The Camel of the day

I was asked the other week if I ride on a camel when I go to work (thanks for the interesting question John – who is a fellow Swede that has a cool photo blog).

The answer is Yes.

No, it’s not. I’m not a Bedouin! Wake up!

But I do occasionally drive passed them and when I lived in Doha, Qatar, it happened more often. The national guard used to exercise their camels around 730 in the morning along the road I took to work.

Driving in Doha was a totally different dimension compared to driving in Dubai. Every roundabout felt like a life or death challenge. When you tried to enter, the cars in the roundabout speeded up to ensure you would feel the threat. Because everyone thought they owned the road. It’s MY roundabout, NO it’s MINE. The best advice I got during the road safety training my company provided, to ensure the expats would live longer than two weeks after entering the country, I got the best advice that I still live by: assume everyone is an idiot.

Funnily enough that’s how my dad raised me when I hesitated if I could do something in school or in my career. “If that idiot can do it, so can you”.

Thanks dad. Always so humble.

During the day the traffic could also suddenly come to a halt. Not because of road work or accidents but because the camels needed to use the street. You don’t mess with camels. They are worth thousands. If you hit a camel with your car, you are in deep s#it. Penalties are not low.

I don’t usually don’t do a duck face in pictures but when I do, I do it with a camel. Really, it should be called camel face. Ducks ain’t got nuffin on the camels.

When visiting any of the Middle Eastern countries, don’t forget to go to a camel race. Very different and entertaining.

Don’t bend over to read the sign

It’s been a long week at work and luckily it’s Thursday today which means last working day before the weekend. Yeay! Here in the The Middle East our weekends are Friday and Saturday and the week starts again on Sundays. I know, confusing. Took me years to get my head around it and for my body to understand why the hell I went to the office on a Sunday.

Im working on mega construction projects. In Dubai nothing is done small. Before the actual construction stage there is a lot of reviews of documents and designs. One thing I do enjoy are planning signage on new roads but it’s tricky. It needs to be simple yet straight to the point.

I can’t help but feel sorry for Kansas City. Signage can be hurtful. And I’m wondering if they learnt from their mistakes the hard way… (people in Kansas are walking weirdly this week…)

Somehow I want to send this to our chief designers to get the point through. Reviews are important. On the other hand our compliance team wouldn’t agree with me.

As usual.

Please hold my bra while I get on with my evening

After dinner my husband was on his way upstairs to put out little daughter to bed. I suddenly had an urge…

ME: Oh wait! Can you please bring my bra upstairs!

I take it off and throw it at him.

ME: CATCH!

HUSBAND: Great, thanks?

ME: Nice catch. Why so shocked?

HUSBAND: No, nothing. Nothing surprises me.

ME: You should just be happy it wasn’t a tampon.

HUSBAND: As I said, nothing would surprise me.

Good thing I’m cute.

Living in the desert is greener than you think

When I mention that I live in the Middle East people tend to think that I live in a sandpit, in a desert. Which is not wrong. We are surrounded by sand and we get reminded if we just drive a few minutes out of the main cities. Once outside of Dubai the sand dunes starts growing and we can definitely see that we are in fact in the desert. We also get our fair share of sandstorms that makes us chew sand for days.

But there is another side to the Middle East that a lot of people haven’t discovered yet and it’s the amazing cities like Abu Dhabi, Dubai in United Arab Emirates, Doha in Qatar, Muscat in Oman and Manama in Bahrain. Yes, a LOT of effort and water have to be managed in order to keep these cities green. Sustainable (and unsustainable) options are being looked in to to ensure they stay this way as well.

Below my dog is having a morning zen moment, enjoying the view and the quietness. Well, until another dog came that she tried to kill in order to protect her family.

She also has a love for jumping in to hedges and stay there.

