Thursday, 29 August 2013

Moving to Jebel Ali. Al Muntazah here we come.

Sadly (because I like to have a moan) I cannot really give you a great big honestly miserable account of our move because it went off so much better than I thought it would. You see there is an upside to being negative.

But that won’t stop me from making a meal of the move now will it?  “No.” I answer myself gaily. “It won’t.”
Bryan and I spent a great deal of time thinking that we should move. Not because we did not love our apartment on the Palm but because every year we would have to run the gauntlet of the negotiations with the landlady where we would refuse to pay the increases she was asking for. It just got tiresome. Our Palm landlady is a feisty octogenarian who is frail of body and more sound of mind that she would have you believe. She had Bryan hook line and sinker. Bryan will tell you that he did all the things that he did for her because if she got an estate agent to do it somehow we would land up the worse for it. Well there is a great deal of truth in that, but, those of you who know Bryan will know that old ladies and babies can wind Bryan around their little fingers.  This year she did get herself an estate agent and of course the estate agent agreed with her that she could get a better rental. Presumably knowing full well she can’t. Of course the agent gets no real income from the apartment unless a new tenant takes over. We managed, yet again, to convince her that we would not pay more but she insisted that we pay a years’ rent in advance. Now before you are utterly horrified at that statement bear in mind that this is not unusual in Dubai. Not unusual at all. However what was a bit beyond the pale was her wanting to retain the right to give us one months’ notice in case she found a tenant willing to pay more. Well you know enough is enough. You can’t have it both ways.
After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, discussions, lists of pros and cons,  boring everyone we know with talk of should we or shouldn’t we and where should we and putting our names on lists we got a call to say there was a villa available in the Complex of Bryan's choice. Yip-a –dee doo-da the move was underway and not a moment too soon as we were about to sign a year’s lease in the absence of a preferred alternative coming up. WHEW.
And then naturally (with me) panic set in. And really? What for? People move all the time.

I went on line and logged on the Dubai ladies go to for anything site - Expat Women - Dubai

I did a search for conversations relating to removal companies. You know the sort of thing - who recommended who, who was best avoided, and who should be run away from screaming. I found 4 respectable operators. Thank heavens for the comfort and sense of security that comes with a bunch of housewives swapping tips on line. Somehow I landed up with five companies coming to quote on the back of my four phone calls …… go figure. Let’s just say that the stroppy door stopper interloper was given a set down and sent on his way.
I downloaded pages of hints on what to do when you move. I printed them out. I printed out lists with boxes to tick. I printed out a 6 page check off list for snags. HA bloody HA. What a waste of paper that was. I was full of good intentions. Frankly just the process calmed me down which is really the point -right? What I did not do was check much off of the many pieces of paper I had on my clip board. Yes, I had a clip board. I went and bought coloured markers and coloured stickers. I printed out floor plans of the villa and colour-coded the rooms. I absolutely was going to label each box with the corresponding colour room that the box was to be delivered to. I would have bought a lot more coloured markers and stickers but fortunately I had the  House Guest Extraordinaire visiting (yes in the middle of the move poor brave soul) and she managed to stop me from emptying my savings into a felt-tip pen purchasing frenzy. When the movers arrived they summarily rejected my brilliant plan and did what they do and know best, very efficiently and very quickly. They packed up my home and moved my stuff.  

House Guest Extraordinaire keeping out of the way of the efficient movers. In the bath tub.... as you do......

We did have a bit of a drama before we moved. I went down to the building lobby security to let them know that we would be moving and that they should put up those things that protect the sides of elevators from people moving big stuff. The security man said “NO” . Apparently we cannot leave the building without an  NOC ( No Objection Certificate) from the developers of the Palm. W.T.F. I have absolutely no relationship with bloody Nakheel so why do I need their permission to leave the building? Apparently this is them looking out for the interests of the owners. Well that was news to the owner.  What followed was a frenzied rush of me gadding about trying to find out what was required to get this N.O.C. Mixed messages are what I got. Now I know that when The Little Man say “no” you know that  he will not move until The Big Man says he can, so I could not possibly move without something from Management to The Worker Ant telling him I could leave the building. Many emails later and Bryan making phone calls and still we had nothing. It took Bryan hunting down some man in an office and checking said man’s junk mail for us to finally get what we needed.  Bryan needed a session of calming therapy after that. What he got was time to work out how his apple lap top worked with a bit of help from Frances  -remember  I mentioned the house guest extraordinaire?

