sugar on the stove until it rises, then you drink the milk. I'm not a big fan of milk, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it, it was pretty good.

House Blessing Self Portrait

Friday, November 2, 2007

Favorite Finds in Dubai

I'm still in Starbucks, sitting with Sammy who is working because one of his clients are going live today in the UK. Since we're still here I decided to list my favorite places to go so far in Dubai.

Hair: Hair Dreams

Hair Dreams
Rotana Towers
Sheikh Zayed Road
+9 71 4 3438828

When I Googled the salon I found another person who seems to like them as much as I do...

I had them cut and style my hair before I let them color it. I really liked the results and so this will be my salon until we move out of Dubai.

Nails: Can't remember the name...

Hair Dreams also has a nail tech - and she does a good job but I liked the nail salon in Arabian Ranches better, it's more convenient and they have a massage therapist to die for (she only does head and neck). However Sammy cannot go here because they serve women only.

I did find a nail salon which would serve Sammy and they have the spa chairs that we love. The only thing is that we have to call in advance so they can make sure no ladies (as they are called here) are scheduled to come in. Many of the Muslim women refuse to be in the same room as a man when they are getting their nails done. Which is why there are gentleman's salons here.

Waxing: Hair Dreams
Hair Dreams again. I do hate waxing though it's a pain!

Body Massage: Feet First
I haven't gone to any of the SPA's here yet, but I did go to a place in the Ibn Battuta Mall called Feet First. I had a back massage and reflexology on my feet. 90 minutes only cost $65 or £33 for those of you in London. It was the first time I had a Shiatsu Massage and it was one of the best I'd ever had. I was kind of startled though when the girl got on top of the massage table to press on my back. But I got over it quickly, the massage was like a combination of a chiropractic adjustment and a deep tissue massage. Highly recommend this type of massage for those who enjoy a deep tissue massage.


Emirates Mall - Best food and most interesting to walk
Ibn Battuta Mall - Best Internet connection and our Gym
Dubai Festival City Mall - This mall isn't finished yet but it's huge and has IKEA

There are many more malls that we haven't been to yet as well as some of the traditional Souks. I want to go to Sharjah the Emirate next door to Dubai because they are suppose to have a huge Souk where you can buy rugs, house hold items, fabric etc. But we're not going until after we move into our house.

Surprise, Surprise

Well I'm back at Starbucks again - in the ibn battuta mall . I'm surfing the Net which is being provided by the newest of the 2 phone / Internet companies in the UAE. It's just recently that they allowed competition against the incumbent phone company. Kind of like Ma Bell in the States before they were disbanded? Deregulated? or whatever happened when the government broke them up way back when (yes I am too young to remember).

Anyway, I wanted to check something, when I downloaded Skype to my laptop I sent the link to Sammy he sent me a note back saying that it was a forbidden website. Hmmm. I thought that was interesting because I can't think of a reason why the UAE would be morally or religiously against talking on the phone over the Internet. Turns out the old company is blocking out their competition! Smart if you don't want to lose business, but really frustrating if you're trying to find a cheap way to communicate to the world.

So having found out that the blocks aren't always due to moral or religious reasons, I logged onto Facebook while using the Du network to see if the Mood Indicator application worked. And guess what?! It's not blocked when using the new company. Guess which Internet company we're going with....