Friday, September 3, 2010

Week 1 - HOT HOT HOT!

“Me mind on fire -- Me soul on fire -- Feeling hot hot hot” – Buster Poindexter

The Hotel suite was nice. It had a kitchen, a living room, a washer, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kids loved running around and exploring things. They quickly found the fascinating things that indicated… yes, we are in a different county. Things like:

  • All the light switches are different and work the opposite of what we are used to.
  • You know how in a kitchen sink there sometimes is a spray nozzle for washing the dishes. Well, they have one of those on a long tube next to each toilet. I don’t think it is for washing dishes ; )
  • The refrigerator is smaller, the washer is tiny, front loading, and takes forever, and the oven/stoves are gas.
  • In each bathroom and in the kitchen there is a light switch that is for the water heater… not that you need it, the cold water is HOT.

Happy we made it to the hotelIMG_0003

Our messy hotel living roomIMG_0004

More of the messIMG_0006

We were very happy to have a kitchenIMG_0009

Two good sized bedroomsIMG_0014

You could even do business on the phone while doing your businessIMG_0015

Did I mention that it is HOT here? We went for a walk outside to a nearby shopping mall with the whole family. It was seriously as if a furnace was blowing on us the whole time. … and this was at night! Of course, we don’t really know how HOT it is. People are saying about 43 degrees or 44 degrees. Who can figure out this Celsius thing? They might as well just say it is about “fiery furnace” degrees or “the surface of the sun” degrees. On our walk, Abigail said “Mom, We in a Fire” as sweat was dripping down her face… she wasn’t even walking, just sitting in the stroller.

Speaking of strollers, they could use some work on their sidewalks. I mean, they could have sidewalks. I guess when it is so hot, who wants to walk outside anyway. Still, usable sidewalks, crosswalks, and any indication that there are pedestrians would be nice.

On the flip side, there is an exotic charm and beauty to the city. We have a cool view from our hotel room overlooking some type of bay or marina and a large mosque. It is fascinating to see the mixture of Islamic cultural architecture and modern business buildings. We can hear the “call to prayer” from our hotel. It is hard to explain, but has a curious musical beauty that adds to the whole experience.


We even have had a chance to hear the first call to prayer that is at something like 4AM. We owe this experience to our wonderful kids. They just can’t seem to figure out a way to get over their jetlag and get on schedule. We try to keep them up a little later, but around midnight or 1AM they all wake up eager to start the new day… It then becomes a nightmare for Yvonne to spend the next 3-5 hours trying to get them to understand that it is still bedtime and they need to go back to sleep. It is torture. Yvonne has been a trooper to deal with it so that I’m not more exhausted for work in the morning than I already am.

The big excitement for the girls is that they got “new pink shoes.” Some of you are aware that we had been looking for some croc/clog type shoes for the girls that are easy to take off/put on but couldn’t find anything in their size that was not expensive. Well, they got new pink shoes… exactly what we were looking for. The price: 4.95 dirhams… in US Dollars: about $1.40. What a deal! … and who would have thought that shoes for under a buck fifty would be so exciting and result in smiles for all.

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