Bryan calming himself after his run in with Nakheel by working from home and getting to grips with his new computer.
The actual packing and moving and unpacking of the furniture was a complete breeze. Mainly because I did not do it. Yawningly boring for me - YAY.

moving out of Apt. 503. the last few items.....
The unpacking of my kitchen, crockery and linen is another matter altogether. I now realise that our apartment was very well designed in terms of storage. My new huge kitchen (and laundry) has the same amount of storage space one would expect to find in a bedsit. It is a HUGE problem for me. I look in despair at my space and think WHY MEEEEEEEEEE in the most pathetic way. Honestly you would think I was dealing with solving the problem of World Poverty. And of course I have my PICTURES. Where oh where am I going to hang them all?  So many walls. So many rooms. So many choices. I want to put them all in the best spot. But there can only be one best spot. What do I do with the rest of my art? Oh the delicious agony of it all.
I will bore you all with the details in a few weeks time.
Right now I must dash. I cannot for the life of me find the kettle. And I personally packed that because I had this list of handy hints. You know the sort:- Pack a box of essential supplies,  the kettle, a loo roll, bla, bla, bla. Fat lot of good that was. I do know were the Nespresso machine is because house guest extraordinaire was in charge of that. It was the only really essential item and it is unpacked and much used already.

Wish me luck unpacking.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

A visit to the dentist.

Last week Bryan started talking about the dentist. He said something like "I need to go to the dentist. My filling fell out a squillion years ago and I have not had it fixed. My tooth is breaking were the filling fell out" At this point I tuned out. What I took from this was Bryan is talking about going to the dentist. I know that at some point he may have asked me if I needed to go to the dentist. Now I am a semi-hypochondriac so of course I KNOW that I need to go to the dentist but that does not mean that I am planning to go just that I know that maybe I should go and get a check-up or get my teeth cleaned and in the process find out that I have to have all my teeth removed and get dentures or screw ins or something and it is all just too horrible to think about. So I may have said something like "Yeah, I probably need to go to the dentist" and then moved on with my life. Fast.

Over the weekend Bryan told me that he had booked an appointment on line. I made interested noises, I assumed he was thrilled at the fact that he could book an appointment on line. Because, snakes alive, not even Bryan could think that booking a dentist’s appointment is news for anyone other than the person going to the dentist. Which was not me. 

On Saturday night as I was nodding off to sleep Bryan said "Now remember you will be going to work late on Monday because of the Dentist” I thought he was rubbing it in a bit much on his whole dentist malarkey. In all the years we have been together he has never shared so much bloody information about any bloody appointment and how did him going to the dentist affect me getting to work late. I would take a taxi. Job done. Anyway it was very late and I thought "oh I am too tired to actually transfer my going to bed mode brain to engage my faculties and talk mode brain" so I muttered snuffley noises (to indicate that I heard him) and went to sleep.

On Sunday night at around the same time (i.e. just before I dropped off to the land of Nod) Bryan said "Don't forget WE have the dentist tomorrow". My whole body was awake in nanoseconds. "We?????? What is this 'we' Pale Face?" I asked incredulously.  Bryan sighed. You know the kind of sigh. The patient sigh. And used his I am a grown up patient voice. "Penny I have been telling you all week that I have booked a dentist appointment for US" What the hell? Never, ever have we gone to the dentist together. The only times we ever did anything vaguely medical together was when I gave birth to the boys and when I had to give my permission in front of the doctor for Bryan to have a vasectomy (that is another story and not for this forum.) What the hell?  My health is being hijacked by my husband. "What are you talking about?" I started my rant.  "At no point did you say that I was going to the dentist with you. I did not ask you to book me a dentist appointment. What the hell?" I squealed.   Visions of bloody mouth cavities filled my mind. But the appointment was booked, so off I went...... with Bryan.

The dentist told me that my mouth and teeth were all in very good order and all they needed was a clean and really why had I come, I was not due for a check-up. Well that gave me an opening to pour out my woes. How I was hoodwinked into visiting the dentist (bet that made the dentist feel good about his profession) and how I was very glad to hear that I would not have to see him again for quite some time (again, winning comments to make to a person who can cause you great physical pain) and how my husband was going to get a full treatment of smugness from me. I distressed and amused the lovely dentist in equal measure, I think. 

I am all right on the dental scene.

Bryan on the other hand has ground his teeth almost to the roots. He has gnashed and bashed his teeth to the point that they have stress fractures (just like mountains under the pressure of the tectonic plates I am guessing) and splintering shards of enamel cracking away from his teeth and has been instructed to hold a pencil between his teeth when he works to protect his gnashers from his strong grinding jaw. Ha, Ha, Ha!  All this in addition to the gum guard that he already wears while sleeping to stop him grinding away at what is left of his bite. I have a game that I like to play with his gum guard. I wait till he has it in his mouth and then I will start a conversation so that he has to take it out.  I don't do it often, just every now and then to mix up our bedtime routine a bit.

Did I mention that I have a healthy set of teeth?