Jillian R.
I know this is very random and quite pointless really, but;


Duvets;


Whoever invited the use of duvets (whom I assume was French) sure had a spark of pure genius. I guess in those days people got sick of hand-washing huge, heavy quilts and blankets and decided, "Hey, let's just put a cover over the huge, heavy quilts and just wash those!"


I've always used duvets in hotels and thought to myself; "How do they put the duvets in the covers?" It had always seemed like an impossible task to me - here, put this big soft quilt into another big soft sheet with a small-ish hole on one side.


Anyway, moving to Abu Dhabi and having our own unfurnished apartment gave me the opportunity to furnish every room to MY liking and buy fixtures that I like. Unlike while I was living with my parents; whom are (very) Chinese and "cannot" see in soft lighting and have to have fluorescent or white lighting at home, I get to have soft lighting in every room while the main hallway in the apartment is lit by a row of very beautiful off-white lighting.


In Oman, the villa we had was always, always hot because our landlord was too cheap to patch up holes in the wall with cement (caused by window A/C units - which he uninstalled), so he patched them up with wooden boards. Naturally, in the hottest place on Earth (okay, 4th, according to this website), our little A/C could never produce enough cool air to cool two people (and a dog), we only used a flat sheet as a blanket while the quilt was mostly thrown on the floor or stuffed in the wardrobe. Oh, Daegu? Well in Daegu, duvets were sometimes available at a very high price and duvet covers were almost non-existent. I stopped looking after a while, so they may have turned up after that, I wouldn't have known.


Having said that, it is only NOW, that I finally get to have a proper set of bedding which consists of four pillows with matching pillow cases of course, matching fitted jersey sheet (which we never got to use in Oman because our FOAM mattress didn't allow any air flow, so cotton was the only tolerable option) flat sheet, and of course, a very soft duvet with cover.


Changing the cover was difficult at first, Eric and I took turns crawling into the cover to smooth out the duvet. We laughed till our stomachs hurt watching the other try and then crawling back out and say "Oh yeah? YOU try!!".


Seriously though, all the crawling and laughing wasn't necessary, just watch the following video:-


http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-put-on-a-duvet-cover

Ahh, again, genius! No more stuffing big quilts into washing machines (I don't believe in sending bedding for laundry, because I don't like the thought of someone else handling something I sleep in, same goes for delicates)!
Jillian R.
Hi Readers! Sorry for the one-month hiatus, I'm back now, and I'm writing from Abu Dhabi! *Yaay*


I really have a lot to say about the new place, mostly good things (for a change) but there's an incident tonight which may be the start of something of an "Omani" experience.


Note: Omani Experience = Bad


We live in an apartment. A beautiful one at that. The building is brand new; six months old, we were told. There are construction sites surrounding all four sides of our building. Jester goes potty during the day at the construction site directly in front of our building. It's filthy (as can be expected) - leftover biryani rice packs are thrown on the sand, paper cups, plastic bags; things you may expect to see on a construction site (where the workers must not have garbage dumps in their home country, of course). At night, the giant rats come out, I freak out sometimes when I look out my living room window and they're crawling about, I almost never open my Roman blinds. I can't wait till they pave over the rat-ty sand.


Anyway, because of the rats, Jester goes potty at night at a "packed" sand box at the apartment building next door. The sand pit looks damp, and is littered with a thousand cigarette butts, a few plastic bags and covered in patches of algae. Children sometimes play in the "sand box" barefoot in the evenings, with their parents standing by watching them - play barefoot in algae covered clay-looking sand covered with cigarette butts. Yeah, I don't know why parents here let their kids run barefoot here, this was also very common in Muscat.


So tonight, like any other night, we were going potty at the "sand box". Before we got there, we were stopped by a very polite building watchman. He told us that people had complained about a woman who takes her dog to the sandbox where children played (he left out barefoot). He apologized for what he had to say so I politely pointed out to him, I said "Look, I understand what you are saying, and it's no problem, we will go somewhere else, but do you see all these *pointed to cigarette butts*, and those *pointed to plastic bags* and these green things *pointed to algae*? Do you see any poo?


He shook his head, and I said "Yes, because I pick up every time *waves poopy bag*, see?" The guy apologized again and explained that he was only telling me because of the complaints. I told him that I was not offended and thanked him then took Jester somewhere else - a few feet away, a sand covered sidewalk.


Apparently the building owner had wanted to put some grass and lawn chairs in the sand box at a later time. So I guess, having urine there ruins the soil. On the other hand, cigarette butts must be a good alternative.


But, what is the deal here? People let their children play in the dirt, there's probably broken glass lying around too, but a little urine which will probably seep deep into the sand anyway is harmful to their kids?


I'm sorry but I don't get it. This only strengthens my opinion that people should have a licence to have children. You gotta have a licence to have dogs, don't you? What more another human being?   
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