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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going to hell…

Jon and I are straight up assholes.  We have tried to be good during this pregnancy so we wouldn’t put our bad karma on our unborn child, but something came over us this weekend.  As we “got our tourist on”, we couldn’t help but enjoy and judge a few wardrobe choices that we came across.  Most of these pictures were taken while Jon and I were waiting for our bus outside of the Dubai Museum…. We were literally there for only 15 minutes, so you can imagine what we saw but didn’t take pictures of throughout the day!

Socks and Sandals… this one is for you Adam Winkler!  I don’t know why people wear socks and sandals together…. It defeats the purpose!  Sandals are meant to let your toes be free, allow your footsies to breathe, get some color and experience the world… now add socks and you might as well put shoes on.   If this post is offensive to you, you might want to rethink your footwear choices!

Hammer don’t hurt em’… apparently MC Hammer pants are all the rage in Eastern Europe.  They did make a comeback at New York Fashion week a few years back.  Fashion does have a trickledown effect from high end to ready to wear, but I don’t think that this is what the world famous designers had in mind when bringing back the sag and bag pants… I mean it looks like they had an accident in their pants, gross!

Capri’s on men…  I know it is a European thing again, but it makes me wonder if this guy's pants just shrunk or if his laundry accidentally got mixed up with his severely short, overweight roommate’s clothes! 

And just for fun here is an awesome mullet and one crazy German guy!

Like I said, jon and I are assholes and we get our kicks from making fun of absolute strangers.   We have accepted the fact that we are going to hell… we are just trying to decide who will drive the bus!
Until Later…

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tourists… minus the fanny packs!

With only 4 weeks until I pop this bun out of the oven, Jon and I figured we needed to get our tourist on (or at least while I can still walk around without my feet turning into sausages).   Since we aren’t Dubai savvy yet we decided to ride along with the Big Bus Tour.  We chose to follow their old line and see the original Dubai and not the new malls and attractions that have popped up in the last 10 years.  I’ll only share a little of what we saw… hope you enjoy!

Dubai Creek- this creek leads right up to the mouth of the ocean and was the “lifeline” to Dubai.  It is still a main passage way for imported and exported goods.  There are traditional Dhow boats up and down the creek, unloading and loading goods all day long that came from and are going to places like India, Africa, Europe and China.  The boats are very traditional and a majority are still made from wood… it is amazing how many are along the creek’s edges!

oh... and there are a bunch of yachts everywhere too!

Water Taxis-  it is much faster and cheaper (only 1 Dirham, like 30 US cents) to take the water taxis across the creek then to get a traditional taxi service around the creek.  They are mainly filled with workers making their way from work to home but there is the occasional tourist mixed in to the crowd.  Make sure you have your Dirham in hand after you sit down or the taxi driver will hit the bench and start yelling at you… thank goodness Jon was prepared!

Lunch- We went off the beaten path to try and find some yummy food and we were successful!   I have been apprehensive to try food from tiny local restaurants since I am prego and dealing with a tummy issue would not be fun.  However, when we walked into this Indian/Pakistani place there was a huge sign that said, “Clean and Hygienic” so I figured, if they say so it must be true, right?!?  I don’t think they get many white people off the streets but it did not disappoint.  We ordered Chicken Handi and Vegetable noodles…  we asked for the chicken to be spicy… and you guessed it… the waiter asked, "are you sure" and then proceeded to come back to the table on two separate occasions to ask if we wanted normal or spicy chicken… too funny!  These types of local places rock because Jon and I ate for like $12 and we needed a freaking wheelbarrow to leave the restaurant!

Notice the silverware to the left on the table that they bring all white people to eat with.  Too bad Jon and I were super authentic and only used the naan!  

Spice Souq- we didn’t look long, just walked through but it smelled amazing and the shop owners were harassing but hilarious!  I was told to say that I lived in Dubai when asked where I was from… I did that but they pushed and Jon told some shop guys we were from the States and they stated saying, “oh, what’s up Dude?!? Want some spices, Dude? Come on Dude!”  very very funny!

Gold Souq-  There are streets and streets filled with jewelry shops.  The closest thing I have ever experienced to it is the Diamond District of New York City… but I will not mention who owns those shops or my blog might be censored!  There is a lot of tacky, gaudy, outrageous and ugly pieces of jewelry everywhere… but there are some very nice, classy, simple pieces mixed in.  Jon and I spent a while walking up and down the streets, window shopping and trying to find something that caught our fancy… or should I say my fancy!  Totally found a ring I loved but I’ll save that story for another post.   Let’s just say you have to be ready to haggle…

Our day ended with the most uncomfortable situation ever!  We had to wait about 15-20 minutes for the bus to pick us up from the last stop of our tour.  So, Jon and I went to a little shop to get some fresh juice.  Here is the place and I was sitting at one of the tables to the right.

