Saturday, May 30, 2009


Where to start? Moving is a process in the States, but here it is an event and a half. To save you the details. Here are the highlights.

  • All the furniture had to be taken apart to be moved. We have armoires, because there are no closets here. I am very thankful for our armoires, cause they are really nice and big and hold a lot. Still they must be taken apart and reassembled to travel. Pretty much anything that wouldn’t fit in the elevator had to be taken apart.

  • Very little was damaged in the actual move. Half of our oven was hanging off the back end of the truck, so that was a little scary, but it made it. The most damage was done to my African Violets. My plant was looking really good, the best that it had been since I got it in January. Unfortunately, when I was not looking, the movers stuck my plant in a plastic bag with a lamp! Let’s just say that now, I have an A-symmetrical plant. But at least plants can grow back, right?! My TV could not grow back!

  • Speaking of TVs, for the first time since January, we have a TV with Satellite. Although our cable line runs from the roof of the building through our balcony door. We had to pay $75 for this set up, because we did not want the TV in the dining room where the cable line was. We fit more into the community now, before we were thought of as really odd for not having a TV. And we have about 80 channels in English, Arabic, and French.

  • It took 4 visits from our landlord’s assistant and 6 days to get hot water. Hot water heaters are not left on all the time here, like in the States, you turn the water on, and leave it on for several hours before you shower and then turn off the heater when you are done. For this we have to learn all the switches in our fuse box. Still not sure about hot water in the kitchen, but there is some in the bathroom now! LHUMDILILLA! (Praise God!)

  • Electricity, now that is a blessing, not a right. At the old place we had access to a generator line when the electric was off. We could not use many appliances on generator, but enough to function. We assumed when we were told there was a generator in our building that we would have a similar set up! SILLY AMERICANS! What were we thinking?! Of course, it is not the same! Every part of our city goes without electricity for 3 hours a day. At our new building though, they don’t turn on the generator for the whole period we are without electricity. I am sure there is some reasonable explanation for this, at least that is what I am holding out for. Here is the schedule:

Time without Power

Time with Generator

6 AM – 9 AM

7 AM – 9 AM

9 AM – 12 PM


12 PM – 3 PM

2 PM – 3 PM

3 PM – 6 PM

4 PM – 6 PM

Thankfully so far, we have been able to work around this schedule so that we have not had to walk up 11 flights of stairs to our apartment at a time when there is no electricity. I have only had to walk down 11 flights of stairs 3 times, which is much better!

  • Mysteriously, we had had water appearing in our bathroom floor. We could not figure out where it was coming from, until today. It was coming up from the floor drain! Yes, they clean their floors by squeegee-ing water here, which requires floor drains. We have since poured a product a step above draino, that would never be approved to be sold in America in the drain. The first time we did this though, the water came pouring up out of the drain. I waited 30 minutes, then went back in with a glove and a knife. Can you guess what I found in the drain? No, not hair or gross bathroom things. Rocks, gravel, and a few screws/nails! It is much easier to dig for these things. I can get my whole gloved arm in the drain. But this just felt like I was getting a water sample for earth science class, so I was not grossed out. In fact, I was joyful! For the first time here, we had a problem that I could fix and work to correct, I could not do too much about the water heater except depend on other guy and change my schedule so I could be home 4 times this week for them to come. I will post pictures of the drain finding eventually.

  • There is definitely more of a community feel in this neighbor, except for the school on our street (which has school on Saturdays instead of Fridays, because Friday is the meeting day at the mosques here) and construction across from our building. The vegetable/fruit man across the street from us is very nice. On my third visit there this week (cherries are in season!) he asked where I lived and I pointed and said the name of my building and he responded with, on the 10th floor. He already knew where we lived. Word travels fast here. And it is the community mindset. But he welcomed us and said peace be on my head. He was not creepy at all, just welcoming me to the neighborhood!

I will post pictures of the apartment when we get it ready to be viewed!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fun Videos

Wanted to share some videos to make you laugh, about life here:
She thinks My Camel's Sexy:

Food Here:

Tabbouleh: (finely chopped parsley and tomatoes) All my language teacher can get her girls to eat is tabbouleh and french fries


Hope this makes you laugh!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of Mom, I am posting more pictures of the Beautiful Boardwalk here at Sunset! We may be across the ocean, but we have the same gorgeous sky!

Love you Mom, and Mema and Grandma Sue, and family!

For the Oklahomans, out there!

Some things that I think all the Oklahomans out there will enjoy! (now that I have the fidget, I can see when you all sign on, and there are so many of you, so this one is for you!)

Missin' Tornadoes and Thunderstorms in Oklahoma Springtime
It doesn't rain here during the Spring and when it looks the least cloudy, the Oklahoman in me comes out and I look for the big thunderstorm or tornado. Who knew I would miss those living here? I guess it is the excitement of the storm or how great it is to sleep through the storm. And I hear that you all in Oklahoma have had a lot of rain and storms recently!

Driving 4-Wheelers in the City
So I have seen a couple of four wheelers in the city over the last couple of weeks, alongside all the mopeds here. It is actually, odd to see full-sized motorcycles, cause I have gotten so used to just seeing the mopeds. But to see 4-Wheelers, which remind me of Oklahoma country on these busy city streets was a shock!

Ready for Memorial Day at Lake Tenkiller
Living this close to the beach, but not going to swim in the Sea yet, has been hard. The public beaches are to be avoided here, because of the kind of guys that hang out there. And the private beaches are expensive. Makes ya miss just going to Lake Tenkiller, or the Illinois River for free. For Memorial Day, go out and enjoy the water and grill a steak out for me!