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Month: January, 2017

Cheese and change

Cheeses, still eating many different types.

I’ve learned that soft goat cheese goes really well with spinach.

I love mozzarella and tomato salad, adding some basil makes it perfect.

I learned that taking the cheese out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating will improve the taste tremendously.

I’ve learned…
I’ve changed…

A few years ago I blogged that I would not return to Dubai Mall, that I did not like Moroccan baths. I did not like fish, I’d never eaten duck. Because I had never done it I didn’t like it, but I also didn’t know it.

Now I shop at the mall weekly, I love being scrubbed by a Moroccan lady in a steam filled room and I argue with fish sellers about the freshness of the fish based on the color or the eyes and gills. I’ve ordered duck at a Chinese restaurant and will be cooking one for the first time this weekend.

Many things I use to think are weird or unapproachable are now part of my norm.

Never say never.



After a lot of searching we found a lovely, though very large, apartment 40minutes outside Dubai in a place called Ras Al Khaimah (RAK). We’ve only been here once and it’s more of a village than a city, much more traditional. The place is smaller, the prices are lower and the culture is stronger.

It was sad to leave Dubai in a way, but I guess that’s good. How horrid would it be to leave a place after living there for four years and not feel sad? I packed for Denmark, while I was still able to locate all my clothes, put most of my cupboards contents into 2 suitcases and left the rest for the movers.

The day of the move was as my one Indian friend put it “tedious”, but by 8pm on 26 December we were in the new apartment, almost forgetting about holidays and Christmas and all of it. 27 December I was up by 5am and unpacking like craze, 8 hours later I had a room well, something resembling a room and the bathroom boxes had been located. Score!

I had been pleasantly surprised the previous evening when one of the movers called me to the front door, the neighbors had come to say hi and introduce themselves. This was a very different building culture than the one we had lived in in Dubai, there I knew of the neighbors, but we never truly spoke…

Packing up in South Africa had been a mission, going through the accumulated things of 20years in a large house had taken so much time. Our Dubai home had been rather small, in a cozy way, there just wasn’t space (or time) to hoard up that much stuff. I threw out some obsolete things, but most of my belongings came with me.

Yesterday was New Year’s Eve. The strange things was that the whole country around me was still working and shopping and moving on, even on Christmas day everything kept going. I’m living in a Muslim country… Anyway, we bought a stove and I was waiting for it to be delivered, so when I opened the door to find a man with a strong Scottish accent standing there I was rather surprised. He was inviting me and Mum to an open house to celebrate the New Year. He was our downstairs neighbor (p.s. the stove has not arrived yet).

We arrived at their apartment and the door was opened by the same man, now wearing a kilt, accompanied by his wife wearing a tinsel Alice band saying Happy New Year on it. Later all the guests were given some of these. It was a nice evening.

Our Dubai apartment had provided the laundry machine, the dishwasher and the stove. These at least the laundry machine and the stove were priorities in the new apartment. I had prepared food, bought some microwavable boxes and packed to frozen take-aways to take us through the first week, which turned out to be a brilliant idea. I forgot how tired moving makes me.

Yesterday for lunch we finished the last of this food and the kitchen was now ready to be used, I made a lovely roast chicken for dinner. The kitchen’s windows, along with all the other windows, looks out over the sea. You can hear the waves crashing down on the sand if you open the windows.

I had unpacked the kitchen almost by accident. I had heard this thing that you should unpack at least one box every day. So by moving an old study desk into the kitchen to create some more space I had thought I’d just see how much of one the box’s contents I could pack into the seemingly small kitchen. To my total surprise I suddenly found a place for everything, all the boxes were unpacked within a few hours. I felt like Billy Crystal in City Slickers, “look what I made! I made a [kitchen]!” I baked some muffins and this gave me a really good feeling of where everything was.