It serves me right… I knew not to wear shortish shorts since we were going to a traditional part of Dubai… but man, I am prego and I don’t fit into my normal clothes and they don’t sell maternity shorts over here even though it is like 100 degrees outside…  so, I said screw it and wore my shorts anyways.  Well, Jon walked inside the shop to get us something to drink and I was sitting outside by myself… not a wise choice.  All the Pakistani and Indian men would just stare at my legs and hit their friends to look at me.  I even had an old Emirati man walk up to me, stop, shake his head and scoff.  Yall know me… I don’t own hoochie clothes so just image what they would say walking around the states!   I took the chair next to me, turned it around and tried to make a barricade between my whorish legs and the Middle Eastern world.  Needless to say, when Jon got back we sucked our drinks down and skedaddled!  It was good timing too because a sand storm started to roll through.
Notice how you can't see the sun... and it was 4pm.

and After!

All in all, we learned a lot, ate a lot, walked a lot and totally enjoyed our day of being Tourists!

Until later….

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I married a 12 year old…

Jon and I are sports people… I was raised in a sports family and Jon has been a gym rat his entire life.  We have both played countless sports throughout our lives, but we both narrowed it down to basketball.  I guess basketball played a part in allowing our relationship to grow at Southwestern.   And it allows us to get some of our competitive nature out without directing it towards each other… trust me it is not a good thing when jon and I get competitive with each other…  in fact we are no long allowed to play HORSE against one another!

Needless to say March is always an exciting and high energy time in our house.  Jon’s obsession has calmed down through the years though.  When I first met him he would fill out like 8 brackets and each had a different name; the real bracket, the Arizona bracket, the underdog bracket, the if hell freezes over bracket… I never understood/will never understand having more than maybe two brackets….I just don’t see the point.  He would miss classes and stay up late in college and watch every game.  He would have his multiple brackets laid out over his coffee table, sitting on the edge of the couch waiting for the game’s outcome.  After college, without stadium seating in the Fraternity key Club to enjoy the games and brotherhood, Jon and his buddies started to fly to Vegas for the ultimate start to March madness.  Hell, Jon and his best friend Jack even had a joint Bachelor party in Vegas to kick off March Madness… even though both jon and jack were not getting married until June and August… but it was a good excuse in their eyes!  Over the years Jon’s obsession has backed down a smidge.  He has cut back and only has two brackets this year which I am very impressed by, so I guess the 12 steps are working! 
Being from Austin, I bleed orange… maybe I didn’t go to UT but my childhood is wrapped up in Longhorn sports and tradition.  Jon on the other hand spent a significant amount of his early and late childhood in Tucson. .. needless to say he is a wildcat thru and thru.  In fact he had an Arizona Wildcat themed pillow that always had a presence on his couch in college that I finally got him to give away before moving to Dubai… gross I know!  Jon now secretly owns more burnt orange than wildcat red and blue… I am slowly converting him!  Anyways, there was more than normal trash talk going on in our house before the UT/AZ game this past weekend.  All that being said, March Madness has and will be a little different this year.  Obviously our nights and days are backwards from the States.  There is a 9 hour difference between here and there right now thanks to daylight savings.  Well, March madness is making for an interesting schedule in the Cumberworth house.  We decided that since the game came on at 3am here that we would look at the game highlights when we woke up… fair right?  This was a happy compromise because we both got to sleep and see the most important plays of the game in the morning together.  However, I woke up to this at 4am…

Jon had set his IPhone to send him close game alerts if there were games that came down to the wire, and then he turned his volume all the way up.  As we all know… blerp, close game alert… and Jon grabs his phone, reads the screen and starts to fist pump!  Some of you might know that I am not the most alert or happiest camper if I get woken up from sleep (which will have to change soon I know!).  Anyways, I realize something was going on from the glow of a phone coming from beside me so, without rolling over, I say to him, “you can turn on the volume.” And jon replies with a joyous, “THANK YOU!”  He proceeds to give me play by play commentary while in my groggy state I was still trying to figure out what was going on without falling back asleep.  We all know what happened and how UT got robbed with a bogus five second count… if you call a timeout while the hand of the ref is barely heading down on the fifth count it isn’t 5 seconds, it is a freaking timeout!  But I digress.  If you know Jon at all you know he jumped up in bed and started shouting, “Yeah baby… Arizona, woaw woaw woaw!”   Like any 12 year old, it took a while to finally get him to turn off his phone and lay back down from all the excitement. 

