January 29, 2014
Word of the Day! Fun
I do NOT know where to begin…
Grab a drink and a comfortable seat and maybe some tissues because I hope to make you laugh and maybe even cry!
First of all Happy New Year everybody! I hope everyone had a great holiday. We sure did! We were blessed to have Courtney here with us. I only wish Krystyna could have been here with us too! Courtney arrived on the 24th of December and we showed her around Aramco and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain. Put her into culture shock! Ha…no she is so worldly! I am proud of the fact that she can go anywhere and feel comfortable. Maybe too comfortable?! ;0) Just before she arrived here in Saudi she had visited Prague and Poland. She has a friend going to school in Poland so she was able to hang out with her. I am so glad she has the ability to see the world.
Anyway, we left on the 27th and headed to Dubai and we stayed at the worlds tallest hotel, JW Marriott Marquis and could see the worlds tallest building, Al Burj Kalifa. We saw fireworks from the top of our building. You could see Al Burj Kalifa’s fireworks coming off of their building all the way up and down the sides of it and then they had at least a mile or two of fireworks coming out of the ocean. It was the largest firework show I have ever seen! The World Book of Records was there to see it and I believe Dubai made it into the book, AGAIN. What an experience! Then we took a Sand Dune Safari out in the Red Sands of the dessert. That was a lot of fun. We were picked up at the hotel in a Toyota land cruiser and taken to the dessert where they drove through the dunes of red sand for several kilometers until we came to a meeting place where all the 4 wheel drivers meet and we hopped out of the car for photos to be taken and then back into the land cruiser to continue the 4 wheeling. We arrived at a fort where we could ride camels and eat dinner. We sat on the ground on pillows at a low table and ate our dinner. There were also vendors selling art, scarves, henna. Courtney and I had henna painted on our hands. That was really neat to watch. There was a belly dancer and a man that dances only by spinning in circles in his dress. Forgive me but I can’t remember the story about him or his dress or style of dancing as I was too busy wondering why on God’s green earth you would want to do that?! Ha…it made me sick just watching. ;0) He was amazing and I applauded him but I kept thinking, no wonder he is so skinny. He probably gets sick after every performance!
Riding the camel was hilarious! Courtney and I never laughed so hard. We both thought at one point that we were going to be thrown off because of how the camels get up and down. I don’t have the picture to post but Tim took it with Courtney’s camera. I can’t believe he was able to get such a timely photo. Lol…Every time Courtney and I look at that picture I about pee my pants! ha, ha, ha. It looked like a was shot in the back because I had arched my back and arms out to the side with this look of nice knowing you on my face. ha…gosh I hope I can find that picture to post. Courtney, if you are reading this please post it.
There is something I keep forgetting to share with you all. Call to prayer. As I type I am listening to it right now. It is on a speaker that goes out to all of Saudi Arabia/Aramco. It happens 5 times per day. I don’t know what they are saying but it is sometimes aminous. sp? But we also hear the church bells chime at the American Consolate everyday too. We also have the fighter jets make their rounds usually 3 times per day but in the last few days it has been a lot more than 3 times per day. Some of them were really low…so low I could tell their glass tops were not over the pilots. They must have been performing exercises of some kind? Anyway, it is a noisy place here sometimes but at least it is not boring! I know we are being protected too.
Back to the trip. So as we finished getting Henna painted on our hands. Courtney and I walk over to look at some art and this local guy wants to sell us scarves. He looks at me and he looks at Courtney and he says to me, Mum, “I will give you 12 camels if you let me marry your daughter.” I said…What? HELL NO! There are not enough camels on this earth you could give me to marry my daughter! gggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr…roar…all I could think about was the fire coming out of my ears, nose and eyes! I stopped myself at that point because I was about to say something else that wasn’t so nice! Then Tim says, (we all know Tim don’t we) if you give me 12 goats too you can have her. ggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrr…I smacked him on the arm and said Tim whats wrong with you?! He says I’m just kidding. Meanwhile Courtney is just standing there with her chin on the ground. Ha….she is now in therapy for life! Just kidding Courtney. I am sure learning to have a sense of humor around here. More so than I already had. I am really learning to embrace the culture out here even though I don’t understand it sometimes. I realize they probably don’t understand me either.
The next day we go to walk the beaches in Dubai and we see a guy promoting Sea Wings. It is a company that provides sea planes to fly people over Dubai for a tour. After quite a long conversation with the man we decided to do it. So we made the reservation and came back the next day. It was worth every penny. I would do it again! It was the smoothest landing I have ever experienced. The pilot is from Australia. They only hire the best pilots. We were up there for an hour and were able to see everything. The Palm which is the Palm tree shaped land in the ocean that they are building residential homes. They are in the process of creating another one as well. Dubai is booming! It is clean and hardly any crime. They take pride in that and it shows.
The shopping was amazing as well. We went to two famous malls. Emirates Mall where the indoor ski resort is. We did not ski as it was too crowded. But it is just like a ski resort with a lodge and fireplaces, hot cocoa and kids running around in their ski gear.
