Check out our updated travel map on the right side of today's post...plus more photos...

Our building, Elite Residence, a new building, is among this grouping of other residential buildings, is the tan colored structure.
The entire city must have restrictions on the coloration of the building's exteriors, all of which are variations of beige, tan, cream, off white and lighter shades of blue, resulting in an attractive skyline.
During another day of recovering health, we updated our map on Traveler's Point, a free website to keep track of one's travels on a map.  Well, I should say Tom updated the map, covering every country that we've visited thus far.
During our outing today, we stumbled across this upscale market.  It was a feast for the eyes with prices almost twice as much as the grocery store nextdoor to our building where we shopped a few days ago. There are four grocery stores within a two block radius, this bring the most expensive and the most visually stimulating.
 
Also, we had to call all of our credit card companies to update our travel itinerary.  To prevent fraud, they require that we "call" every 60 days with a list of countries we'll be visiting over the same time period. 
Check out these cherry tomatoes, still on the vines!  It was a pleasure just looking at them!
Not wanting to incur outrageous long distance charges and also by not having cell service, our only option is to use Skype, calling the toll free numbers on the back of the credit cards at no cost to us. Connecting the call is quick and easy but the time spent on the call with the representative is a slow and tedious process. It's a necessary evil of constant travel.
In Dubai, meats are weighed by kilograms.  For example, these king crab legs are AED $212 per kilogram.  There are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram resulting in these crab legs at US $26.24 per pound, not much more than the US pricing. Other seafood was more reasonably priced, often less than US pricing.
In speaking with other world travelers, some  have mentioned that on occasion their credit cards are declined, due to the fact that they're using the card outside their home country where the card was issued. 

This normally is not an issue when one goes on a two week vacation to a foreign land. But, in our case, jumping from country to country over an extended period, triggers an alert that the card may have been stolen. 

These organic asparagus proved to be US $4.95 a pound, not too bad for organic.
By calling the companies in advance, we've avoided the time consuming embarrassment of a decline on one of our cards while out and about.  As of our recent inquiry yesterday, a few of our credit card companies have streamlined the process making it possible to update this information online, as opposed to making the phone call, much preferred by us. 

As we travel, reviewing our mail every few days via our online mailing service in Nevada, Maillinkplus, is another necessary task. At this point, we receive very little mail since we previously had generated most of our mail to be sent via email.  However, a few companies remain in the dark ages insisting on sending a paper bill.

The shelves were lined with appetizing selections.
A week ago while cruising we received a snail mail bill from our Minnesota medical clinic stating that our insurance company didn't pay our last bill for $294 while we were still covered . 

Last night at 9:00 pm, our time here in Dubai (11 hour time difference with California), we called the insurance company's toll free number again on Skype (no charge) to discover that "it fell through the cracks" on their end and that they'll pay it immediately. 

Olives and dates thrive in the desert, abundantly available.  We can enjoy the olives but must forego on the sugary dates.
I explained that we are out of the country for an extended period and would kindly expect that we won't have to call again if this isn't addressed promptly.  They promised it would be resolved.  These types of incompetent incidents happen to all of us from time to time.  While living in the US, they were much easier to resolve.

Banking, paying bills online, accounting, updating the budget, handling payments for future rentals and the ongoing process of continually planning our next move, whether it be days weeks or months away, in itself is a lofty job requiring hours of diligent work each month.  
This boxed grouping of liter bottles of imported olive oils was priced at US $216.47.
Divided between us, each with our unique expertise, we diligently strive to stay on top of every task by utilizing my Outlook calendar with reminders popping up over a period of several days before the due date.  Once completed, we mark it as done retaining the information in the calendar for future reference.

So, here we are in Dubai, doing laundry without a dryer, cooking dinner on a stove that has confusing unfamiliar settings, having only five hangers in the closet, the single knife in the drawer is dull (we had to go out to purchase a new knife) and there are only a few English speaking TV channels showing old reruns, a few horror movies and international news. 

For me, fun to see, forbidden to eat, baked fresh daily, priced at US $2 each.
There are no dish towels, no top sheet (they use duvets instead), outlets that don't work with our digital equipment (we brought  adapters and converters with us but still find it confusing) and two tiny ice cube trays.  (We had to ditch our inventory of ice cube trays when we lightened our load).

With the massive amount of road construction around our building, we are very limited on where we can walk.  At certain points, we're locked in, unable to get from one location to another on foot.  This is disappointing, as we'd hope to spend a substantial part of our time here on foot. 

(At this point we're planning outings on our own on which we'll report later.  We're waiting to ensure I am feeling well enough).

The delectable appearing desserts ranged from a low of US $3.26 to a high of US $5.17.  I could have eaten one of each!
Thankfully, the property is otherwise fabulous, much more to our liking than a suite in a fancy hotel where we wouldn't be able to cook or do laundry at all.  Also, with the cost of most hotels in Dubai in the $300 - $400 per night range, we are delighted with our rate of $135 a night including all taxes and fees.  The additional $300 cash deposit we paid upon arrival will be returned to us in cash on the day of our departure.

For some, the perception is that we're out sightseeing everyday without a care in the world.  But, we're like you.  We have everyday tasks and responsibilities, aches and pains, colds and flu, financial matters to handle and the daily tasks of keeping our environment clean and clutter free plus... grocery shopping, cooking many of our meals and doing dishes.  I cook.  Tom does the dishes and helps with the chopping and dicing.

We could have used one of these fine knives, although too pricey and not easy to take along on a flight.
In reality, having a handle on these mundane tasks adds a comforting and familiar sense to our otherwise unusual lives of traveling without a home to return to; to see family and friends, to repack, to read the mail, to restock and to recover.

In any case, we take it all in our stride as part of the experience, the good and not so good and the perils and annoyances of travel. In return, we wallow in the joy of exploration, the bliss of discovery and  the sense of awe of the world around us. 

At lunch today we were served these miniature bottles of ketchup andmayonnaise that were fresh, never opened, a nice touch.  We imagined that once opened, they are all thrown out, indicative of the Dubai-way, excesses of everything, one of many aspects resulting in very high prices when dining out.  Our lunch, at US $49 did not include any alcoholic beverages, appetizers or desserts. A 10% tip was included but we added an additional 10% for the exemplary service and attention to detail.

Feeling a little better today, we ventured out for lunch (US $49.00) and another trip to the grocery store for yet another box of tissues to tend to my continuing sinus problems, remaining from the ship-borne illness.

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