As I started to drift back off to sleep he would say, “wow that was a good ending” and “AZ is going to take on Duke… hell yes!” and the occasional “woaw woaw woaw.”  These next few weekends are going to be interesting… better get the coffee timer set @ 4am so I will not be angry this time around since I know he will inevitably wake me up!  I thought we had made progress with the 12 step program but, obviously I need to take away his 1 year chip and get him started with meetings again! 
Until later…

Side note from the desk of Jonathan E. Cumberworth:
As Lute Olsen would say, the game is never decided on just one play.  WOAW WOAW WOAW!  It was actually very funny to see the Facebook posts of joy from my friends from Tucson mixed in with the threats of suicide from the gung ho Longhorn Fans. 
I do feel somewhat inadequate this year when it comes to spitting out the useless knowledge of how many points a game a 19 year old kid from the Bronx typically scores when he gets between 7.4 and 9.1 rebounds against a team seeded 15th -20th. They don’t televise anything here other than golf, cricket or news about Formula 1 racing, so I rely on Slingbox and the beautiful CBS Sports I-phone app for my real sports fix. 
I would give anything to have some mediocre wings and huge beers at B-Triple W’s while watching the Sweet 16. So if you can, please have some for me and watch the Cats knock out the Dukies!  Going to bed early so I can throw back a few hot ones in the morning (coffee) during the game.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stevie and some Mexican!!!

So, I might have had a little pregnancy breakdown last weekend.   I have been pretty even-keeled throughout this pregnancy.  What am I talking about?  I have been a mother f-ing trooper!  My husband moved away right after my first trimester, I continued to teach and then had to quit my job (which sucked).  Then add to that dealing with moving across the world, closing accounts, selling a car, renting our house, yada yada blah blah. 
This is how I felt... BUT

I have had no breakdowns, meltdowns, freak outs….  The only repercussion of this stress has been a rash that formed on my hands.  However, last weekend, after spending the entire week in the house (my car hadn’t arrived yet) and it appeared Jon and I were going to spend the weekend in the house doing chores/work.  Well, I had a quiet meltdown and found myself on the balcony crying at the thought of spending another day trapped in this house and not wanting to make  my hard working husband feel bad.   You can only imagine how crappy Jon felt when he found me sitting on the balcony with soggy eyes.  He was in husband shock!  We saw things differently… I saw the clock ticking down on days that I have left to enjoy Dubai and the UAE with just my husband and he saw the amount of things still left to get done at the house.  We had different things at the top of our lists and different hormones, BUT being the amazing husband that Jon is he promised me that he would never let me feel that way again.

Flash forward one week, I get a phone call from jon and we small talk for a minute and then I said “what’s up… “ and Jon replied with “nothing… I just called to say I love you.... oh and we are going to see Stevie Wonder tomorrow night!!!!”  Some back ground info on this, Stevie is one of my favorite artists.  I mean he was eleven years old when he signed with Motown Records!  Anyways, Jon and I spent a good part of our relationship after college in different cities and we had to rely on our phone conversations to maintain our relationship.  These calls always started with “I just called to say I love you.”  Skip forward to our wedding and you would see Jon and I dancing our first dance as Husband and Wife to Stevie’s I just called to say I love you.  So needless to say I was beyond floored to see one of my favorites in concert.

The day started with a 3 mile walk with jon and our boys... Then we lounged by the pool and I got my first sunburn of the season (sorry mom)… but it feels awesome! Then we got ready and headed to Abu Dhabi for the evening.  Jon found a Mexican food restaurant near the venue for us to try and he was excited because they served alcohol.  You can only be served alcoholic drinks in restaurants or bars that are attached to Hotels… so needless to say he found a Mexican food restaurant that was attached so he could get a margarita (and I could stare at the margarita.)   ……..

How much longer until I can have one of those again?

In my experience, you can always tell a good Mexican food place by the chips and hot sauce (or salsa to those of you not from Austin) and I was worried by theirs.  I would describe it as ketchup with a little kick but Jon was hungry and devoured it. 

Taking a hint from the hot sauce and all the food I have had here thus far, I asked for a side of peppers or something spicy with my meal.  The waiter just looked at me and said that they had a paste, but it is too hot for me (I guess he meant a white American lady)… but I said bring it on!  He literally thought I was a crazy!  Our meals came out and I ate the hell out of that spicy stuff.  It made me sweat, my face turned red, and my nose was running, but I was so happy to have some spice in my life again!  The waiter came by to check on me and looked at me like I was bananas for finishing half of the bowl he brought out but I smiled and thought… dude, I grew up in Texas with a dad, brother and sister that ate straight spiciness… I can totally handle your paste!

