Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our New Home in the Desert

We're Home!!!!!!

And before I type anything else, I want you to know that it took me 7 hours to load these photos. That's how much I love all of you friends and family back stateside who were asking to see pictures of the new home. 7 hours. Let that sink in a little bit.

Yes, as I am in the throes of jet lag, worse than I've ever had before, I would just load one picture and doze while it loaded, all the while thinking "Calgon, take me away." I know, I know, I shouldn't let myself nap to get over jet lag. However, I have my own philosophy about this strange thing, and that includes letting myself sleep whenever I want. I figure, eventually, my body will be so well rested it will actually stay awake for hours on end, right? Here's to hoping that it wants to stay awake in the day, and not the night!

Alright, so we flew in at 1 am Friday morning, slept until 1 at our boss' house, hung out with them all day and saw Abu Dhabi and had a good laugh driving back to their house that night. Why? Well, when they told us the plans for the next day, it included picking up our car from the guy who arranged it. Usually that would be just peachy keen, but this particular car was Manual. Ian and I exchanged sideways glances and laughed until we almost cried. Somehow, in our upbringing, we were never taught how to drive stick shift.

Oh well, we'll learn!

And learn Ian did, that very next morning. Saturday, he and our boss woke up and headed outside for some manual driving lessons. At the end of an hour he had a pretty good handle on it but was still nervous about it.

By noon, we piled into the car with all of our luggage and took off for Dubai, where our car and apartment keys were waiting for us.

By six pm, on Saturday, we were on the road again to our new home. We saw camels and rolling sand dunes. We saw dusty skies and green oases (did you know it's one oasis, two oases? I didn't, until now!)

By nine pm, we had made it through the border crossing and were walking through the door to our new home, at least for the next two years.

I have to tell you, it was a little rough. And by was, I mean it still is.

But when we first walked in, whew, let me tell you.

It was hot.
The air was thick.
And it was dirty.
No, really, it was dirty.

As in, the desert had come into our home.

Piles of sand were around the windows and doors and a thin layer of dusty sand covered every. single. surface of that home.

I was a brave soldier, however, and didn't shed a tear, which was really impressive. Instead, I got to work vacuuming up the absurd piles of sand and wiping down the bedroom walls and furniture so that we'd have somewhere to sleep.

All the while, Ian was out with our boss trying to get things settled, such as internet, cell phones, electricity, yada yada yada.

Did I mention our boss was having to go away on a business trip for 10 days? Yeah, hence the urgency.

So, after a good mop the house looked a lot more approachable, and I finally decided to take the "Before," pictures. So, here you go, and please, keep in mind these are the "before," and we haven't unpacked or decorated anything yet.

As you walk in the front door, to your right is the Magiless. I'm not really sure how to spell that. The Magiless is the formal living room that acts as a reception area for your guests. More than likely, in this very formal society, your guests will never go beyond this first room.
Yes, it's blue. With giant blue/gold/white tiles. Awesome. Also, you'll see a running strip of "wallpaper," which is really just contact paper. Props to the decorator on a budget.

The Magiless has its own AC, and its own bathroom (with a shower and two sinks,) so that guests would not intrude on the "private," parts of your house.

If you didn't turn right into the Magiless, and instead went straight, you'd see this, an awesome blue hallway.
Which leads into our actual family room. It has a big wooden door, like you would see on a front door, that closes it off from the Magiless and the front door. Awesome for when I'm chilling in the house and Ian has male visitors over.

More of the family room. You can see where we ripped off the contact paper/ wall paper in preparation for the painter that was coming the next day. Yes, the blue was just not going to cut it for 2 years.
Looking back through the family room towards the front door, you can see my sweet husband getting rid of the wall paper! Also, you can see our internet modem on the left, and potential AC plug in box (the white one,) on the right.

If you continued through the family room you'd come to this arched door way, which leads to the rest of the quarters of the house.

To the right, through the archway, is the kitchen. I was prepared for this room, because I knew most other countries don't quite place a high importance on the aesthetics of the kitchen. This place is no exception.
Water heater above the metal cabinets, which we keep turned off. After all, the water coming in from outside on the "cold," switch is hot already due to the heat of the great outdoors.

We're still in the middle of sorting through kitchen supplies that were left for us, and are stocking up our pantry, slowly but surely.

Below, you can see our fridge, stove, and "washing machine." The gas stove was new for me, and I dealt with it. And the tiny fridge was just a minor adjustment. However, that "washing machine," which you have to pour the water into yourself, then transfer the clothes from the "shake," to the "spin," tub, is just a little too much. Did I mention that you then have to drain the water from the machine into a drain in the middle of the kitchen floor? Yes. It's true.

And it's also true that we'll be dropping money on a new one. If we can. If we have the correct hook up for a new, modern one.

If not, I will learn.
Or, maybe we'll just take them to a laundry mat.

