Ramadan Kareem 2015
Ramadan Kareem!

This year, the holy month of Ramadan began June 18th and will end July 17th-ish. Wee Scotch’s last day of Kindergarten this year was also June 18th and he and I had been talking all week prior about how we were going to get burgers after school to celebrate the end of a successful school year.

So after the last day of school, I drove the kids over to a local coffee shop/diner called Mugg and Bean only to find the doors completely locked. I was very perplexed on why the place was closed until I suddenly remembered that Ramadan had commenced and that most food outlets were closed during daylight hours.

So now I had to drag two very hungry kids to the Waitrose next door to do some grocery shopping which was a complete nightmare as LiL Ginger just whined the whole 20 minutes we were food shopping because she wanted to eat and couldn’t understand why I kept dangling all this food in front of her and putting it into the shopping cart instead of letting her have some of it.

Anyway, I raced through the grocery store as fast as I could so that we could get home quickly and make grilled ham and cheddar cheese sandwiches with home-made pickles and Thousand Island sauce – the kids’ current favorite.

And then the weekend came and we took the kids bowling after running a few errands which meant they were cranky and hungry again and of course the on-site restaurant at the bowling center wasn’t open for Ramadan. I had some emergency snacks in my bag but Cheerios and raisins can only hold off the crankiness so much before the kids begin their meltdowns again.

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For the second time in two months Scotch and I have been gifted more cucumbers than we know what to do with. I’m talking kilos and kilos of the stuff. Thanks to a generous work client who owns a farm in the neighboring Sultanate of Oman (he periodically drives to Dubai to distribute his produce to friends).

Cucumbers in our house usually end up rotting into a slimy mess at the bottom of our produce drawer. Staring at the boxes and boxes of cucumbers (as well as tomatoes and green peppers!) and trying to think of what to do with them reminds me of Bubba from Forest Gump and the many ways he can imagine preparing shrimp:

“You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich.”

Except I’ve got cucumbers so my list looks more like this:

Cucumber gin and tonics, cucumber martinis, cucumber stir-fry (yes!), cucumber gazpacho, cucumber sandwiches, cucumber salad, cucumber pickles – hells yeah!

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Cabin Fever:  A type of hysteria brought on by spending too much time indoors. (Source: Urban Dictionary.)

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I walked outside my villa yesterday at 6:30am as I do every weekday to walk Wee Scotch to his school pus pickup. Within minutes, I was already dripping with sweat from the mugginess.

From April/May to about October in Dubai, when going to the park or beach becomes too unbearable for us adults (the kids couldn’t care less about the heat and 100% humidity), time to move the physical activities inside.  It’s easy to just plop the kids in front of the TV but then cabin fever eventually sets in and the ensuing hysteria is usually not pretty for all involved and usually ends in shouting (me) and crying (kids) then extreme guilt (me).

So each weekend, Scotch and I (mostly Scotch) try to find a different indoor activity to take the kids – somewhere that lets them expend their seemingly unlimited amounts of energy. Somewhere that’s not a softplay area like MiniMonsters or Cheeky Monkeys (which are great but more of a mid-week thing for us) but where they can practice and learn a new skill. At some of these activities, LiL Ginger (not 2 years old yet) only gets to watch but she’s keen to do anything she sees her big brother doing. Including skateboard.

Here are seven indoor activities that are ideal for kids during the hot summer weather:

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Fried Sweet Potatoes and Bananas

Fried Sweet Potatoes and Bananas

“Where in the world of Dubai do you buy your Thai groceries? Specifically Thai basil?”

That was the question I posed last week to the first Thai person that I had met in Dubai after living here seven years.

And so I learned that every Saturday, at the Royal Thai consulate in Dubai, a lady sets up a stand to sell Thai vegetables grown in her own garden.

I had so many questions for my new Thai friend:

-Can outsiders just walk in and buy these veggies?

-Will it be a problem that I don’t speak Thai?

-What time should I go?

-Are you sure it will be there next Saturday because I really want to check it out?!

And so this past Saturday, joined by Sally @ My Custard Pie, Little Ginger and I ventured into the Royal Thai Consulate in Umm Sequim hopeful for a glimpse of this market.

And we did indeed find it! Just past the security hut, under the car shades with the consulate villa in the background, we strolled into a mini Thai alfresco market.

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Once Upon

March 15, 2015
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Once upon a time there was a girl. A girl who packed up all her belongings, or at least those belongings that she didn’t leave in her parent’s basement, and followed her newlywed husband across an ocean and over continents where together they embarked on new adventures in the land of sand called Dubai. This girl started […]

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Sri Lanka 2014 – Day 5 (Galle and Cooking Class)

September 16, 2014
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I had really hoped to get this post finished in April when we were in Sri Lanka but here we are in September! We spent our last full day in Sri Lanka by traveling to Galle Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I also participated in a Sri Lankan cooking class which was amazing […]

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Sri Lanka 2014 – Day 4 (Scuba Diving by Hikkaduwa)

April 22, 2014
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  The thunderstorm the night before was soothing to sleep through but of course with my luck had to occur right before my scuba diving day. Storms usually means decreased visibility underwater due to the bottom sand being stirred up from the rough surf. From our hotel in Balapitiya, it was a 30-minute drive to […]

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Sri Lanka 2014 – Day 3 (Pool Day)

April 8, 2014
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Today we woke up to yet another picture perfect morning. Scotch and I had originally planned on heading out to Old Galle for a day trip and check out the fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But Wee Scorch threw one tantrum after another practically from the moment he woke up so we […]

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