Yay! I'm back online. It's incredibly slow though but I've been told it will get faster once we are properly registered with the exchange??! Sounds like a load of guff to me but I'm already getting used to Dubai's funny little ways - one of which is to tell people what they want to hear, even if it's a blatant and ridiculous lie, in order to get them to go away and so leave the shameless fibber to get back to picking their nose or whatever it was they were doing before the customer showed up with outrageous demands for delivery of the service they'd paid for.
But apart from this funny little quirk (and some others, all will come out sooner or later) I'm loving it here. The house is almost together, Ikea turned up at the weekend with my bookshelves (meaning I was able to unpack the last of the boxes - a special moment) and the sun is shining (as always, will I ever get sick of this??!) - all is well. The Small(er) One also finally has a school place, starting after Easter, and I think we have a maid starting at the end of the month - I say I think because the language barrier leaves everything open to misinterpretation... which sometimes has it's funny side and sometimes is just plain annoying (and yes, having a maid does sound incredibly swanky and 'what credit crunch?' but I assure you, I haven't turned into Imelda Marcos...it's much, much cheaper than the cost of a part-time nanny in London...)
Anyway, the best bit is definitely the house. We've never had so much space, the kids are running wild in the garden and they have a bedroom the size of a 5-a-side football pitch. It's all a far cry from our tiny flat in London, where the Small(er) One had to sleep on a cot mattress on the floor because we couldn't fit two full-size beds into their tiny bedroom...
So I'm feeling quite lucky right now, more relaxed than I've been in years and very happy indeed.
You decribed the dire economic straits taking place in NYC right now. It's happening here too, nothing that has touched us as yet (although we're never particularly profligate anyway, so I can't say that I'm cutting back my designer clothing habit or sacking my live-in beautician). Lots of expats are leaving Dubai, particularly those working in real estate and similar, evidenced by the numerous 'everything must go - leaving Dubai in a hurry' ads cropping up on the supermarket noticeboards right now; a month ago there were a few of these types of ads on the noticeboards, now they're overlapping each other, getting rid of everything from brand new cars and white goods to furniture and pets. It's nothing like NYC or London though, at least, not yet...
Speak soon, got to zzzzzzz. K xxx