Sunday, February 20, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Ok now...back to work...
Friday, February 11, 2011
We started off with a shopping trip on Tues to get equip ourselves with BBQ tools and chicken to be BBQ'd. That in itself was enjoyable because everyone was in a jovial mood. Then came our "marinating party" which didn't consist of us marinating but instead us talking crap and playing dining table tennis. Yes you guessed it right, we were bored (and ingenious) enough to play table tennis on E's dining table. Hehe. We also managed to see the lighter side of S, the latest member of the DH club, who is usually very quiet.
It took awhile getting the fire started up. As with all things here, the charcoal was of weird quality which even when we doused with lots and lots of fire starting liquid, refused to burn. After the guys went of to buy some decent fire startes, us (ingenious again) ladies managed to coax the flames back to life and voila, our BBQ started. The boyz were pretty hardworking, BBQing the chicken for us while we sat on the mats munching on chips and fruits. The chicken was ready round about sunset, and it was a pretty scene to enjoy the food in. Alhamdulillah, the chicken tasted excellent, the beer was thirst quenching, and the company was great. We had ice cream and tea to end the meal and as the night drew, we played some cards to end our lovely day.
I'm happy to say that grocery shopping hasn't been the highlight of my week for some time now. First was the K trip, then the BBQ, hope things go on like this and I think I'll survive the year, well. My motto used to be "spread out the excitement" i.e. I'd tell hubby not to go to a certain place because we already had fun for that month (since we don't know that many new places to entertain us every weekend). Now I guess we should just go with the flow and see whatever comes up. Afterall we can always return to the same place ourselves or with our friends to relive the same "adventure" with different people. R here I come!
Monday, February 07, 2011
1) They have to wait for their hubbies to chauffeur them places. In my case, I can make appointments 3 times a day - in the morning, during lunch time or after hubby comes back from work.
2) Take a taxi. In my case it is quite a hassle because I don't speak Urdu which is fine in most cases because as long as I have some "key phrases", such as numbers to haggle, "ahead" and "beside KFSH", it's pretty ok. Neither do I speak Arabic, though the other problem is that you can't trust local drivers so there comes another trouble of weeding out one half of the fleet. What I don't like is when the cabbies realise I can't speak much Urdu or Arabic, the drivers start enquiring more and more about where I'm from etc. Seriously, what does it matter to you where I'm from? I just want to get home. Plus stop mixing a spattering of English into Urdu and Arabic and expect me to understand what you're saying. Give it up already.
2) If they have a driver,
- hopefully they have one who is punctual. Today I spent 20 mins waiting for the time my driver was supposed to arrive, and another 20 mins that he was late. And the drive home was only 10 mins. I guess a taxi will be faster. I guess the hassle of explaining where I live is easier than waiting in the cold for so long. Oh, and I should probably give up calling drivers when I'm early, in the hopes they are free and come pick me up earlier.
- they still have to plan carefully. Finish on time or feel bad making the driver wait. Yesterday our late meeting ended very late, and my driver had come at the original time, even earlier because it was his first day so he wanted to be sure where he was. Annoyingly, even after telling him the new time (and oh, I tried to call him to come earlier than my postponed timing), he was 10 mins late. Nevermind I thought, it was his first day. I also guess that parties will have to end on time. Once the nurses and I were having a good time and they suddenly had to rush off cos they had booked their driver at a particular time.
- the driver changes frequently. My first driver lasted half a year, then he got transferred to the west coast. My second driver got a part time job so unless I want to leave office at 2, which is quite ridiculous, I can't go with him anymore. Hopefully my latest one will work out, if he starts getting punctual. Seriously, I don't like waiting, much less waiting like a fool along the road, in a society where men stare at women who have uncovered faces or are alone.
The past couple of months I've been going to work pretty often (an achievement haha). Taxis are hard to come by at the end of the day because security has been tightened at the drop off area. Other than that, I realised that probably the only thing I spend on here is transport. Gone are the $1 bus rides from NUS home. Spending $6 a day on cab fares is expensive even by Sg standards. Then again, a lot of things pertaining to women, e.g. gyms and spas, are expensive here. Gah. It's actually not as bad as it sounds. But after today's 40 mins wait for Mr AK, I'm a little pissed. Don't mind me....
