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Hit the Emergency Fund

January 24th, 2013 at 06:51 pm

On January 10, a notice went up in the elevator that on 21 January 21, the barriers and building access systems would be activated, so you needed to have your cards.

I had applied for my card in November, but - with typical Dubai efficiency (NOT) - I still had not received mine. I waited until two days before the "drop dead" date to finally go to pick up the access cards.

Well, even though I had a receipt that said all fees were current up until July 9, 2013, it seems a new fee was due at the end of the year. Note that had they issued the card when I applied, this fee would not have been due, and I would not be in a position to need access cards in two days.

The fee due was about $4,000. I called my landlord who said, "No, I'm paid up through July." Yes, he had the same receipt. As I needed access, I paid the fees, then wrote a synopsis of the problem and copies of all bills and receipts to the landlord.

As I now had access to all of the paperwork, I worked out the amounts. My Landlord has to pay over $6,000 per year for maintenance fees, facility-access fees (gym, beach, pool, etc.), and parking fees. In addition there is a general-fund fee that goes to who-knows-what. How would you like to have condominium fees at that level? That's what the high price of living in Dubai is like.

Landlord has promised to refund the amount. I don't know when or how we can get the money, though.

DW and I went out and got groceries at a new store last night. They had American items like pop tarts and taco mix. We cannot even find chili powder over here - we did find cumin and cayenne, so we have the basics of our own - so we spent a bit on some "home country" food we wouldn't normally buy. It came to just under $200 for maybe 6 bags of nearly nothing. Just to give you an idea, a can of red kidney beans is over $4. DW likes beans in her chili, and also decided to make "Three bean casserole" this week. I don't think she realizes that instead of being a frugal meal, over here, it is going to run about $30 for a single casserole.

Anyway, we're now low on our EF for the rest of the month until the Landlord repays us for his fees. As an aside, we have to pay our rent in a single check for the year, so he already has our money until next November.

5 Responses to “Hit the Emergency Fund”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    I make a basic chili powder of my own using 2 Tbsp hot paprika, 1 Tbsp oregano, 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/8 tsp red chili pepper flakes.

    Sorry you got stuck with extra fees. Hope they get refunded soon.

  2. Wino Says:

    I haven't seen coriander over here. I'm sure I can get the rest. Thanks for the recipe. I'm sure he'll refund them as soon as we can get together. In all actuality, though, he could stiff me on this, and there would be nothing I could do about it.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    If you have cilantro plants there, when they go to seed coriander is the seed. You can use some cilantro leaves finally chopped in the dish you are cooking to get the same flavor.

  4. Wino Says:

    I found coriander! Luck would have it I went to what I thought was an amusement park, but turned out to be like a huge outdoor market (with permanent stalls) with a few shut-down rides. Anyway, one of the places was a spice hut, and I got coriander.

    Still can't find real chili powder. Over here, they have chilly powder, which is closer to ground cayenne than chili fixings.

  5. Jerry Says:

    Those are some of the exasperating bits that come from living overseas, aren't they? It makes no sense, it has no logic, but you can't argue with anyone because it doesn't lead to resolution. (We lived in the former east Bloc for the past 5 years... different, but similar in some ways.) I'm glad that you have some insurance of comfort foods, even if they cost an arm and a leg! At least they are there and available...
    Jerry

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