After the yummy dinner we headed off to the concert... Leighton's FIRST concert.  It was held at a fairly large outdoor venue next to Ferrari World.  We got there and had to wait a little over an hour for Stevie to take the stage, but it was totally worth it.  Stevie and his band played for THREE HOURS!!!  It was just a giant jam session.  He is a musical genius and surrounds himself with other musicians that are right up there with his abilities!  I must say though that I have never been asked to sing more at a concert by an artist that I have paid to hear.  He basically had the audience start every song off for him and then he would just start going when we stopped.  He is also hilarious… he made joke after joke... three blind jokes, one inappropriate one about having been in tighter places and countless others.  I think he might have a case of the ADD though.  He would start a song, tell his band to stop, start telling a story about something that had come into his head, change his keyboard to have the sound he wanted and then tell his band to follow along if they could catch on.  He played “new” stuff, the classics, things he has never even recorded, songs by chuck berry, then ended by jamming on some drums for 5 minutes on his way off the stage… I will say it again, he is a musical genius!  And the concert was made even better by the German guy next to me, in a hard rock cafe shirt and sweater wrapped high around his waist, belting out every word... he was hilarious!

Needless to say the feel from last weekend to this weekend has changed a smidge.  I credit that to my amazing husband! He saw a problem and fixed it and now he has one happy pregnant wife that is on a Stevie Wonder high!
34+ weeks down... start the countdown!
Until later…

Sunday, March 13, 2011

When it rains, it pours cold water!

No no, I am not talking about actual rain.  Apparently I have to wait until next January to see any significant wet stuff, I do live in the desert remember.  No, I am talking about our little house.  Apparently, Jon and I decided to move into this home when everything was deciding to break.  We have had 3 of our 4 AC units completely stop working.  2 of the 3 are now working but the hole they cut in the ceiling to fix them still needs to be taped, textured and painted after 19+ complete hours of work.  Our gas  was out for a while, our pool was not filtering itself, our water went out and then we couldn’t figure out how to use the motor to turn it back on, and now all the upstairs plugs are currently not working to name a few things.  I have learned through past experience to never ask “what can happen next?”  Let me explain.

 One summer, when I was in middle school, one of my brothers had just had jaw reconstruction surgery and my other brother had just had emergency surgery from being hit by a car on the beach.  Needless to say, our house was sort of a medical ward.  My grandparents were in town to help with the chaos.  Soon after their arrival our electricity went out in the house and so did the AC, which did not work with two boys a few days post op.  My mom and I went around the house looking for candles to light as my Nana fanned one of my brothers to keep him cool.  The phone rings and it was our church’s youth minister checking in on all of us… as my mom tries to explain to him that we were fine, just a little out of sorts, my Nana turns to my mom and says jokingly, “what else can happen to you kids.” And no joke a few seconds later lightening literally hits right behind our house and starts a fire in the woods…. Hoses are pulled out and 911 is called but a short time later, minutes before the fire would have reached our backyard it began to rain!  I think the powers that be felt sorry for our family… so needless to say, that phrase is no longer said in Mueller households! 
Well, I almost hit my limit over the last few days and the phrase almost slipped out of my lips.   Our water heaters… all three of them in the house, are no longer working.  This means no hot water to wash dishes as I have been heating water on the stove and hand washing everything.  That also means no hot water when taking showers.  I was okay with this for the first few days… I have mastered the art of a three minute shower.  However, I had to finally cave and wash my hair last night.  Just thinking about having to do it in the shower made me want to cry or draw up divorce papers to give Jon for making me move into this house.   To be a little less dramatic I started to think of alternatives.  Our sink is really low in our bathroom and I didn’t want to bend over for 5 -10 minutes as I wash out all the soap and conditioner… so on to option 2. 
Hygiene is very important in the Muslim world.  You must wash before all five prayers during the day.  Also, every public restroom has what I used to call a ”kitchen sprayer” next to the toilet but now refer to as a “hiney hose” in lieu of a bidet.  All houses come equipped with both a bidet and a hiney hose in all full baths.  Needless to say this was my next plan of action.  I am telling this story to you all as my friends… so no judging here people!  Jon and I first cleaned the bidet and hiney hose then I assumed the position of sitting my 33 week pregnant self on the toilet with my head bent down into the bidet to wet my head with the hiney hose… no I am not kidding… this really happened last night!  I proceeded to wash my hair while Jon made jokes about me wanting a spa day and all he could give me was a bidet… we did a lot of laughing!  He also wanted to take a picture of my situation to share with y’all but I reminded him of the divorce papers.  A little bit later, hair was clean, crisis was averted and few calories were burnt from laughing.  The workers should be here to fix the problem today… everyone please cross your fingers that they can complete this project in less than 24 hours! 
Salon de Cumberworth

I will leave yall today with this little tidbit from jon last night… while we were brushing our teeth he walked up behind me and smelled my hair and said “wow, your hair smells really nice… I thought it was going to smell like $hit.”  I need to get those divorce papers in hand so I can waive them in his face next time ;0)
Until later…