Tag Archives: Moving

Welcome to Dubai, Debbie. It’s Raining.

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There are tons of photos in this post, folks, be patient!  OK, so, Where exactly in the world do we live?  Like where on the planet??

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OK, so if you recognized the big “bell” shape of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, let’s get a little closer……..

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.  In a housing compound called Arabian Ranches. 

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The orange marker is where our housing compound is located.  You see all the brown?  That would be desert. 😉

Now, when I learned that TBG’s company had selected Arabian Ranches for our housing area, I had all these wild, exotic thoughts of Omar Sharif, nomads, bedouin tents, belly dancers and camels……

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The whole “Lawrence of Arabia” kind of thing, I suppose.  Well, nothing like that…..Here’s a link to the Arabian Ranches website.  http://arabianranches.com/arabian-ranches-dubai

The day after I arrived, it started raining.  Winter rains.  Apparently they have about 4 days of rain a year here, and I brought one with me…. <smile> Here are some photos looking out over our balcony etc…. kind of amazing.  Our back yard and gate opens onto a lake with a fountain, and I think I saw a small paddle boat there.

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Not at ALL what I was expecting, it’s green and pretty and so incredibly well-landscaped!  I’d envisioned a yard of desert sand needing to be raked weekly or something…  you know, with painted rocks for decoration or such – not so.  This housing area is mainly expats like us, people that came here from somewhere else to work, earn the money, then eventually leave.  There are only 3 ways into and out of this gated community, about 4000 families live here, IIRC, and it’s guarded constantly and walled.  Single and multiple-family homes and villas (doesn’t that sound fancy-schmancy???), playgrounds, parks, pools, tennis, golf, polo, soccer, all sorts of recreation opportunities.  Really nice sidewalks and walking trails, lit but not obtrusively so – a lot of people will walk early in the morning and late at night, especially during the hot months. 

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There’s a small shopping facility here with a grocery, pharmacy, travel agency, salon, bakery, Pizza Hut, Indian restaurant, coffee shop, laundry, gift shops and ATMs, a mosque, an English-speaking school and a medical facility equipped to perform surgery on site.  Pretty impressive, I thought.  This is the small bakery/sandwich shop with specialty pizzas.   ImageImage

Our villa here (company-provided and furnished) is a lovely 2-bedroom, 3-bath on 2 levels, with tile floors throughout and three balconies plus a small covered porch.  I’m not a huge fan of tile floors, but I see their practicality here.  With one of those big giant microfiber swiffer-type things, it will make short work of dusting the floors.

It’s a bit bigger than the house we have in Alabama, I think, especially the height of the ceilings and the doors.  And the front door is HUGELY wide and big…. It’s pretty dang impressive, I think.  Needs a bit of a washdown, but it’s pretty interesting.  Here are some other photos of the inside of our villa.

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That door measures a full FIFTY INCHES wide!!  And yeah, I forgot to take off the door hanger thing – we have no home mail delivery here, so people that want to send out junk mail do it through people that will drive around major housing developments and hang advertisements, flyers, catalogs, cards, whatever, off your doorknob….. I think I may use the fish extender that we used on the Disney cruise and see if stuff starts appearing in it!!

We interrupt this blog to bring you –

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The Cliff Notes.

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Hmmm….. apparently the actual process of moving isn’t nearly as exciting for me to write about as the moving itself was – I think I’ll just jump ahead a bunch – lemme do the executive summary here……

  • All the stuff got packed up somehow, someway.  Pretty much.
  • After a few false starts, TheBigGuy is staying in Dubai, and I will definitely go there.
  • Our Boys, Bucky2 and LilJack (2 rescued Border Collies) were re-homed, and they now have their very own boy to play with – and if I talk about this I will still cry.
  • Our dear friends Donna, Kenny and Colby did want to rent our house, and we love knowing who lives there.  So do our neighbors!
  • Much much much renovation was started when I thought I wasn’t going.  For the most part, what was started is mostly finished.
  • The stress level of retirement, job change, major home renovation, an international move, my Daddy being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and subsequently dying, re-homing my dogpack, and being separated from my husband was beyond belief.  Truly, anyone that encountered me during that time, I SWEAR to you I’m not like that at all, really.
  • Friends will be the best thing you ever cultivate in your life.

I think I’ll sorta pick up where things are back in my brain, and see if I can’t get sorta caught up on alla this.  Bear with me, and if you have questions about how something came about – feel free to comment or ask me – it’s likely I forgot to include some bits of info that would help clarify things!

The decisions start

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August, 2012  The sheer number of decisions that needed to be made in short order were staggering.  I had literally four legal pads of lists going at one time!

  1. Stuff to Sell
  2. Stuff to Store
  3. Stuff to Ship
  4. Things to Take

It got to the point that there were boxes all over the house with day-glo tags on them that said stuff like

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Tons of boxes.  Everywhere.  Covering all flat spaces.  Everything in our house had to be handled somehow, and I was starting to feel like it was gonna be an impossible task.  But the decisions continued.  The big one was  – what about the house??

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Are we gonna sell it?  Rent it?  Lease it?  Leave it empty?  Empty probably isn’t the best choice.  Leasing it sounds like a good idea, but seems like it would involve someone else, a real estate agent or something.   TBG has this *big* opposition to paying anyone to pretty much do nothing – and that’s how he thinks of leasing agents…. not that there’s anything wrong with being a leasing agent…. <seinfeld/off>  Selling it in this market would definitely involve an agent, and the market is NOT in any shape to provide a sales price close to its value.  Besides, we really like living in Dothan, we like the neighborhood we live in, and we like our house.  The logical decision was to rent it out.

But we also considered the impact that rental property can have in neighborhoods where the majority of the homes are owner-occupied…. we didn’t want to cause any negative effects – after all, we plan on returning here.  It came to me that we have dear friends that were looking to move but wanted to stay within the same general area and schools.  Boom!  This was a perfect solution!  Candy and Donnie are the perfect choice, they’ll take care of our house like it was their own, Donnie’s really handy and can fix stuff, Candy’s just the same, so this is just perfect.  They’ll fit into our neighborhood really nice and will not freak out the neighbors.

Wait – we’ve got to be adult and consider all aspects of this arrangement.  What do we do about insurance?  The security system?  Will they use my raised bed gardens that have been nurtured and now produce great veggies?  What if they paint the house pink?  What if the dishwasher quits?  How do we tell them not to have loud parties because we live in a pretty quiet neighborhood?   Are all the young plants just put in gonna be taken care of?   And the lawn, TBG’s lawn…. mercy.  What if they skip town and take all the drapes with them and dig up the mailbox?  Where would we go if we suddenly had to come back to the US?  What if they hate the floorcoverings?  What if they don’t pay rent and we have to evict dear friends, are we prepared to actually do that??  There were a brazillion different things that came up, most were silly, some were quite serious.

Ultimately, when TBG and I looked at each other and said “Let’s ask them”….. I had this sudden, sinking feeling and a really really bad thought.

What if they didn’t like our house and didn’t want to live here?