Dubai: Things I’m Getting Used To

I’m learning life here in Dubai is very different, yet very much the same. I really only feel far, far away from Ohio when I miss my family. However, there is a growing list of things I am getting used to here. Things that are REALLY different from home. Big and small, these things are part of the adjustment, the learning, and the growing (and by growing I mean learning not to fall into a puddle on the floor in public crying like a baby every time something is frustrating).

1.This thing.

Bum Gun

I really wasn’t sure what to do with it.

Clean the toilet?

Wash my hands?

Cool off?

Eventually I learned it was for cleaning your privates after you use the facilities. Cleanliness is quite important in Islam so they are next to EVERY toilet.

I tend to shy away from the bum gun, buy my son adores it. If you are ever in public and hear “Mommy spray my bottom!” coming from a stall, that would be him.

Word to the wise, if you are caught in a stall with no toilet paper and use the bum gun because it is the next best thing, make sure you get nice and dry after. Because if you are wearing linen pants and walk out with a huge water stain on your bum it can be guaranteed that everyone walking behind you will know where you just came from. Just sayin’.

2. Driving

The traffic is insane.

The drivers are worse.

Especially the moms at school. This is no lie.

It is all aggression, speed, and getting to the front of any line.

The roads are ALWAYS changing so no GPS can keep up, that is if you are lucky to get a signal.

FOUR LANE TURNABOUTS. I know we don’t have turnabouts at home, so picture Clark Griswold in London in National Lampoons European Vacation. He is stuck in a turnabout for hours saying over and over, “Look, Honey! Big Ben! Parliament!”

These turnabouts make my heart speed up every single time I approach one.

I am really missing the simple left turn.


Dubai is and has been in a constant state of growth. There is construction every where you turn. Literally. Everywhere.

As soon as you say, “I can’t believe Dubai doesn’t have ____,” someone will respond, “Oh, they are building one down the road.”

4.Sand Storms

Just a phenomenon that I am getting used to. They haven’t happened often since I have been here. Just two. But they are really an anomaly to me. It looks like it will rain. It gets dark and windy, but if you step outside you get whipped with sand pellets. They will close the pool due to a sand storm. I’m not sure why, but they do.

The sand leaves a light dusting on everything, so cars get pretty really quickly. No worries though, if you park at the mall someone can wash your car for 18 Dirham ($4.90), while you shop.


The shopping here is INSANE. I have never seen so many different places selling different things. Such a mix of old and new!

My favorite place so far? DAISO

It is like a Japanese dollar store. Everything is bright and cheery and everything is priced at 7 Dirham ($1.91). They have everything from tupperware to wigs. Makeup to Gardening supplies.

I picked up these fabulous face collagen face masks. I don’t have a clue what the package says, but it sure did make my face feel soft!

Japanese Mask

6.The Money

Some people here have seriously ridiculous amounts of money. And they like to show it. You can tell by cars like this:


Yep, that is a car brushed in gold. Not the first one I’ve seen here, and I am sure not the last.

The cars here are ridiculous. I wouldn’t know the difference if my husband hadn’t told me. Every day he points out cars and tells me around how much they are worth…always upwards of $100,00.

7.The Laborers

The gardeners, the construction workers, the maintenance men, the movers, etc. These men leave their families back in their home countries and do backbreaking jobs. In the sweltering heat. For long hours. And many ride their bikes on the highway back to their apartments, that they share with many other men.

I am always taking them food and water, and giving them children’s clothes to send home. Twice I set out shoes the kids have outgrown on top of the trash can. Both time they were literally gone in 2 minutes. I know I can’t do anything to fix their situation, but all I can do is what I think is right.

8.The Food

I am in food heaven. This is one of the easiest things to get used to for sure. So many nationalities, so many options. Although I haven’t gotten any food delivered, and shoot me if I ever do this, one can get fast food delivered. Yep, want some KFC? Call ’em up. Need some Burger King? At your doorstep.

9.The Accents

I very rarely hear an American accent. So when I am surrounded by British, Irish, Pakistani, Indian, UAE, and South African accents, my thoughts start to have an accent.

Yes, I started thinking in different accents. I know. I’m weird.

10.The Light Switches</p>

For some reason the bathroom light switches are located on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom. And the flip it down to turn it on and up to turn it off. It still confuses me weeks later.

Small and big these are just a few of the things I am getting used to.

Believe me when I say that there are many more.

Next post will have a recipe.

I promise.

P.S. I am still getting used to seeing camels on the side of the road. We live a bit away from the city, so there is some desert in between. Twice I have seen camels. The Great Husband told me it was a mirage the first time. The second time there were hundreds, and other people saw them. I’m happy to know that I’m not crazy.

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