Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's the Little Things

So far in this new country and apartment, I have found it is the little things that are making it feel more like home. I'm sure having my wonderful husband and pooch here makes a large difference (I can't even imagine how Ben felt moving here alone and the homesickness he must have felt), but there are other things, some more material than others, that are comforting as well. 

Ben cooking kebbah.
The last few weeks Ben and I were in the States, we ate out quite a bit.  We were either on the road or socializing with family/friends and we were both ready for some delicious home cooking.  We have been doing just that since we arrived in Dubai - we have had chicken and rice soup ( a la Ben), tater tot casserole (a la me), kebbah (a collaborative effort), spaghetti, pancakes, eggs and toast, and left overs of course.  We did have a date night where we enjoyed some out-of-house cuisine, but we both agreed that was much needed since we hadn't ventured very far from our dwelling since arrival.  Ben enjoyed a chicken panini with fries and I had a margarita pizza.  For dessert we went to our favorite juice place, HutSpot, which is right by the beach, for some delicious fresh fruit smoothies. 

One thing I did not mention is that we enjoyed mac and cheese with cut up hot dogs for supper one night.  THAT is one of the little things that has made me feel a bit closer to home.  The mac and cheese was some weird off brand, but still scrumptious.  The hot dogs were actually Oscar Mayer (turkey dogs) and were delicious.  Judge all you want - I love hot dogs!  Yes, I know they are made up of leftover disgustingness of animals.  I don't care.

Food of the gods.
Since we are on the subject of food, I am going to take a minute to complain about the sugar.  It is much larger grains than in the US and I just attempted to make no bake cookies for dessert tonight and they have a certain crunch about them because the sugar did not mix in like at home.  I couldn't simmer it longer in the butter and cocoa though, because the cocoa was beginning to scorch.  They are still tasty - they just have a different texture than usual.  Disappointing.  Luckily, when Ben and I were at the store I picked up some 7 Day Croissants.  These things are AMAZING, folks.  I lived off these when I went to Bulgaria.  (Mostly because everything else in Bulgaria made me violently ill).  I was OVERJOYED when I saw these tasty delights in the grocery store!!!  Ben had passed the aisle and I literally screamed "BEN! COME BACK!".  I quickly explained what I was soooo excited about (he remembered my many, many references to this heavenly dessert) while jumping up and down, not kidding, and threw two bags in our cart.  While we were walking away I excitedly drummed on his arm to which he replied jokingly, "NO touching!" I seriously think I could cry I'm so excited.  You wouldn't understand until you tried these. 

Aside from food, Ben and I have also started the process of making "his" apartment into "our" apartment.  The morning after we arrived, Ben ran to the store to pick up the essential groceries and I stayed at the apartment to begin the unpacking process.  Instead of hitting the suitcases, I decided to set up our living room so that we had a place to relax and feel more at home.  Ben approved of the set up upon his return from the store.

Before (From Ben's first arrival in Dubai pre-me)
Before (From Ben's first arrival in Dubai pre-me)

NOW - Our elephant we picked out during my visit in January.

The wall hanging is Ben's favorite building in Dubai - the Burj Al Arab

 The furniture set up was what was completed when Ben returned; he had to help decide where and how to hang everything.  NO WAY was I able to come close to reaching up high enough to hang the wall things myself! 

What has proved to be a great item to bring over was my comfy purple blanket that I love so very much.  It is so soft and snugly and makes the small love seat more bearable to try and lay on.  Grover appreciates the blanket as well, and has quickly become very at home in his new abode.


On another note, Ben has learned how to play SkipBo and Phase 10 in our first couple of weeks in Dubai.  I taught him SkipBo and even taught him strategies, even though he could potentially use that against me.  That is growth on my end, I would say.  I am not a happy loser and really am a sore winner as well.  I laugh at him when he loses.  Not nice, I know, but it's just so funny.  Tonight we had Naomi and Casey (co-workers of Ben's and a married couple close to our age) over for supper, stir fry, naan and hummus, and no bake cookies, and we enjoyed a game of Phase 10.  Namoi was the winner by five points.  Both of those games were definitely worth the weight and space in my suitcase!

And now, as Grover sleeps on the couch, my husband has retreated to dreamland and I am quickly losing my wit, I will bid you adieu!