Saturday, February 1, 2014

I have moved!!

Exciting times ahead for exPIAtriatewife! I have moved to my own domain (with the great help of Mitzie Mee of course) who spent most of Friday afternoon moving my blog to its own domain!
Bear with me as it will probably take a while before everything is up and running and I have all my photos and blog rolls etc where I want to. I do hope you will continue to follow me because my blog would be nothing without all of you guys, my dear friends and readers.

From now on you will find me on: expiatriatewife.com




 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Seville's @ Wafi

 Yesterday, I and friend T went to meet up with some former colleagues at Seville's, a Spanish tapas restaurant at the Pyramids, Wafi. I have been there several times before and really enjoy this place. The restaurant itself is not too large and gives an intimite feel, there is also a beautiful al fresco part, party overlooking the pool area and other restaurants close by. Unfortunately, I rarely go all the way to Wafi City as it is a bit far away and it is a pity because Wafi City has a lot to offer, not only shopping but also a with a wide selection of fine restaurants and bars. Dubai is not that big but I tend to get lazy and have my convenient zone (Dubai Marina and the Madinat). I'll try to improve my adventurous side a bit more and discover other parts of the time.
We decided to order two tapas dishes each to share. Soon our table was overflowing of delicious food, excellent mussels cooked in cream and wine sauce, jamon serrano, calamares with garlic dip, tuna and prawns. I was quite hungry after a long day at the office so only managed to capture three of the dishes before I literary threw myself over the food. A bottle of Rioja made the meal complete. After the dinner, we decided to walk over to Carter's for a night cap. The DJ played some great tunes and we stayed for another hour before calling it a night. A long working week takes its toll, we were both tired.
If you are looking for a nice tapas evening with great food in beautiful surrounding, Seville's is the place!

Seville's
Pyramid's @ Wafi City
Oud Metha Road
Tel: 04 324 4777

Jamon serrano

Mussel pot

Crispy, delicious calamari
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Anatolia Turkish Grill

Yesterday, I and colleague R decided to leave the Jebel Ali Freezone and head to Ibn Battuta Mall for a delicious Turkish lunch. I have been to Anatolia Turkish Grill before and they did not disappoint this time either. While waiting for our order, we enjoyed some freshly baked bread with olive paste and cacik. The cacik, which shares many similarities with the Greek tzatziki, is made of yoghurt, salt, olive oil, garlic, chopped cucumber and mint. We ordered another basket of bread to dip it in the delicious cacik. Friend R also ordered a gavurdagi salati, which is a tomato salad with walnuts and cumin. Our main course, pirzola, was a large plate of lamb chops, grilled tomato and bulgur rice with fresh salad and onion on the side. Needless to say, we were stuffed after but what a beautiful meal. I can truly recommend Anatolia if you are looking for a genuine and very price worthy Turkish meal.

Ibn Battuta Mall
China Gardens
Tel: 04 435 6300


Freshly baked Turkish bread with olive paste and butter

Smooth cacik

Gavurdagi salatasi, salad with

We decided to share a pirzola, lamb chops with grilled tomatoes and bulgur rice


 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Searching again and home work frustrations

