The hunt for home, IKEA shopping and things we did in Feb

All of January we stayed in the same hotel while hunting for a flat with a few prerequisites like distance to work, amenities provided, cleanliness, the neighbourhood, and of course the rent. I scored the internet during the day in the hotel room marking the places that we should check out and in the evenings, we used to walk about looking for "Flats Available" boards and also try and talk to the building watchmen for details. First off we were astounded by the cost of rentals here compared to KSA. But then, we were told that rentals here in Abu Dhabi City have actually gone down with recent economic changes and so seems we are lucky to get the current price.

Most of the apartments we saw were of old buildings with old floorings etc and if the rent was okay, it was only for the flat, we had to pay for parking, water etc additionally. I have to stop comparing things with Yanbu, I will only get hurt! This is ABU DHABI! What was I thinking???? I cannot have the same luxury flat here for a similar price!

Initially, we were looking at a one-bedroom flat and after scoring dozens of flats, we realized it is not worth the price for cramped bedrooms and large halls. So we thought of looking for two bedrooms but the rentals were over the roof! Finally, when we found a flat that was to our liking, the rent quoted was 1.5 lakh! What the f... So I convinced F to look for a studio apartment! 

The studio ones were such a treat to my eyes! I really loved them, a little cute abode. I wish I had one like that when I was single :-D  But for reals, I was beginning to lose hope and being the "not-earning" member of the duo, I didn't want to be too picky. Without much thinking, I told F I can manage even in a studio if that will help us settle down and maybe we can move to a better place after a year. Frustrations speak. 

We weren't getting anywhere to finalizing a place so we finally resorted to seeking the help of a real estate agent guy for a flat that was advertised on a website. We were asked to meet him after Maghrib at a location. Upon arrival, we were taken up to a brand new building on the 18th floor. It was definitely not the flat that we saw in the advertisement but way better than that! Knowing the price range for this size, I didn't have my hopes high, nor did F. We knew the guy would quote something we can't afford and we would not be coming back. :-D. But on our way down in the elevator, the agent said that all this you get for an unbelievable price! And yes, it was the best deal even though more than what we budgeted for housing. 

We fixed the deal and I had a peaceful sleep. Though it seemed too good to be a true deal, I didn't want to think that there might be some glitch that we are not shown or maybe the building was a rejected one... something was not right - my intuition speaks. 

Apparently, the building is a Bank property and so the agent didn't charge us the usual commission but much lesser. That was indeed very kind and fair of him. God bless him. Now all the paperwork was to be done at the Bank's property office. I won't get into the details of the paperwork and rules etc. as the rules tend to change too often around here in UAE. 

We had to wait for a few days to get the bank cheque book to start the paperwork. When was the last time we used a chequebook? :-D

This is my birthday month! I got an early gift from F which was a surprise! With the gift in hand, we also went and watched the movie Manikarnika at the WTC mall. Felt weird doing a couple of things :-) If you knew Yanbu has no movies...But honestly, watching a movie in a theatre that is not even half-filled is no fun! I miss the 90s theatre where the hero's entry is celebrated and end with roaring claps or booing down if it is not great.

The day we planned to register the flat, we went to have a good look again and then went to the office to complete the paperwork. As soon as we were done and about to step out, it RAINED! My first rain in AUH and it was pouring down heavily. We waited for the rain to stop while indulging in some coffee from their pantry canteen. When we stepped out, there was a cat which was blind in one eye and she came running to me. I always carry cat food in my bag for such time and hurried to catch up with F who was walking away... :-) 


Got back to the hotel and informed them that we would be checking out by end of that working week. Now, our stuff from Yanbu can be released for delivery but the man who dealt with our consignment was on vacation and there was some ambiguity around it so we decided to wait for our man to come back. Meanwhile, I researched mattresses and curtains, two indispensable things to move into an empty apartment.

For the mattress, I finalized an IKEA model after extensive research. But we wanted to get the real touch and feel, so off we went to Yas Mall in a taxi which was a long drive to the island. We did a complete tour of IKEA but we didn't pick a single thing as we thought we can order online. But right before leaving, we got to know that their home delivery takes more than 10 days sometimes!

We finalized on using Abu Dhabi Blinds service to fix all our windows with roman blinds.

On 6th Feb (Wednesday) I went to the renowned tourist must visit Carpet Souq with my friend, R. We were getting back to her place when F called with an idea that I go with R to IKEA and buy all that we planned, and then drop them at the new flat. Though it sounded a great idea, I was not sure if we can manage all that heavy stuff! My friend, on the other hand, was thrilled! F very reluctantly handed over his bank card and advised that I buy only what is required! He turned to my friend and told her - make sure she shops wisely. LOL

IKEA!  I knew what I need but we still went through every aisle because you are in IKEA! :-D
My friend was all for pushing the cart claiming it as an exercise and I am sure we crossed 10k steps that day! Whatever said, IKEA shopping is tiring! Once we got all the beddings things, we went to the food section and refuelled our tummy and then moved to the warehouse and pulled out the 37kg mattress and triumphantly reached outside. The taxi we got had a lady driver and she was also very helpful. I asked F to come to the new flat so he can help us get the things up. After all that, we went to Chappan Bhog to treat ourselves!

We tried dining-in in these restaurants and you can check my Zomato profile for reviews!
Rajasthan Royal
Pink Berry

A bestie from Yanbu was coming to town with family for a short vacation! I had to meet her but I felt so bad my house was not ready for anyone! We had a quick coffee at Starbucks and promised to keep in touch. While I was coming back after meeting her, I wondered how much I actually miss Yanbu. But nothing is permanent and friendships go as long as you catch up and start right from where you left.

Galentine is when you celebrate valentine day with your girlfriends! It was not planned with this intention though! It just happened to be the V day :-D

We literally live in our bedroom! Eat, sleep, watch Netflix etc. The rest of the flat is very empty and the only time I go in to have my morning coffee standing by the window watching the yellow buses taking kids to school...Our daily meals are now Zomatoed! :-D

By now, I had updated my resume and got back on Linkedin and thought I would get back to paid working because it is expensive to live here and if I have an opportunity to work why not?

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Shanaz the blogger at invited us for lunch on Friday after Jummah. We happily agreed to go because by now our palettes are dead with eating out every day! Her homecooked meals will surely bring life into our tastebuds.

After the delicious lunch at Shakespeare's, we hopped on to Marina Eye and enjoyed the ride and the view!

Instead of looking for happiness outside or within, try making someone happy and you will surely feel the same!

Fantastic Feb as always! Alhamdulliah!

Ending the post a pic of my love for cats! This is a friendly and healthy stray cat and she is fixed. Some good soul made her a bed and kept food bowls. I go visit her most of the evenings and treat her with some dry food and water. In return she lets me cuddle her for a few seconds :-D