So, here I am having a terrible day…crying and not wanting to get out of my PJ’s, and I called my dad to try and calm down and the other line beeps. Who is it??? IT’S THE HUSBAND!!!!!
I wrote down everything he said. He sounded good and he said the plane ride went smoothly but was very long! He is in Abu Dhabi now just resting and waiting for the work week to start (Saturday) so that he can go through his medical tests and visa paperwork. Saturday and Sunday he will be put through the tortures of a medical exam, including a stress test. Monday, they will do visa paperwork. Tuesday he will hear the results of his medical, and Wednesday they will probably head off to Al Ain where they will work and we will live.
He said he would call back On Sunday or Monday (my time…Central….around lunchtime). OK…play by play of what he said….
We get a great allowance for furniture and he went around the mall to see what we could get for that amount. IKEA and the “Wal-Mart” type store (called Carrefour) is in the mall. Looking at top of the line stainless steel fridge, range, dishwasher, washer/dryer he said all together would run 6,000 Dh, and we could definitely go a lot less expensive. OK, that leaves a lot more to buy furniture with… IKEA furniture, which we have been looking at, is good. They have high end stuff and some really cheep stuff too. The interesting thing that he found out was that any thing that you buy with the furniture allowance is owned by “the company” and at the end of your contract, you have the option of buying it if you would like for an unbelievably cheap price. He is checking into possibly purchasing furniture from this “stock” of used furniture (looking for more high end pieces and possibly some worn pieces that won’t heart break us if the kids destroy it).
Abu Dhabi is humid, but not too bad, if you are used to humidity. He compared it to Miami, Florida. He said everything in Abu Dhabi is big. The buildings, the sidewalks, the monuments…it’s all big. The facility where he is staying is huge. It took him and hour and a half to walk the grounds (Just the outside). There are 4 banks, 2 travel agencies, 5 restaurants, 3 businesses as well as barber shops, boutiques and a very large gymnasium. His room is like any other normal hotel room…a bed, table, chairs and a cheezy painting on the wall. Nothing special, but comfortable.
They received news of the London attacks and locked down the place for a few hours, but have since lifted the lock down. He gets CNN, BBC, Cartoon Network and 2 movie channels on his TV. The rest of the channels are in Arabic. He is unsure if it is cable or satellite. He said that everything is either new or being renovated. He is across the street from the Grand Mosque and he says it is huge. He compared it to the Astrodome in size.
They went to the Marina Mall today, which is 4 stories and contains the IKEA and the grocery “Wal-Mart” type store. The IKEA was 2 stories and the “Wal-Mart” had a restaurant (as did IKEA). He said the fish market was like a mini Seattle fish market. You pick your fresh fish, they cut it to your liking and wrap it there. Produce is cheap and very good. HE IS EATING FRUIT!!! It must be good if he is eating it. There are lots of eggs and he bought a gallon of OJ and the price was the same as it is here. There will be no problem replacing pork as there are a lot of substitutes there. He said veal is readily available and inexpensive. He had veal sausage at dinner and he said it was wonderful. He found ground veal, and turkey, veal sausage and lamb chops. Beef is 1/2 the price it is in the States, but is organized and priced as to country of origin. He walked down the center isle of food and saw Lays potato chips as well as Pringles. He said everything we have here, they have there, but the packaging is different and the writing is in Arabic. He says we will have no problem finding everything we will need/want/and don’t know we need until we see it type of things.
He said he has not run into any type of trouble…..then we got cut off…..
He called back and he told me that he is using a 20 minute phone card and it was up. We got no warning or anything. The phone just died.
As far as Internet goes, he has no idea when he will have it. He is trying to get his lap top up and running. Internet in the place he is staying costs 10 Dh an hour and he can not print. He says he would rather spend his money on phone cards to call home.
He says there is every car you can imagine there. He has seen every thing from Hummers to Corvettes to rag top Mercedes; Chrysler’s, Fords, Chevy’s. Says he sees more American cars there then he did here in the States….
He also said that he is really finding everything we may need there (as I said before…I am typing from notes, get over it…). Clothing….to quote “Good lord, you are going to spend every pay check I earn”. He compared it to the shopping in London or Paris. Said the fabrics were beautiful and the clothes were very nice. He also said there in the mall, was a textiles store and right next to it was a custom taylor….. HHHMMMM…..
He said he is lonely but knows that we will all be happy and love it when we get there. He is happy with our decision to do this.
OK, that’s it! YEAY!!! He called!!!!