I am on the search again, for some clues about my past. Yesterday I submitted my adoption papers to the Social Welfare Society (for the second time) and now hoping to hear from them. Don't get me wrong, the likelihood of getting any news is very slim but it is worth another try. I have also been recommended the 23andme DNA- test where you can trace your ancestors and also find out if you have any relatives. Ok, sounds a bit controversial perhaps, but I am willing to try, merely out of curiosity as I don't expect to find my family but what if? So the test will be sent to hubby's friend in Sweden and he is bringing it over next week when visiting us. I'll do the test, return it and wait! I understand that with these test you need to take it with a (large) grain of salt and I see it as an interesting "experiment".
Yesterday I decided to bake a brownie cake, which I brought into the office today. Elias had a meltdown over his homework, somewhere between the Swedish and the Arabic and the booklet he is making everything went pear shaped. He was crying, I ended up crying trying too as I was explaining to him that I support him, I'm so proud of him but he needs to make some effort too, not just mope around and complain about things and give up before he has even started. I do understand it is a lot for him, Arabic, French and extra lessons in Swedish. Yesterday he asked me how come I learned Swedish so easily and I tried to explain that it is my mother tongue. It should be easy for me but looking at it through his eyes, I can see the frustration with the extra Swedish letters, the not so logical way to pronounce and spell certain words (that I just take for granted). But he is getting there. He is reading a few pages every night in a Swedish book, just to keep it up. And we read Arabic too yesterday and I'm impressed!
Joli and I have our reading routine already established when I read to her from the "Little House on the Prairie" books. I'm not sure if she is very fond of it to be honest but it gives us some quality time in the evening and it puts her to sleep!

My sweet frustrated boy! I love you so much!!


 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blogger's get together

Sometimes you have these encounters when it feels like you have known each other forever. No awkward moments, no silence, no struggle to find a common topic. Well, I just had that wonderful experience last week when I and Mitzie Mee hosted a blogger's get together at my house. I had already had the pleasure of meeting PinayFlyingHigh at her wonderful charity brunch and Circles in the Sand and I have been neighbours and friends for years but other than that, there were a lot of new faces.
I started blogging many years ago when we moved to Singapore, it was mainly to reach out to friends and family at home and rather than sending out 20 identical emails to each one of them, I found it easier to start a blog. Little did I know that it would bring me such joy and that I would meet up with so many wonderful fellow bloggers.
We started the evening off with gorgeous food, Filipino kare kare and stuffed fish and for desert, leche flan. Mitzie Mee made Danish vandbakkelser (pastries filled with whipped cream and topped with dark chocolate) and Mrs Jack of All Traders brough sago from Malaysia. My contribution was a Swedish brownie cake, you can never go wrong with that. We also enjoyed wonderful risotto, American artichoke dip, Malaysian sweets and cheese and crackers. After a brief introduction, we all engaged in various discussions and managed to cover an impressive amount of  topics.
My blog is by far the smallest amongst these creative spirits, I think I was lost somewhere when html- codes and domains were discussed and must have looked like a gold fish on dry land.
It was also decided that we should establish a blogger's network to help each other out, share tips and ideas. So who are we?

Mitzie Mee

PinayFlyingHigh

Mrs Jack of All Trades

Circles in the Sand

Stuff by Rhey

Lady and her Sweet Escapades

Kenneth Surath

If I start writing about them individually, I know I won't be able to stop so please have a look at their amazing blogs. It is such a wonderful collection of creative and inspirational people!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Friday rant