Meanwhile, I forget it is Tim’s and my 24th wedding anniversary! Ha…usually its the man that forgets. ;0) So as we are standing in a golf shop, he says to me Oh, by the way, Happy Anniversary. I said What? Today? OMG. How did I do that? I am so sorry. Happy Anniversary to you too. He says which golf clubs do you want? Again, I say What? No way. I am not worthy! wink wink…needless to say I received my new clubs. Pings no less. I love them! I am a better golfer now. NOT!! He is so good to me. Sometimes I can’t believe our life now. It is truly magical at times. I feel so blessed. The only thing that would make this complete is to have all my loved ones with me too! I miss you all so much. Sometimes I don’t think its worth it to be so far away but then I realize what a wonderful opportunity this is and I snap out of it. But I would love to share it with you all.
We left Dubai on Jan. 4th and headed to Bahrain. We stayed there for one night and two days at The Ritz Carlton. We enjoyed walking around the property and dined at Trader Vic’s. A very popular restaurant here! We looked for sea shells and went jet skiing on the Persian Gulf. This time I stayed on my jet ski. Courtney did very well and of course Tim was showing off!
We arrived back in Saudi at Aramco on the 4th and it rained for two days straight. It was nice though as it only rains here maybe twice per year. Tim and Courtney love to bond by watching the Harry Potter Movies so we downloaded them off of Amazon and they and sometimes me watched all 6 or 7 of them. Help me!! I can’t sit that long. They had fun.
We took Courtney to the airport on the 11th of January. It was raining! Again, strange. Therefore, NOONE knows how to drive in the rain out here! OH WAIT…NOONE knows how to drive here AT ALL. Ha…we had a driver take us to the airport in Dammam. We prefer the airport in Bahrain but Courtney had to fly into Dammam according to her Visa. But next time she can come in through Bahrian. Dammam’s airport isn’t bad it is just different. She made it as far as NY and got stuck there due to freezing conditions. She was able to see her cousin, Marissa. I am so glad for that! I am also glad that they found her bags as one of them was a suitcase full of gifts we bought people. whew.
Once January hit things have just been crazy! Let me try to sum it up for you.
1. I have been promoted to Nominations Chair for AWEP. (which means I have to find a new President for AWEP) WHAT?????
2. I got a Porsche Boxster S, used of course. Convetible, of course. GREAT price I might add! And more new friends too. ;0)
3. I am now the Activities Director for the Golf Club. (now I have to plan a Valentine’s party in 2 weeks) HELP!!
4. Tim’s BIrthday celebration was last night, a week night so low key but fun. We had about 12 people. I kept it small! (difficult to do)
5. I took on fostering dogs and helping find homes. Oh my! What was I thinking? It is a great thing to do here. I get my dog fix.
6. I found him an excellent home!
Let me expound on the dog for a minute. Tim and I had to take him to a vet in Dammam to get him neutered. 3o minutes away. Crappy roads, no street signs, VERY strict on women being covered up. NEED I SAY MORE…got lost. We were 2 hours late. When we arrived the dog was car sick, we saw a camel dying of dehydration, a farmer brought in his sick sheep and another farmer brought in his female lamb who had given birth to a still birth baby in the back of his truck. Stupid me got too close and said what is that? Then I realized what it was and I about got sick as well. Let me ask you this…When do you see that when YOU go to the vet?? Huh? Then, Tim and I go to get lunch somewhere while we wait for the dog to get neutered and shots and some saudi guys yell out their window in arabic, slut. I was covered up from neck to toe but because I am clearly american and not covering my head, I am a slut. Anyway, sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me. right?! I chalked it up to a joke or lack of education.
7. Singles Tennis League is high gear
8. Golf League is in high gear.
9. I do not get to play doubles tennis league because I am golfing on Tuesdays now.
10. I finally got a beautiful dining room table from Pottery Barn. Love it and can now have people over.
11. Book club has started and Bunco.
12. I found out I am going to be a GREAT AUNT! Woo hoo…congrats to my beautiful niece and nephew (Katy and Mike).
Note to self:
DO NOT over book myself! aaaaaahhhhhhhhh…yesterday was so jam packed. I slept like a baby last night! Luckily I had the forthright not to plan a darn thing today. ;0)
Good news too. I will be gone a lot come May. So excited!!
In May I come home to Colorado for Courtney’s graduation, then Cabo for our friends 40th bday (you know who you are, Ken) ;0),
June back to Saudi to prepare to meet my sister MK in Italy in July. Come back for Repat from mid August – mid September, come back to Saudi and pack and go to Houston for two months October and November, Tim has training and I will visit my bro then head to Colorado or somewhere else. yippee! Then December I should be here in Saudi. But, I would love to go to Germany or Switzerland for Christmas. ;0) I think I am pushing the envelope here!
Love you guys!
Flying Jay Hawk aka MELinda aka Minister of the Interior