Adjusting to Expat Life in Dubai

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camping camelsIn the week that I’ve been here, there have definitely been some adjusting to a new way of life:

(1) Apartment furnishings – or lack thereof. The weird thing about many Dubai apartments is that they are not furnished with white goods – we had to buy our own fridge, oven, and washer/dryer. And don’t even get me started on the dishwasher. In the States, it is the owner’s responsibility to provide at least the oven and fridge to the tenants. But apparently that is not the case in Dubai. Considering the amount of new apartments that flood the market each day, that’s a lot of white goods that need to be purchased by us tenants. And what am I going to do when I move? Take these appliances with me??? Maybe that is the norm here but it seems rather ridiculous to me.

(2) Cell Phone Charges. Perhaps because up to recently, there was only ONE mobile provider, so there was no competition, and thus no such thing as rollover minutes nor free nights and weekends. It’s basically pay-as-you-go! However, airtime is charged by the second so that’s one piece of good news. As I know only one person in Dubai, my recharge purchases should be infrequent for now. In case you wanted to know, airtime charge is 30 fils (or 8 cents) per minute. Not too bad I guess – especially if it’s charged per second.

(3) Roundabouts. I can’t even navigate Columbus Circle in New York and that has traffic lights! Scotch yells at the people who go through roundabouts all wrong – sadly, I am afraid I might be one of those people. Haven’t gotten behind the wheel of a car here yet but roundabouts is one thing I am not looking forward to.

(4) Camels. Every time I see one, I feel the need to scream out “Camel!” 🙂 I saw my first couple (more like 30!) when we went to Bab al Shams which is located in the middle of the desert so no unusual sightings there. But imagine my surprise when I walked down the steps of my apartment complex and saw one standing on the beach at the end of my street. At first I thought it was a statue or something but then it moved! And then I noticed another one lying down next to it. Damn I wish I had my camera. It was sunset too so would’ve been a great shot.

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