Tuesday, August 31, 2010

En utmärkelse!

Tack snälla Katarina på Filippinerna för den fina utmärkelsen! Tack vare hennes blogg har jag inte bara fått trevlig och intressant läsning men även hittat andra intressanta bloggare runt om i världen! Skickar min utmärkelse vidare till alla ni där ute som bloggar och för att ni piggar upp min vardag genom intressant, rolig, sorglig och spännande läsning!
Sju saker om mig som få kanske vet

  • jag talar flytande ryska och har pluggat i Uzbekistan
  • är väldigt intresserad av ovanliga språk och har läst turkiska, kurdiska, arabiska, uzbekiska, persiska på universitet
  • älskar potatis i alla former
  • kan inte äta starkt kryddad mat trots att jag är född korean...
  • sjukligt besatt av att organisera och sortera...
  • älskar att fotografera men har tyvärr inte så mycket tid över numera
  • kan se skillnad på japaner, kineser och koreaner

Alla ni andra där ute som bloggar, skriv något om er själva som ingen kanske riktigt känner till!Nu ska jag återgå till dagens arbetshög som innehåller spännande saker som juridisk omstrukturering av mitt jobb samt kontraktsanalys... Måste nog dricka lite kaffe först.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Going Swedish...

I am thinking about going Swedish...alltså börja blogga på svenska. Anledningen till att jag ens började skriva på engelska var mest för att kunna nå ut till fler människor fast i ärlighetens namn vet jag inte hur många icke- svenska läsare jag har egentligen. Väldigt få tror jag... Så nu får det bli svenska ett tag fram över!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back in the U...AE

My deepest apologies for radio silence the past week but my family is back. Two joyful children who had to bring out all their toys as soon as they got home, investigating whatever changes had occurred in the house during their absence (the only change was the new desk for Elias in the kids room). Friends to play with and a swimming pool to attend to every afternoon.
They have had the best summer in Sweden, my daughter is now only communicating in Swedish, a language she did not speak at all before summer started (embarrassing, with two Swedish parents...). They have explored forests and lakes, been fishing and collecting berries. However, everything has an end and now they are back. And so has Mummy's vacation, and end that is... life is so much more lively these days. Still three more weeks til school starts since Ramadan is still on and we have to pass Eid first... New school items have been purchased, a brand new lunch box for Elias with Darth Vader, so cool and so expensive.... (outrageously expensive actually). A new Dora bag for Joli, less expensive but less cool I suspect...
Our favourite hang out during the hot afternoons is the Polo Club where we pretty much bump into the entire compound throughout the afternoon. Kids get to cool off and I get to hang out with my friends, a win win situation!
Working from home is much more fun with two (sometimes three, when friends come to visit) children outside the office door and I have to watch myself to keep the balance between "Dear Sirs" and "Do you want to be grounded for the rest of the week?"... Well, at least I am not bored anymore! Happy days!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Three more days...and they will be back!

Time flies when you are having fun... I must have had a lot of fun cause I haven't realized that it is past mid August!! August! What happened? And what have I been doing during these weeks? The Russian Grammar Workbook that I proudly bought for myself in Sweden two (!) months ago is still in its plastic wrapping paper, all those lonely evenings when I was going to rediscover the beauty of Russian grammar are...gone! All the espisodes of House I was going to watch, all the books I was going to read... Not a single photograph has turned into a nice canvas picture, I haven't even been bothered to select the right photo yet...
My gym sessions and boxing sessions did increase for the first week but now they have gone back to the normal twice a week. I have not discovered any new amazing recepies, I did travel to Singapore, which was fantastic. Not even the professional working side of me has been very active (working from home...). I went to the beach twice, only to realize that spending a day in the sun when the thermometer shows 46 is not only insane, it is actually dangerous. I need inspiration, I am bored. It is too quiet, too clean, too ME. I want the kids back! Three more days to go, can't wait.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