Buffet dinner at Latitude, Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Cheburashka, or "Drutten" as we called him/her in Sweden
A few weeks ago when I and Joli went to purchase the "Little House on the Prairie" books at Kinokuniya, I spotted Cheburashka! Cheburashka is a Russian cartoon character and was popular around early 70's and 80's. I remember it from Swedish TV but with the name "Drutten och Jena". Jena is Cheburashkas' Crocodile friend. He is wonderful and sensitive, always there to help cute little Cheburashka who seems to end up in all sorts of trouble. I recall Swedish stores selling"Drutten och Jena" candy. The Russian cartoon is however much more fun and I bought a few movies when I was in Russia many years ago. Of course I couldn't resist this little furry figure so he came home with me. Next time hubby has a flight to Russia, I'll ask him to find some more Cheburashka DVDs. That will also be an excellent opportunity for me to practice my Russian.
This past week has been hectic (what's new). Being away for a few days is great but as I said, it means that you have millions of emails to attend to, tasks piling up on your desk and people chasing you with a torch in the corridor.
I am not sure if you have read about it but on November 24 2013, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States reached an agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme, the Joint Plan of Action. Part of this plan relies on the implementation of measures to be taken by both sides for a duration of six months and includes partial relief from EU and U.S. Iran sanctions in exchange for a IAEA access to Iran's nuclear plants. This is important news and will definitely have impact on our business so most of yesterday was dedicated to thorough research on how this will affect us as a company in practice. And I'm still not finished. For once I ordered hubby to take Joli to her swimming and also go ahead with the weekly grocery so that I could dedicate the day to some work. The idea was to go to Mirdif City Centre, find a nice café and sit there and combine coffee break with work, however, I found myself roaming around the mall instead and ended up (as usual) at Max Burger. Suddenly I spotted my house doctor, also buying a Max Burger (he is half Swedish) together with his family and I quickly finished off my lunch as I find it a bit awkward to sit near my house doctor in the same small hamburger restaurant. That was however a good thing as I had to leave most of my wonderfully greasy chips behind...
The girls are organizing a SPA- evening again. It has been ages ago we did something like that and I'm looking forward to it. I'm making bruschetta for tonight, topped with mushroom stew. At least that is my plan as of now. Knowing myself, I'll be running down to Choitrams in panic to grab the last piece of Brie cheese they have in the counter. And some salty crackers.
And I forgot to mention, last Sunday, we went out for dinner, the entire Diploma course group. Funnily enough, everyone showed up on time... We went to "Latitude" at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and enjoyed an excellent buffet. The downside was that we had already enjoyed an almost as good buffet for lunch, so there was not that much room left, however, I managed to have two large servings of amazing salmon sashimi before I had to admit myself defeated (by food). After dinner, I and friend V went to the piano bar for a gin tonic to round off the evening.
Our departmental lunch finally took place yesterday, about a month late due to travelling (not me). We had made a reservation at the Italian restaurant "Sicilia" at the Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel and they did not disappoint. I decided to go for the parma pizza and it was worth every crumble. I finished the whole thing and didn't have to eat dinner at all last night. My colleagues had chick pea soup as a starter and then pizza and our head of department opted for the veal, which also looked really delicious. We even managed to have a cheeky glass of wine with our meal! I wasn't sure whether my colleagues found it odd if I started to take photos of the food so hence, no photos.
Last Saturday, I hosted a wonderful blog evening, which I will write more about in a separate post. It was such a lovely evening with amazing people, I was on a high for days after! I think I still am!
Ok, off to make bruschetta.

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diploma course in ....eating?

My Diploma course in financial crime is coming to an end. We have just finished module 4 and only one left before the final exam in February. I must say that I will miss it, these three days every month when you leave the office and interact with people outside your business area is quite refreshing. I have made great friends already and shared many laughs during sessions and breaks.
The venue had changed from Habtoor Grand to The Westin and Westin never disappoints, even when you are there for a compliance course. We enjoyed coffee breaks with lovely nibbles and a grand lunch buffet every day. The conference room was bright and pleasant, not freezing cold like the previous place where we all sat wrapped in scarves and jackets.
Some things have annoyed me though, for instance people cannot seem to show up on time. And we start at 9, so it's not like they have to get up in the middle of the night. Keeping the coffee breaks and lunch breaks to a certain time limit also seems to be difficult as half of the class is missing when it is time to start again. Some people run in and out (we all have our phones and need to attend to emails and urgent calls) but some do it more frequent than others. Participants start chatting with each other during the session and interrupt the lecturer and someone pulls up his/her lap top in the middle of the session and start working on something else. Disrespectful, is my opinion. If you attend a training session, at least have the decency to arrive on time, try to avoid phone calls and don't interrupt in the middle of the session. The course organizers also leave a lot to wish for. They run in and out, go for coffee and cigarette breaks now and then and do not seem to care much about the course content.
Enough with the rant, all in all I am very happy with the course and feel I have learned a lot.
Tomorrow I'm back in the office again, lots of work to do after these three blissful days.