Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just because I live in UAE

does not mean that:

  • I live in Dubai.
    • I would commend you if you are able to tell me that Dubai is a city in UAE, it's not the other way around, it's not the capital, and what UAE stands for.
    • Abu Dhabi is the capital city, and Dubai is one of the 7 Emirates.
    • I live in Al Ain, which is about 120km away from Dubai.
    • Hence, I cannot answer your complicated questions on Dubai- I have never lived there!
    • Although I am guilty of telling people I'm from Dubai simply because it's so much easier...
  • I'm Arab.
    • It's hard to find Arabs here, which is almost sad!
    • You cannot become a citizen of this country even if you're born here or lived all your life.
    • I believe one way is, if a girl marries a local Arab man then she can become a citizen? Other than that, I'm not aware of ways of obtaining citizenship.
    • Everyone here is on a visa or temporary residence.
  • I can speak Arabic.
    • I wish I did! I can tell you all about Arabic grammar (because I've been studying it) but I can't speak a proper sentence.
    • You only need to know English here, and Urdu is an asset.
    • In fact, you can get away with just Urdu as well, and a few words of English. Lots of hand signs.
  • I don't know English.
    • I'd meet random people in Toronto and elsewhere who would be bursting with this question.
    • The local Arabic schools are mostly attended by local Arab children. Everyone else goes to private schools.
    • Choosing a school is an experience in itself, the variety is commendable- French, Libyan, American, Lebanese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Chinese... you can study wherever you want!
    • High school exams actually get sent back to the country of the school for correction.
  • I can't bike.
    • I could bike if I wanted to. The problem is, the roads here are not designed for pedestrians or bikers. They're only designed for cars. Hence, it's a dilemma to cross the street.
  • I can't drive.
    • Yea, I still get this (as of yesterday)
      I've to drop my mom off- brb
      u drive??
      both stick and automatic :D
      and they let u there!!!
      This is UAE...
      the Finance minister is a woman...
  • I have a dozen cars.
    • We have 3, but the reality is, none of them are mine. As an expatriate, you cannot have more than one car under your name. In fact, many people don't own their cars, it's under their company's name.
  • I'm rich.
    • It depends on field you work in. But it took my father about 20 years to get to the level he's at.
  • I walk barefeet outside.
    • It's true that the roads here are very smooth. Driving is an unparalleled pleasure! However, there's no way you can walk barefeet in 40degree + temperatures
  • I go for Umrah every month.
    • Wow, I wish! But everything requires logistical planning. Definitely being able to drive to Makkah is a big blessing!
  • I can buy all the gold I want.
    • It's true there are gigantic gold markets in many cities of the UAE, but personally, I'm not attracted to gold.
    • So do people shop for gold until the drop? I think that only applies to local Arabs. Most expats are busy paying for expenses such as children's school fees, etc.
  • I'm a knowledgeable Muslim.
    • It's sad, but I have to rely on external sources for my Islamic knowledge.
    • Perhaps the resources in Arabic are adequate, but it's hard to find books in English.
    • It's harder to find Islamic learning centres. In fact, propagation of Islam is rather discouraged. It's discouraged to discuss religion openly.
  • I own a house.
    • You can only own property in Dubai through certain dealers. This is a new rule introduced in the last 6 years that enables you to obtain a 99-year residency. This is the closest you can get to permanent residency.
    • We've been paying rent since day 1 here.
  • I can't withstand the cold.
    • There's always that adjusting period at the beginning of winter that takes me a while to get used to, but I love winter sports such as skiing and skating.
    • At the same time, I love the desert sports as well- dune bashing and sand skiing.
    • But my parents can't withstand the cold at all :(
    • HOWEVER, offices and malls here in UAE are freezing cold!
    • "You wear a jacket inside and take it off outside"

And this list below is specific to Dubai:

You know you have lived in the Dubai too long when...

  • You're not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat

  • You expect the confirmation of your flight reservation to be 'inshahallah"

  • You think everyone's first name is Al

  • You don't expect to eat dinner until 10.30pm

  • You need a sweater when it's 80 deg F

  • Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the houseboy

  • You think speed limits are only advisory

  • You think black is appropriate day time wear

  • You wear a jacket inside and take it off outside

  • You don't question how an ID card works for women wearing abayas

  • You think the further you edge into the intersection, the faster the light will turn green

  • You believe that the definition of a nanosecond is the interval between the time the light turns green and the guy behind you starts blowing his horn

  • You give directions by land marks instead of by road names

  • You think a red light means run it

  • You make left turns from the far right lane

  • You make right turns from the far left lane

  • You make U turns from any lane you want

  • You know a traffic jam on this side of the road means an accident on the other side

  • You measure time by the prayer calls

  • You don't expect the traffic police to stop you for a traffic offence

  • You know that the colour of your skin is your entry criteria

  • You think driving with your foot on the dashboard is cool

  • You find everybody thinks they can speak English

  • You think Bebsi is better than Coke

  • You shake your empty Cappuccino cup when you've had enough

  • Having a belly is a sign of being healthy

  • You think the hazard lights are fog warning lights

  • You find you've visited all the new malls that mushroom by the minute

  • You still buy Dubai Duty Free's lottery tickets when it would have been cheaper to pay the down payment for the BMW instead

  • You know which side of a shawarma to unwrap first

  • You look forward to rainy days


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