A weekend getaway to Singapore

With husband and two kids having the time of their lives in Sweden, I felt a bit lonely and decided, encouraged by husband, to go away for the weekend. And so I did. To Singapore. Standby ticket in my hand, anxiously waiting, would I get a seat or not (I do strongly believe that I am getting too old for this kind of excitement) until the very last minute when they call you and you literally have to run to the gate, forget about shopping, you are lucky if you make it to the ladies' room before take off.
Seven hours later, landing in Singapore, my home for two and a half years! The taxi ride to my friends' place was a trip down memory lane, the familiar condos, Parkway Parade, the shopping center where I spent most of my time, sometimes I was there up to three four times a day (mainly cause we lived just next door to it). "Our" condo, still white and shiny but looked slightly older... the road we walked every morning to my sons school, the hotel where we stayed for over a month before we found our own place.... Yes, it was indeed nice to be back!
I stayed at my dear friend A's house, a beautiful apartment on the East Coast with sea view! Admired all the ships waiting to get into the harbour to off load their goods, enjoyed some rain and thunder.
I spent Friday at Raffles City, some shopping and Dim Sum for lunch with another dear friend. Bus back to Parkway and coffee at Coffee Bean, like so many times before! Just being able to hop on a bus felt like ultimate freedom! You don't need a car in Singapore, with the buses, taxis and MRT, fantastic! Friday evening was dedicated to Clarke Quay, the massive place by Singapore River with its restaurants, clubs, bars, pubs, you name it! Strolling around, watching people, enjoying the breeze.
On Saturday, I and dear A took the bus to Orchard for some more shopping, but ended up on a bench outside Forever 21, just chatting and laughing and in the evening, we had the greatest sushi meal at Big Splash Sushi Tei, wonderful.
While living in Singapore, I wasn't too crazy about Hawker food. A Hawker center is a place with lots of different little food stalls, mostly Chinese but also Malay and Indian food. It is cheap, fast and has its charm! After two years away from Singapore, I miss the Hawker centers and therefore, made sure to have some Laksa before I left.
Departure past midnight on Sunday morning, again anxiously waiting by the check in counter before my seat was confirmed, made it last minute and landed in Dubai seven hours later.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan is early this year and starts around mid August (too early to tell the exat date here in the UAE as it all depends on the moon). August is still a very hot month with temperatures up to 48 and the sun set is later which leaves more hot hours for the fasting people.
The UAE is very much at a stand still during Ramadan, the working hours are shorter, schools also have Ramadan hours so that staff have time to go back home and get ready for Iftar, when you are breaking the fast at sun set. People are in general (and understandably) grumpier than normal due to lack of food and water.
In the UAE, most of the coffee shops and restaurants are closed during daytime. Only a few are open and offer take away and even fewer are open behind dark curtains so as to avoid any temptation to those who are fasting. The shopping malls extend their opening hours until well beyond midnight so that people may enjoy themselves after Iftar and all the cafees and restaurants open up during evening and night time. The dress code, which is quite liberal here in Dubai, is a bit more strict during Ramadan and one should cover shoulders and knees inside the malls and on the streets. Not that you are walking around on the streets in this heat, but still...
In Singapore, life went on pretty much the same during Ramadan despite the significant Muslim population, mostly Malays. Shops were open, so were cafees and restaurants. Here in the UAE it is sligthly different. Eating and drinking in public is strictly prohibited unless you are a child, elderly or pregnant. Even trying to sneak off to the car to get something to eat is forbidden and can cause severe fines.
This year, due to the early start of Ramadan, some schools have decided to start only after Eid, the grand celebration at the end of Ramadan, or just a few days before Eid.
I remember when we first arrived in Dubai, about two years ago in September, smack in the middle of Ramadan, hot weather and closed cafees and restaurants and a country at a minor stand still. Can't really describe the joy I felt when I spotted an open coffee shop after a few weeks of dark curtains and "closed" signs!
Most hotels offer delicious Iftar Buffets and I am very tempted to give it a try this year.