Random Observations Part I

Well things in Abu Dhabi are falling into a routine but we are still working on getting settled. Tyler has been in school for three weeks now. He likes his teacher and has made a few friends. Between the weather and Covid we haven’t ventured out much, other than to the pool, and to one of the many malls to get stuff for the apartment. That being said, I thought I would share just a few random observations that I have made during our first month in Abu Dhabi.

A Story of Betrayal

The lighting in our apartment kitchen is much better than the lighting at our house. This might seem like a very random observation that wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but it is connected to a big shock that I experienced. Our knives have brown handles, not black. These are the Cutco knives that Kim and Steve (Brian’s parents) very generously gave us several years ago. This whole time I thought they were completely black. Don’t get me wrong I hadn’t seen these knives in like five months. That is because I shouldn’t be left alone with knives like these, so I had Brian ship them to Abu Dhabi back in April with his relocation shipment. It took me less than a day to see the Cutco knife set on the kitchen counter and go into complete confusion. Surely Brian didn’t buy a whole new set of knives, but these knives are a dark brown, not black, our knives were black. I feel so betrayed by these knives, or by the lighting in our kitchen back home.

Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums are the entertaining and low maintenance pet that my life has been missing. Each morning I get to do a quick sweep of the apartment to make sure that everything is all prepped for the robot vacuum at 10am. Our robot vacuum is currently having an identity crisis though. Originally Tyler wanted to name it Bob, but then Brian said it had a female voice. We thought of changing it to Bobette. Side rant here, why are all the techy gadgets given female voices? Alexa, Siri, robot vacuums, etc. I am just saying! Anyway, up until we arrived in Abu Dhabi with Bobette, Tyler and I had only spent time with Rosie, one of Dutch and Chuck’s (Brian’s grandparents) robot vacuums. We are constantly calling Bobette Rosie, which can’t be good for its self esteem. I thought maybe we were struggling because Bobette just wasn’t right and thought maybe Dee would be better because on the top it says DeeBot. The jury is still out on this one, but the important thing is that the googly eyes have been order, pictures to come soon.

Oh right, I got so caught up in the robot naming struggle that I forgot about the entertaining part. When Bob/Bobette/Rosie/Dee is done and starts looking for the charging station it is like a drunken person trying to find the bathroom. It cracks me up every single time. I need to try and capture it on video sometime soon.

Short People Problems

Our apartment kitchen has these very modern looking cabinet handles. I have always been more of a function over style kind of person, and these handles are not very functional. I mean they give you something to grab on to so you can open and close the cabinets but there are some down sides. Downside one, because they are long bars that go across the whole bottom or top of the cabinet doors they can damage the things next to them. The refrigerator and the tile on the wall have dents and chips because of these wonderfully modern handles. Downside two, and my biggest issue with the handles, is that they act like some handsy teenage boy. I will be at the sink and when I shift my body to the side the handles grab at my belt loops, pockets, and sometimes even my button. I realize that this isn’t really the handles fault and that it is really my fault for being so short that my pants line up perfectly to be grabbed at, but still. My new strategy is to open the cabinets when I am doing dishes, kind of a time out for handsy cabinet handles.

Apartment Kitchen

Foods and Beverages

If you know me you know that I can be a picky eater and I am not a big fan of trying new foods. I plan on doing my best but don’t expect a lot of food related stuff out of me. Plus, there are so many American chain restaurants here (Chili’s, P.F. Chang’s, Texas Roadhouse, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Blaze, etc.) that it can be hard to step out of my comfort zone. Here are a couple of my experiences so far.

I know not everyone gets excited about salad, but I have had some amazing salads here. They put mint in their salads, and it is just fantastic. McDonald’s has a crunchy fattouch salad that has mint and pomegranate seeds in it, it is delightful. I have never been a big McDonalds fan, but here I am all for it and have had that salad like once a week. There is also a shawarma place that has a Mediterranean salad that has mint in it as well. Mint is just so refreshing and brings me joy, I highly recommend it.

Another big thing here is mojitos, non-alcoholic of course, but still delicious. I have had a watermelon mojito, a strawberry mojito, and a lime mojito so far. I forgot how much I love mint and watermelon juice. Lemon and mint is also a popular drink but I haven’t decided how much I like it. I had Brian get a very small bottle of it so that I could try it without being too wasteful if I don’t like it but I just couldn’t make up my mind about it.

Last week I took a big step and tried something new, xiaolongbao. They are a Chinese steamed bun and are pretty good. I ordered the chicken xiaolongbao and proceeded to eat them in one bite so that I wouldn’t be scared off by what was inside. This place also has a chicken cream corn soup that is really good. That is really the only step out of my comfort zone experience that I have had but it paid off.

Oh the humility, I mean humidity

The weather here during the summer is like nothing I have ever experienced before. When the wind blows in from the desert it is just a hot day, but when it blows in from the ocean it is disgusting. I have never felt so personally attacked by weather until now. I say personally attacked because being a person with poor vision means I wear glasses to be able to see properly, and the humid weather doesn’t think that it is necessary for me to see. When I walk outside on a hot humid day my nice cool glasses COMPLETELY fog over. The only other time my glasses have fully fogged over like this is in 2008 when Brian fogged them up on purpose while we were at the Absolut Ice Bar in Copenhagen. As you can see below, I was not very happy about it then either. I have to wear my glasses on my head, which not only doesn’t help me see, but also stretches them out so they start to slide down my nose like a proper nerd.

Absolut Ice Bar Copenhagen

There have been days that were so hot and humid that the living room windows had condensation on them at 6am. One day at 6:50am when I took Tyler down to the bus it was 90F, but with the 78% humidity it will felt like it is 112F. I am so ready for “Fall”.


  1. You are so descriptive when you write. I can actually see you being attacked by the cabinet handles and weather while watching the drunken robot go back to her charging station!
    Thank you

  2. Love it! I actually had to look up the Cutco knives, don’t think I’ve ever heard of them having brown. And I sure thought yours were black!
    Fun stories-keep them & pictures coming! Love you all❣️

  3. I can see your expression with each bite you take! Maybe you can add a tail to go along with the on “Rosie”. I so enjoy this blog and pics. Thank you for taking the time to fill us in. Love to all of you

  4. We so enjoyed this blog and the pictures. It will take some time to adjust to your brown knives but we know you adapt well. We love, love, love you and look forward to the next blog. You are just so funny. Thanks for making our day.

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