Our area is surrounded by several man made lakes and greenery to make sure that we think we don’t live in the desert. It works pretty well up until this time of year when the heat are coming and it’s getting tough to be outside. Mornings and evenings are still nice. 7 am is about 26 degrees (80 Fahrenheit). Deodorant is turning in to an item that goes with you and on you everywhere. We sweat more than sauna lovers. At least that’s something that makes me feel right at home, as a Scandinavian.

How do you like your M&Ms?

The other morning my husband got out of bed and when he stood up I saw that he had an empty (unfortunately) bag of M&Ms stuck to his butt cheek. Can the day start any better than that? He never looked more beautiful.

It was quiet a sight seeing something semi hairy standing up and while walking away from the bed trying to make sense of what was making a strange noice while moving. He took a step, looked behind him, took another step, looked behind him on the other side. It was almost as entertaining as watching a dog chase it’s tail. You just sit there and enjoy being the smartest one in the room. For once.

Who ate the chocolate in bed and why the paper was on his side of the bed is not interesting. No need to be pointing fingers.

To Recycle or To Reconsider ?

A friend of mine kindly send me these pictures and now I can’t sleep. Which is good considering I’m going to work.

A Facebook group called “Recycle, Reuse, Restore” posted the brilliant idea of how to use old dolls as indoor plant accessory instead of throwing them away when your kids don’t want them anymore.

All I here is Sting “…every step you take, every breath you make, I’ll be watching you…”

The poop diaries and a weekend stroll

* Public service announcement for sensitive people. This post contains poop. If you are eating, please continue to read *

Ignore that. It was me being mean. The poop part is true though. I therefore put in a nice picture of flower. To start of positive. You can stop reading now and enjoy your day. If you are feeling brave. Please continue.

One of the exciting new things that you get to experience as a new parent is the presence of poop. Discussions of poop. And smelling of poop. Before I had children I would wonder about the obsession from parents about this subject and the extremely annoying smelling of the babies butt.

Without giving away too many details, this is now my reality. Yesterday during a barbecue my husband smelled my daughters butt about five times during two minutes. Just to make sure. Was there something? Maybe. Maybe not? But I’m sure I smelled something. Or was it just a fart? It was like a freakin wine tasting with a twist.

To add to my life of poop, I adopted a rescue dog from the streets of Dubai. Well, I found her under a car, shaking like a little leaf, is more like the truth. After a few days she decided to come out. I saw she had a heart shape pattern on her forehead and decided she was mine. That’s adoption. I think.

This morning when I was walking with my baby in the stroller. Who just had a change of pajama as she needed to poop all over herself just before we left the house for the walk. My dog suddenly decided to squat down doggie style right outside a huge mansion with a design of absolutely – nothing – except – gold – is – good – as a drive way theme. Yeah, it’s a Dubai thing. Believe me, you can find anything here. A house a few streets down has a water slide from the first floor down to the pool. Now that’s a quick wake up for you folks (I decided it’s a bedroom next to the start of the slide).

My dear dog decided to do an impressive pile of yellow diarrhea right on the drive way, just at the same time as I noticed I didn’t have any poop bags with me. I had to take a small ziplock bag which I had a sandwich in, remove the content and stick my hand in. The bag was too small for my hand. The poop was not solid enough to stay in the bag. Everything was becoming a mess and I was trying my best to turn the bag inside out, it all ended up on my hand. I made a noice. I think it’s the same noice people do before they die. And left my child and dog standing looking at me, I ran for the closest garbage bin and got rid of the bag. I saw a trail of poop had followed me the whole way. If I would faint someone would be able to follow the trace to a beaten human being. Beaten by poop.

We left the crime scene even messier than I found it. There was nothing I could do. I noticed the smell was still there and I looked down and saw that the handle of the dogs leash was still covered in poo from my hand and it was now all over the stroller as well. I took out all 500 wipes and started cleaning. After a package of wipes I was defeated. The smell had to stay. We walked home.

And the time was 650 am. Another great day has started.

The guilty one. Don’t believe her innocent eyes. She can poop like a whole zoo.