I’ve had several people say “I couldn’t do what you do” or something similar. And sure, moving to the other side of the world to a country very very different from your own and far away from family and friends is hard. But really, much of my daily life is the same here as it would be if we had just moved to a different state or town. So I thought I’d write a bit about daily life for me as most of it is NOT all the sightseeing and exploration and travel I normally post about.
The work week here is Sunday to Thursday to allow for the Muslim holy day of Friday to be off work. Both kids are going to school—DD 4-5 days a week and DS about 3 days a week. The school day is full day here (8-4 give or take depending on the school), but I have been picking them up about 1 so we can get home for nap. So during the week, we have a normal early morning at home, DH goes off to work, and the kids have breakfast and get ready for school.
We can walk to school, so we head off to school. After I drop the kids off (or just DD if DS is not going that day), I will run errands, explore, meet up with friends, or have my Arabic lessons. I take Arabic about 2x a week now. At least once a week I will walk to one of the local markets to get extra produce and often eggs (DD is on a big scrambled egg kick for breakfast). There are several markets I can chose from that take about 15 minutes to walk there. One day a week, I take a taxi to the commissary to do my full grocery shopping. It’s about 20 minutes there.
If I don’t have errands to do, I might meet up with friends for a drink at CSA (the Community Support Association for expats) or Osana (a wellness center with a cafe). I also have plans to start some of my sightseeing for photography purposes as it is waaay easier to take photos without a toddler hooked to your chest grabbing your camera! I’ll then have lunch and pick up the kids, bring them home and feed them lunch. Then it’s nap time for DS and rest time/quiet play time for DD and I cook dinner and do some work (either studying Arabic or working on my blog or photography).
Kids are up by 3:30 and then we either hang out at home, go to the pool, or have a playdate. At home we’ll play inside until about 4:30 and then go down to the playground once it is cooler and in the full shade. We can walk to the pool, and in the late afternoon the baby pool is in full shade as well, so that is always a plus (way better than the morning when even with the umbrellas it is pretty sunny). Or we might meet up with friends or go to someone’s house to play. Pretty much what we did back home.
End the day with bath, dinner and bedtime!
On weekends we try to fit in some exploring. Friday mornings are light traffic times, so we often go somewhere new then. If we don’t explore, then we’ll go to the pool. The rest of the weekend depends on what we need to do and if DH has errands to run. Sometimes there are social events planned, or we go to a cafe or the pool. This time of year you can almost always bet on running into other kids at the pool. Especially Friday late afternoons a lot of people do a swimming and dinner combo.
For now I walk more places here than I did back home as I am lucky enough that many things are walking distance. Walking is definitely crazier than walking back home and there are errands I only run without the kids because I have to play Frogger to get across some of the streets (do people still know that game reference?). DD has swim lessons weekly and I plan on starting DS up with lessons as well. DD wants to take ballet classes too, so we’ll look into that. Pretty much all things that would be happening back home.