Coming out of the kitchen, you can see the archway to the family room on your left, and the three other doors, left to right, master bedroom, guest bedroom, and bathroom.

This is the bathroom. I'm having, um, issues with this space. Ignore the atrocious clashing of the brown and tan sink/toilet/tile with the black and white shower curtain. Apparently Ian couldn't find a clear or white shower curtain liner, so he picked one that he thought was "most me." He's probably right. In a plain, white bathroom I would love this one!

Yes, the back of our toilet is a giant shell.
No, I don't have an explanation.
Yes, that is a badae.
No, we don't use it.

It takes up a lot of space, so a new friend suggested we use it as a foot bath. Or fill it with rocks or shells. Or store extra towels in it, ha!

The master bedroom, also blue has some awesome blue furniture. ha! Below, you can see the view looking in the doorway. Our wardrobe has three compartments, which is useful for a his/hers/and dirty clothes.
To the right, you can see our AC unit, and our first King size bed. Sans bedding. It was a little warm the first few nights. Now, however, the AC has cooled off the concrete enough that it doesn't get sweltering anymore!

Looking back towards the door is this, um, vanity thing. I would have loved it when I was seven. Now, it's just a dresser that is lacking some drawers. ha!

And finally, our guest bedroom. It has the super powered AC and we love it in there. So much so that we moved our dining room table in there to stay cool at.

It also has a twin sized bed and is the catch all for some weird items. Like a drying rack. and a printer.

The view back out of the room.

Well, that's it! It's rough right now (uh, our water was turned off,) but it's home, so we're making do and being happy. Hopefully in a week or so, we'll have a room or two done, or at least almost done. We are getting it painted as I type this and we'll be making a run to Ikea at the end of the week!


Jamie said...

I'm glad y'all are getting everything unpacked and getting settled into your new home! Thanks for posting :)

Ria @ Life as a Wife! said...

Love it!! :) Thanks for sacrificing time to upload those photos. Wonderful!

Rachel and John said...

There's an Ikea there? Awesome.
Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to see what you do with your new place!!!

Jessica said...

I'm so glad to hear from you! Thanks for taking sooo much time to upload those pictures! Wow, that's alotta blue! haha...but I LOVE the arched doorways!

Alison said...

Oh, I love seeing all the pics!! Thanks for taking the 7 hours to upload them! Can't wait to see what ya'll do in the house! I love before/after pictures!! Prayed for ya'll this morning!!

chloƫ. said...

Wow, I can't believe you're finally there! Thanks for sharing the pictures! And I love the awkwardness to the seashell toilet, LOL!

Brittany said...

You'll make it your own! I'm sure of it!

So happy that you made it safe and you're getting settled in!

Courtney said...

I am so glad to see pictures of your new home! Good job Ian on learning how to drive manual so quickly. And good job Brittney on getting settled in! Love you mi amiga!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! It's so great to see how people in other countries live. Best wishes in your new adventure!

d.a.r. said...

Well, if nothing else, you will laugh a little every time you clean that awkward bathroom! :)

Glad you are all settled in! Good luck turning into "home"!

Lauren said...

Wow...I can't believe you're actually there! Thanks so much for sacrificing your time to share with us, it's so great to see how you guys are doing! Can't wait to see more!

MLD said...

In the scorching desert heat blue or light blue decor is the most cooling color to decorate with. Congratulations! Just remember half the world (or more) would ENVY your bidet. What luxury!

Unknown said...

So pleased your there safely and I am sure you will make your new home very homely, with time :)

Callie said...

It looks nice and big! I'm sure you'll have it feeling nice and cozy in no time!

Marsha C said...

Yeah!! I'm so glad we got to see the pictures. I'm certain that you will get it into shipshape condition in no time. We love you. I'm glad you can still post. Can't wait to talk to you.

Emily said...

Thank heavens for paint and Ikea! Glad you are there safe and sound and finally "home"! Oh...Ariel called and she wants her toilet back! LOL! Seriously...nobody else thought of that or am I the only smart aleck to think of it and actually write it?! Ian is adorable to pick the shower curtain that was the most like you...too sweet! Don't feel bad about the manual shift car...I'm very old and I can't drive one either! I think it's cute you laughed about it! You two make me smile!

Kelli said...

Well I'm glad to see there is plenty of room for Marsha and JarJar Binks when they come and visit. Have fun settling in and remember, whenever we moved it always took us about a year to "feel at home". Don't rush it, just appreciate each day and what it holds. We love you both!

Kelli said...

Well I'm glad to see there is plenty of room for Marsha and JarJar Binks when they come and visit. Have fun settling in and remember, whenever we moved it always took us about a year to "feel at home". Don't rush it, just appreciate each day and what it holds. We love you both!

Angela said...

I'm speechless for so many reasons.....I'm just so proud of you and love you so very much! I'm so thankful that you have sweet Ian taking care of you. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo