Saturday, October 6, 2012
Things I Have Learned In The UAE:
*Stay away from all shopping malls and highways after 5:30 p.m. After that time, the entire UAE resembles the December 3, 1979 Who concert where scores of fans were trampled to death. If you run out of toilet paper, just use sand, don't try to venture out to buy a roll of paper. It may be the last thing you ever do...
*Kentucky Fried Chicken tastes like nothing but a dead bird here.
*All New York City cab drivers learned to drive in the UAE.
*I didn't realize that I could crave butter beans and cornbread so badly..
*100 degrees F feels cool after days of 108 temps.
*EVERY employee at the bank, internet company, and all government facilities will each give you a different answer to a simple question. No one knows the answers so they make shit up on the spot. Don't even think about asking any question that requires more thinking than, "Where is the restroom located in this building?", and even then you'll probably end up having to pee in a broom closet or have your bladder burst..
*Driving down the road past nothing but miles of miles of red sand dunes gives one a very surreal feeling especially when the CD player is also blasting out The Beach Boys "Surfin' U.S.A".
*When I visit Georgia for winter break in December my family is going to go nuts trying to understand the pidgin English that I have had to cultivate in order to be understood in the UAE. It's becoming habit. "Me no go now", "You stay", "Me no understand"- all accompanied by grand, over exaggerated hand gestures.
*People from the Middle East can't distinguish between British, Irish, Australian, and American accents, so they all think were Canadian!! (A bit of humor there for my North of the border expat friends).
*It is possible to feel unnaturally like a criminal when buying bacon in a Non Muslims Only pork shop.
*Even here I am told that I talk way too fast and that none of the Arabic teachers can understand me. That's why they all just stand there and smile and me when I talk to them. They haven't a clue as to what I am saying. That might actually come in handy one day. I'm still the fastest talking Southerner alive!!
*It's really funny to hear my students say, "It's cool, man". One of the necessary phrases I have taught them.
*Finding a jar of Jif peanut butter in the grocery store or spying a Mountain Dew truck on the highway can cause untold waves of happiness to wash over me.
*I am fifty years old and miss my Mom and Dad as much as I did when I was six-years-old and spent the night away from home for the first time... and that's a lot.
*The evening call to prayer singing out over the dark Al Ain night is strangely comforting.
Posted by Liti