Ellen's Blog

From Dubai to Kazakhstan

Good Memories

Our House in Dubai

Our house in Dubai...... Good Memories!!

Dogs go to a dentist?

Living in the Middle East has its perks! One of them is the live- in maid! OK, we had one that invited all friends around for a feast in my garden, eating my food and drinking my wine – while I was working! I had one who sold the key to organized crime while we were on home leave – so we found the house completely stripped on our return. But in general it is nice to have someone who does the dirty jobs you don’t want to do: I felt like I had a wife – fantastic!

The lady who works for me now is a gem. Always happy, always willing, a brain and common sense! That she did not speak English in the beginning was a hurdle I was willing to take. With hands, feet, a little French and even less Arabic we managed to communicate! She is from Ethiopia – from a very poor area. So I am sure she has moments when she wonders about our life style, the food we eat, the ironed sheets, the home-made food for our dogs that her family back home can only dream off.

I thought this morning was a hectic one for me, I almost felt sorry for myself. One of the dogs needed a check-up for an ear infection and while I was there the vet advised me to make a new appointment for a teeth cleaning – and so I did.

Were you ever in a waiting room full of cats and dogs with a dog who even barks at a fly? So I came home sweaty, my hair up, a black T-shirt full of blond labrador hair, new ear drops and an invoice for  xxxxx dirhams! My Gem understood what was needed and the coffee machine started making the lovely noises of fresh espresso to come. I explained to the Gem my misery was not over yet, very soon I had to go back to see the dog dentist…… The Gem looked at me with the face that tells all …. and I was ashamed, very ashamed!!!

Hello world!

I agree – we have facebook, twitter, hyves and still I just wanted a site of my own. Being Dutch it had to be free as well. Apologies for mistakes – I am the kind of person who just starts something and only when desperate looks for manuals/instructions.

So, WELCOME to ellenonthemove!!! My expat life took me around the world. From New Zealand to USA to Scotland and after 10 years in Dubai it is now time for a new adventure! We are supposed to move to The Netherlands for 1 – 2 years and then move on to Kazakhstan. Supposed to? Well….. yes. In my life you just never know!!! Most people are excited for me – they assume I am going HOME. Got news for you: I haven’t lived there for 30 years and feel it will be  just as difficult as for other nationalities to move there – maybe even more so – everyone expects you to know everything. Not looking forward to climate, traffic and aggressive lifestyle that comes with too many people on one square meter and leaving a child behind. But I will concentrate on the lovely food, the dark evenings with open fires and hot chocolate, closer to the kids in London and hopefully finally places where our dogs can run around freely. Optimistic? Definitely! I will just make it work!

After struggling for years to read, write and mumble Arabic it is now time to focus on Kazakh! And with pleasure – looking forward to it. Anyone living in Kazakhstan who can give me advice – anything is welcome – would love to hear from you! Anyone who went back to Holland after a long time and needed to settle in again – just let me know what was helpful.