Dubai in a Nutshell

5 Aug

It was a big decision for me to up and live in a different country, leaving my family, friends and comfort zone behind to pursue where my dreams take me.

I have been here since May, and with the help of my new found friends and I could also say my keen powers of observation. I now summarize my day to day living here – things that have happened and is about to come.

A major consideration of activity and tour postponements would be the weather. Armed with my sun block and a bottle of water, I have given in to the Sun Sand and Sea Worshipper practice of lounging in the Dubai Coastline in my very first days – and enjoyed it very much as I decided to ignore the over 40 degree-sun. Now, I’ve been told time and again – yes – I’m freaking lucky to not have suffered from heat stroke and sunburn. But I shouldn’t always tempt fate so until summer ends (October) it’s pretty much indoor and evening activities for me.

1. Weekend is Friday and Saturday – don’t even dare go to town and do business until after lunch. Government offices are closed. Mass and church services are on Friday. If you’d like to catch the Catholic Mass in English at St. Mary’s, better catch the 10am schedule;

2. The moment I was told that no normal underpants (briefs/boxers/shorts/pants) are worn under a kandura, I never looked at it the same way again – being near somebody wearing a kandura gives me the iffies;

3. You see two guys walking around holding each other’s hands and even rubbing their noses sometimes AND you need to keep a straight face as that happens;

4. I will never get used to the “interesting” smell of some Indians;

5. I will soon know how to swear in at least 5 languages;

6. I see at least 3 “Kabayan” Filipinos every 24 hours;

7. I know at least 3 people who soak their hair in coconut oil;

8. There’s a bidet in every toilet here;

9. Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall to work out my feet and my wallet;

10. I know at least 3 people named Mohammad;

11. I am starting to appreciate hummus;

12. The Burj Dubai reminds me of a HUGE PHALLIC symbol in the middle of the desert;

13. All the houses here are cement, brick or marble;

14. My wardrobe can be classified into three warm and hot for outside and jammies for the 23 degree A/C inside;

15. I’ll need a SALIK tag on my future car;

16. Prepare for a looong road trip if you miss your exit;

17. Everybody’s complaining about the rent;

18. When some politician’s relative dies it’s a holiday;

19. I have eaten and loved baklava;

20. There were some websites I normally access – I can’t here. I’ve gotten the “Surf safely.
This website is not accessible in the UAE. The page you are trying to access may contain content that is not consistent with the moral, cultural and social values in the UAE.” Gave me the chills the first time it happened. Now I just swear, “PAK!”

21. Molten Chocolate Cake at Chili’s;

22. Golden Horn;

23. Camel ride, desert safari and sand dune bashing;

24. Dhow cruise;

25. Ski Dubai;

26. Gold Souk;

27. Good starting point for a Euro Tour – duh – maybe why it’s called MIDDLE. Harharhar.

28. NO INCOME TAX;

29. Russel Peters Comedy Show;

30. Tours at nearby emirates (Abu Dhabi, Sharja, Fujairah, even Oman) on weekends and though it’s more than 8 hours to my home country, it’s just 4-6 hours to the rest of the world!

I’ve got more to add new stuff as I discover them later – but these days the list represents Dubai for me.

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