Cutely we each had planned for surprises for the other throughout the trip. His surprise #1 for me was when we stopped about 1.5 hrs into the drive along the highway for a picnic. Hubby knows how much I love picnics so we did the very local thing of stopping the car in the middle of nowhere (on the side of the road of course), spread our mat and dived in. Hubby had initially asked me to pack food to eat on the go, and I was wondering if we were going to stop along the way (thinking gas station/pit stops), why did I need to pack food since we could eat at the restaurants there itself. Ah, now I know what he was up to. What was even more rewarding was that in the background there were lovely reddish sand dunes (I requested that spot to stop hehe). My stereotyped perception of this desert country finally materialised, and boy was it beautiful!
About 3 hours and a few u-turns later, thanks to our not very accurate GPS coordinates, we checked into our very pretty furnished apartment. First on the itinerary was the corniche after dinner at a restaurant called "Chinatown" but served Indian in addition to Chinese food (why am I surprised...all kinds of things happen in "Chinese" restaurants here...). Just approaching the waters and I could smell the sea breeze in my face. Ahhhh.
The next day we met a (half) local couple we'd met on the Internet. After coffee with them, we made our way to Mr F's alma mater where he'd graduated from 5 years ago. He looked so happy and adorable as he beamed about the campus and recalled his fondest memories, and also because he could show his wife where he spent his remaining bachelor years. I must admit I was very impressed with the campus - extremely spacious in this land-rich country and excellent landscaping with a mixture of natural rocks and man-made gardens with ponds. Would have been a nice place to go dating while in college haha. Oh but of course, it was an all male college :P.
After the tour we headed to the beach. This princess loves the beach so the moment we reached there I was already beaming. I shouldn't divulge too much information online but I have to add that it was fun changing into our beach pants in our new MPV's spacious boot lol. The beach scene was pretty calm, I guess it's the most "conservative" beach I've been to, where instead of laying mats on the sand, there were concrete shelters where families gathered. Kids and men seemed to be the only ones entering the water, but that did not stop me from getting at least my legs wet. The only thing missing then was another picnic, but with the strong wind blowing sand into our faces, I guess that was a blessing in disguise. As the winds got stronger and it got colder and colder, we decided to pack up. Just before leaving the coast we headed for another beach which I was quite insistant about seeing because it had "emerald" waters. Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed because what made the water emerald was actually some whitish pollutant in the water. Eeks. So much for picturing Phuket... There was more activity at this beach with ATVs, horse-riding vendors selling all kinds of stuff. Even saw a lady on an ATV..woot!
Our final stop for the day was the SA-B causeway. That too was a little disappointing because the tower was under renovation so we couldn't see the view from up above. Anyway it was a pretty nice stop because after a quick dinner we walked around to see the gorgeous sunset. And yes, apart from beaches, I love sunsets.
Friday morning didn't have much excitement because Mr F had to conserve energy for the drive home. We had breakfast and lunch in and spent time watching tv together. My surprise #2 for him didn't work out because the bath tub didn't have a stopper. Yes, I had brought my rose petal soap wedding favour to splatter across the bath water. Too bad it didn't happen.
Although the trip was short, it was enjoyable. I also got to see another side of the country. Even though K is only 4 hours away from R, it looked like a much less conservative society. The most "shocking" thing we saw was a lady smoke openly in public. We went "wow" lol. You could also see people having more fun in open areas; bachelors were playing football on the same grounds as where families were picnicking. A couple of girls were playing around in the water, laughing and screaming without a care about who would come up to them with a baton. I guess being closer to the sea and hence having more outside influence, as well as having one of the largest American companies there has helped them broaden their mentalities. Unlike here where there's pretty much no natural escape except desert, desert and more desert, the corniche and beaches were a very welcomed breather. Even the drive there had lots of picturesque scenery which sad I could only snap from inside the car. I also learnt that my fascination for camels or camels-in-the-desert pics hasn't died down hehehe. I would definitely want to go back again soon, hopefully this time with more stops along the highway to take decent photos (afterall my canon has been collecting dust since coming here :P).
Thanks Mr F for making the trip happen :D
More pictures can be found on my FB page...