Even before we moved here we had been scoping out what restaurants and cafes were near our tower, and we were hopeful Flat White would be our kind of place. We were not disappointed and are so pleased to have such a fantastic coffee house to call our local.
We’ve made it our Friday tradition to pop in early for a drink and sometimes cake. We generally have the whole cafe to ourselves which is nice for Little T not to be confined to a table. He, as well as us, have grown to love the barista. Straight away he hops up to watch her work and then we retire to a comfy couch with a low table with wooden stools just his size.
So why do we love this place? For starters the coffee is head and shoulders above the many international chain shops that are here. It is slightly more expensive, but you get what you pay for. Delicious coffee, prepared with love. Mr T has been loyal to the flat white each week and is always pleased.
cold milk, chai latte, flat white and the remains of in house pistachio cardamon cake
I have been sampling the different lattes and local teas. Most recently I tried the chai latte and it was beautiful, not overly sweet, just spicy, milky goodness, a perfect accompaniment to the in house pistachio cardamom cake. Last week I tried the karak, a local tea, this is quite sweet, rich and spicy, it also has the smallest price tag of all the drinks and a generous serve at 8qr.
What I love most about the space is that it is filled with plants and bespoke wooden furniture. Concrete floors and big windows make you feel like you could be at a trendy cafe anywhere in the world.
Coffee with a toddler is not always relaxing but usually fun!
*So the title of this post has changed three times over the three days it has taken me to write it. Two plus years into parenting and I am still amazed by the highs and lows that have been brought into our lives by such a little person.
I haven’t done much writing about parenting because when I am not doing it I am either sleeping, relaxing with Mr T and the tv or zoning out on social media. Today I had such a nice moment I really wanted to share it.
I have finally had the chance to catch up with my sister over video chat and give her a tour of our place. Little T had just about enough of me being on the phone and began throwing his farm animals and was about to throw some (toy) tools. I managed to say, “I see you really want to throw something, lets go find your white ball.” My sister commented, “Wow, you are so good to say it like that.” It felt so nice to hear my parenting praised.
As an expat the main negative is being away from our families, though this can also be a perk at times. We have realised over time that we like our own space, to be able to do what we want, when we want. But on the other hand we have missed a lot of moments like this. Because when we do see our family the time is spent catching up and doing special things, so we often miss out on this daily family interaction. These few words from my sister were a massive pat on the back and really pumped me up for the rest of the day.
Fast forward two days later, I have been stuck in the house all day with Little T waiting for the internet company to come for installation. They said 8-12 and arrived at 4. It wasn’t the worst day ever but he was grating on my nerves and I was running out of ways to keep him busy. I was relieved for a bit to prepare dinner whilst the boys swam and then we swooped upstairs for a work do to celebrate completing the first week at school. It was lively and other kids were there but I could tell Little T was tired and made the decision to take him home shortly after we arrived. He cried and screamed the whole way home and whilst I turned down the lights, getting ready for bed. I sat holding him and he sobbed, “I not silly at the party!” My.Heart.Burst. For the first time I felt I had made him think he had done something wrong, and what struck me even more was that I know there are going to be many more things like this to come. I had said to him he was being a bit silly at the party, which he was (but not in a horrible way), and all the children were, it was a party…
In the end he was asleep in my arms within five minutes. I knew I had done the right thing though it hadn’t been easy in the moment.
So this post has evolved from: Feeling Proud, to Positive Parenting and finally just Parenting. Phew, what a week!
It has been a bit of a whirlwind as a whole week has already passed since we arrived. There have been moments that have felt like we had never left and others when we felt like everything is new.
On our first day, we tried walking at 10 in the morning. We were all dripping with sweat within a few minutes.
The biggest thing we have noticed is the heat! We had never been in the region in the middle of summer so the temperature was certainly a shock.
With the heat and a toddler we haven’t had much chance to explore the local area but we have been really pleased with what we have seen so far. We are currently living in a serviced two bedroom apartment (cleaning and linens replaced once a week) in The Pearl. Our living space is generous with a big kitchen, we have a balcony with a view of the marina. We are on the first and on the floor below has an indoor playroom, pools and gyms. We’ve been in the pool nearly everyday and have already seen an improvement in Little T’s skills in the water.
Mr T has been busy at work this week completing administrative tasks to apply for his residency permit, as well as starting planning for the start of school. The first day was a family day and we were able to tour the school and meet other families.
We’ve unpacked our three cases and are wondering what we will possibly do with the 40 boxes of shipping that will arrive in a few months! I have made a trip to IKEA for a few household essentials. It was a comfort to walk the familiar showroom floors but I did find some things were more expensive and they didn’t have everything I had expected to find. I have had to get creative for a toddler sized table, using the Latt side table and a wooden stool. It does the job and meals have been much more enjoyable with Little T at a table of his size.
Enjoying leftover nachos for lunch.
One of the things we looked forward to the most was the food and it has lived up to what we remembered! We have yet to begin really cooking at home and have been relying on food delivery service! We have had Arabic food three out of seven nights and it has been delicious. There is a Mexican place just below our building and we tried a rival to Fire on the Mountain called Lord of the Wings. Little T may take some time to warm up to the food, the first night we heard ‘yuck’ and ‘that’s not nice’ but a few days later he was enjoying a chicken sharwama.
Poolside snacking with bit of ‘yelmon ‘!
All in all it is a positive start. I am looking forward to life slowing down a bit so we can fall into a nice predictable routine.