Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Everyday life

I feel like we've gotten a little ahead of ourselves on this blog. I've written quite a bit about adventures and oddities but not so much of the basic background information.

We live on campus in faculty housing. There are cul-de-sacs and lanes and grassy roundabouts and - my personal favorite - wide, attractively cobblestoned sidewalks with raised crosswalks so you don't even have to step off the curb to cross the street (anyone who's ever pushed a stroller understands). In the campus "neighborhood," there are playgrounds and a pool and a kids' pool and a gym and fitness classes and rainbows and bunnies - well, you get the idea.

The house/villa/townhome that the university allotted to us is the nicest place I've ever personally lived. Now, maybe that's not saying a whole lot, but still. We have three bedrooms, a guest room, and four bathrooms. Of course there is a living room and a dining area and a kitchen and we actually turned the under-stairs storage area into a playroom. We also have big front and back patios. The back yard is currently a giant sandbox but it will be grass "soon."

This is the first time in the Middle East that I've had hot water on demand, a washer that does not shock me, a comfortable mattress, an oven that works, a stove that does not threaten to explode, and, blessed be its name forever, central AC.

Jeremy's office is a seven-minute walk from our house. OH YEAH.

Miriam's school is a 10- to 15-minute walk/kid bike ride from our house, depending on how willful any or all of the girls are being.

We're close enough to the beach to actually go but not so close that the humidity is stifling (except sometimes it still is). Ask Miriam about swimming in the Persian Gulf and she'll tell you the water is so warm it's like a gigantic bathtub.

We're close enough to Dubai to, you know, go there, but not so close that the traffic offends our sensibilities.

The cost of living isn't too bad at all, when you're given free housing and utilities. Some items at the grocery store cost more than back in the US (like fresh milk, which is a whopping ten dollars a gallon here). Some things cost less (like gasoline, which is about $1.50 a gallon here).

And did I mention we have a house cleaner guy? Yes, it's a man. He's from India and I pay him to clean my house three or four times a month. I used to be conflicted about this issue. Before we moved here I knew it would come up and I just couldn't decide whether I would actually stoop to pay someone else to clean my house when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself. Then one morning I spent 2.5 hours doing just that, when in that same amount of time I could have been a) working at my WAHM job and earning enough money to pay someone to clean my house a couple times over, or b) spending time with my kids. So I caved and brought in one of the university's house cleaner guys. And I am no longer conflicted. There are some tasks in my life role that I will never outsource. Mopping floors is apparently not one of them.

Did I miss anything?

(I'll write another post containing generalities about what the UAE is like. It's a very unique place, an amalgamation of different cultures and styles and routines that is unlike anything I've ever seen. More on that later.)


Sherwood family said...

It sounds like you've got a pretty nice thing going there. I think every Mormon stay-at-home-mom feels conflicted about having help with housecleaning. But it's amazing how the giddiness completely overpowers the guilt.

Liz Johnson said...

So do you get powdered milk then?!! That is insane.

I say GO WITH IT in regards to the house cleaner. I totally would. I mean, at least it's not a live-in maid who also cooks, right? :)

Rob and Sara said...

I'm jealous of your room of closets! Do you have anything to put in there after you got rid of most of your stuff? :)

Merkley Jiating said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merkley Jiating said...

I can't spell...

Your every day life is so glamorous!

Bridget said...

Rob and Sara, they're definitely not full. We just spread out our stuff. My dresses are in a different closet than my shirts and our coats are in yet another closet.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Nice post but remember we figured out that fresh milk is 5$ a gallon... Jeremy

Bridget said...

Yes, thanks, Jeremy, I was about to get on here and post that. I thought it was 10 dhs for 1 liter. Turns out it's 10 dhs for 2 liters.

Still more expensive than in the US, though.

The Johnsons said...

It's so fun to see your place. You deserve all that space...and definitely that laundry room! :)

Nancy said...

Swimming in the Gulf was my favorite. All water should be bathtub temperature. The Red Sea in July? Yes, please. The Gulf in August? Sure. :)

Crystal and I got together today and were talking about $10/gallon milk and how it would be to be able to pay someone $15 to clean our houses for us. :)

Katie said...


I really liked this post. And I just want to say that you are also living in a far nicer place than I've ever lived in my married life. But that's not really saying much. But it is really nice. Four rooms. Dreamy. And a cleaning guy. Man, I could use one even in my tiny two bedroom apartment. For reals. Also, I just have to say that I love your blog so much that sometimes I have to ban myself from reading it because I spent exponentially more time online when I do. Because I always think I'll just pop in for a quick read and then I get totally sucked in and read everything. I hope you'll take that as a high compliment because that is exactly how I meant it.

Love from the Provo,
Katie :)

Bridget said...

Katie, you are welcome to waste time here (and say those nice things) ANYTIME.

Nancy, is it still as exotic now the milk is only $5/gallon? How about if I tell you we are drinking UHT milk instead?


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