I thought when I moved here that I would have all kinds of time to blog. I wouldn’t know a soul, I would be at home a lot. Being sad. Eating my weight in hummus and pita.
I am very pleased to report that it is quite the opposite, (minus the hummus & pita part.) We have met wonderful people and been super busy exploring the area. We are happy. We are settling in nicely. We miss our friends and family like crazy, but instead of wanting to be back home we wish we could bring them all here.
With all of that said, I have been my usual self and remained inconsistent with my blogging.
My sincere apologies.
Here we go…
When we were back in Ohio, I would get similar reactions from people when I would share the news that we were moving to Dubai; an immediate look of surprise or confusion. Then one of two things would happen. They would get a look of fear and ask a list of questions OR they would smile and ask a list of questions and tell me about how they knew somebody who had been there or lived there or lived somewhere in the middle east. Or Asia.
I am not dogging on these people. I truly appreciated their interest and willingness to share their knowledge. I really had nothing to share at that point because I hadn’t really been to Dubai aside from a 3-day trip.
Now that I have been here a little bit longer, I am happy to answer some of these questions with the confidence of experience, (six weeks of experience, but experience all the same.)
Q: I had a friend who moved to India too. Are you excited?
I didn’t move to Mumbai. I moved to Dubai. Dubai is located on the Arabian Gulf.
Q: Will you have to wear a burqa?
A: No. A burqa from what I understand is head to toe covering, with a sheer piece over the face. I have seen some women here wearing that. What I have seen more of here in Dubai is an Abaya. This is more of a robe. Their head is also covered, but not their face. The Abaya can have beautiful embelishments on them and even a touch of color. Both symbolize modesty and morality.
I do not have to wear either. I wear shorts around my neighborhood, pants or a skirt out to the mall. Basically, if one dresses respectfully out in public, one will be okay.
Q: Can you eat pork there? I mean, bacon. What will you do without bacon?<br />
A: Yes. However it is not served at most restaurants. Beef bacon is offered. Nope, not the same. AT ALL. But for those who have never had pork, it may be wonderful. If you are in a hotel and eating at a buffet, you may find a little table in the corner with pork bacon. It will always be separated from everything else, like a child being bad.
In some grocery stores you can find pork. It is in a back room.
The first time I discovered the back room I saw the sign that said, “For Non-Muslims Only”. I walked through the door and I felt like I was walking next to Veruca Salt as we entered Willy Wonka’s magic candy room. I could hear the song, “We’ll begin. With a spin. Through the world of your imagination.”
A large beautiful room full of pork products. A butcher with pork roasts, sausages, BACON, & pepperoni. Shelves of pork and beans. And jello. And pop tarts.
Q: Is alcohol allowed in Dubai?
Yes. But not everywhere. And it is very controlled. Alcohol is only served within hotels, which is why hotels here have a number of restaurants inside. In order to purchase alcohol for your home, a person needs to apply for a license. This takes about a month to 6 weeks to process. This meant things were pretty dry here for a while. But no worries, the license came in and we have made up for lost time.
In order for a woman to obtain this license, she needs a letter from their husband saying she is allowed to apply. She needs this to get her drivers license as well.
Thankfully I am good at forging the Great Husband’s signature.
Just kidding. He happily wrote me a glowing letter of non-contention.
(Edit: I would like to add that the non-contention rule is because I am sponsored by my husband on his Visa. He, too, needed the same letter from his work, who is sponsoring him.)
Q:Isn’t the calendar week different there?
Yes. Weekends are on Friday and Saturday. Yep, hump day is on Tuesday. Garfield would hate Sundays. We would call people Saturday drivers. I’m still adjusting to this. TGIT doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. And I need Rebecca Black to come out with a new version of her song for us to dance to on Thursday mornings.
Sundried Tomato and Irish Cheddar Wrap
2 Whole Grain Wraps
4 Tb Pureed Sundried Tomatoes
4 Slices of White Irish Cheddar
4 Medium Leaves of Lettuce
2 Tb Mayonnaise
8 Thin Slices Cucumber
On each wrap, 2 Tb spread sundered tomato paste.
Lay 2 slices cheese, 2 lettuce leaves, 1 Tb Mayo and 4 slices cucumber.
Tightly roll up wrap and cut in half.