Friday, February 8, 2013

The New Normal

This is a blog I started before our trip to Thailand .. I know, sorry!!!  I haven't been as excited about blogging because things just feel so "normal" now .. we've settled .. it's "home" .. and we're really beginning to enjoy Dubai .. kinks included!  Here's what I began a few months ago, I'll close'r out at the end ..


Ya know .. it's really feeling "normal" now.  Remember when we first moved here back at the start of the new year and I kept saying how I was just ready for things to feel "normal"?  I have to say that it's really starting to.

I mean, it's totally normal to see gardeners in green coveralls riding their bikes through the neighborhood, rake and mower in tow .. I mean, they're everywhere.  It's very normal to see Filipino, Sri Lankan, or Ethiopian maids/nannies walking with children to the park or running errands for their "madams".  Honestly, I think it would seem very strange to NOT see those things ..

More "normal" things:

-Describing people by their skin, as I did above.  In the USA that feels racist .. but here it seems to be a very normal way of describing people.  It's not racist.  It's more of a recognition of the culture from which each of these people come.  If their culture is acknowledged, there is much more of a way to understand what that person may be like.  It only feels racist if someone is degrading an entire group of people. It's different .. and normal.
-Going to the mall and seeing a much of the crowd in full coverings (burqas and dishdashes). 
-Driving to school in the minivan with a Maserati, Ferrari, Land Rover and Porsche surrounding me (no lie people .. that happens ALL.THE.TIME).
-kids getting tired of yet ANOTHER birthday party at Atlantis, The Palm .. (that hasn't happened to my kids yet, but definitely a theme of friends' kiddos .. and if it's not The Atlantis .. it's one of the 200 indoor playlands .. and parties always have face painting, crafts, games, petting zoos .. I mean, you name it .. it's there).
-NOT being able to get a glass of wine with dinner unless we're in a hotel
-going to coffee with a friend that I met 10 minutes ago.
-being able to leave my house at any given moment and merely saying, "Vilma .. please watch the kids, I'm headed to the store." <--okay, that may never feel normal .. but it IS normal, and something I do at least once a week.
-Mark traveling about every other week.   He was in Prague earlier this month, is currently in Oman, and will be going to Thailand next week .. then he's off to Saudi and then Kazakhstan .. for REAL people.  The man travels.  I will say that I'm SUPER PUMPED that the Trip to Thailand is a FAMILY VACATION!!  woo hoo!!  I CAN'T WAIT to blog about that one!

So I could definitely go on .. the sandy air feels normal, the heat feels normal, people being SUPER FRIENDLY to kids EVERYWHERE we go (and it not feeling creepy) feels normal .. I know I'm not writing it all.

My sister is coming to visit soon and it's going to be so cool to see Dubai through her eyes .. I'm sure her perspective will remind me of what the differences are - ya know? 


Okay, so that was the old blog .. my sister came and LOVED it here .. we had a great time .. here are some pictures:

 ski dubai

 getting ready to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa!  
(The tallest building in the world)

 enjoying sunset on the dessert safari
 look at her holding that Falcon!  
(Falcons are a big deal out here)

 no doubt we rode some camels!

Isn't she cute??  We had such a good time!!  Karen - move here! 

So much has happened since I began this blog so long ago .. after Karen left,  then Mark's parents came for Christmas (which is another blog all together.. we had a blast!) ... now we're back in full swing of the 2nd semester of school and planning our Spring Break vacation.  (It's looking like we're going to London/Paris!!  woo hoo!!)  

We've also found a fantastic new church .. it has made all the difference for our family.   It's close to home and many of the people that we run into in other circles attend there.  I really love that we found Fellowship of the Emirates! Tonight we are having the new pastor (from Australia) and his family over for dinner .. we're going to light up the fire pit and roast weenies!!

 ... OH .. did I mention that we moved to a new villa??? long "only in Dubai" story ..but it has a pool .. and a fire pit .. I love it!! 

I'll eventually get caught up .. I will!!!   

...till next time!