Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Settling Down In Cairo

It has been more than a month since I arrived in Cairo with my family. Swarmed with work and faced with the challenge of adapting to the new environment with a family, I was unable to find the mood to blog. To recap, we stayed at the Cairo Marriott Hotel for about 3 weeks before moving into our rented apartment near my office. We had to extend our hotel stay because of an unexpected delay in the arrival of my shipment. Our mover explained that the delay was due to bad weather and port congestion. There is nothing much we can do about that. The hotel stay was nice but we really yearned for our own home to settle in. Living in a hotel for such a long time can be quite unsettling and costly as well.

We were overjoyed when our shipment was delivered but we have hard work cut out for us at the same time. Given the short notice of delivery, I was unable to clean up the apartment beforehand. All our things were unpacked and placed in the dirty cabinets, shelves and floor. The whole apartment was in a mess. I had to toil through the day till late night cleaning the kitchen, dining area, master bedroom and the living area so that Irene and Le Le can move in. The amount of dirt was unimaginable and I had to keep changing the mop water which turned black so quickly. After much hard work, I managed to keep the mess to the study and guest rooms. We moved in a couple of days after the delivery of our shipment.

The cleaning work did not stop after moving in and we had to take turns mopping up the place and tidy up the mess. It has been two weeks now and we are left with only the two guest rooms to shape up. Fortunately, I managed to get back the cleaner I engaged to clean my apartment during my language studies and she will be reporting to work tomorrow. Besides the cleaning, we did tremendous amount of shopping for household items. Every trip to the hypermart left us drained and tired. Le Le was usually asleep by the time we reached home. After a few rounds of shopping, I think we have almost fully equipped our home in Cairo.

The only problem we faced was looking for the child-safety doors to our staircase. After searching through all the places we can think of, we were unable to find a suitable door off-the-shelf. In the end, we had to call in a carpenter to custom make two doors, one for the upper floor and one on the lower floor. Yes, we are living in a duplex. Given a choice, we would have opt for a one floor apartment for child-safety and comfort. We are really not used to climbing up and down the stairs so frequently. Irene is now complaining of aches in her feet.

That's all for now folks. I will upload some photos and videos when I can find time.

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