Friday, November 11, 2011

Lessons from Dubai

There has been lots of chatter around our house about all the things we will learn about ourselves and others as we move out of our comfort zone.  We will be living as guests in a country that is not ours which by its very nature will teach us patience and humility.  We will be lost, confused, frustrated and curious all at the same time.  The way i see it, much of what we will learn while we are there is realizing how much we have yet to learn about the rest of the world.  In case you are wondering... Yes, we have developed a well thought out game plan for our family in those unfamiliar situations....

Don't take yourself too seriously & learn to laugh!

1.  When using the restroom in the mall and an attendant points to the one open stall asking you, "You use Arabic Bathroom?"  Look around you before answering, "Sure!"  Note that the Arabic women in front of you, dressed head to toe in black are choosing NOT to use the Arabic bathroom.  Quite possibly, Arabic bathroom means something other than just LOCATION.  In this particular instance it means: stall in need of a toilet.

2.  If you open up your email account a couple of times while in Dubai you will automatically get a new font.... Arabic

3.  Speaking of bathrooms... i can already foresee the temptation for daily water fights with the foot washing hose.  Pretty much every bathroom comes with all 3 you see here and it's not even considered an upgrade.

3.  Whilst sitting pool side listening to your husband talk to a man from Qatar and the wife of Qatar gentleman comes out dressed in her abaya (click here to see it), it is very awkward to attempt to walk up to her and drum up a conversation if you are wearing a 2 piece....

4.  Sand Storms will be the new "Fog" since they both have about the same amount of visibility.

3:00 afternoon sun during a sandstorm. 

Yeah, this isn't a sunset...

 Palm Island without sand...

Palm Island with sand.

5. Short cuts in Dubai are called "sand bashing."  Want to avoid the traffic?  Just take a dune to your destination.  (But be prepared to rescue fellow bashers attempting the short cut without 4 wheel drive.)     

6.  i will need to brush up on my stealth camera moves.  i knew before arriving that taking pictures of government buildings is a big No No.  i was also versed in the likelihood of security guards telling you to put your camera away should they see you taking pictures.  And of course there is the obvious, never take a picture of someone without their permission.  So with all those rules i was constantly in a state of turmoil.  Can i take a picture now or not?!

One picture and i was banned from any more.  Apparently, this hotel atrium had been blacklisted.

I was fascinated with this mannequin family but fearful to take a picture due to my recent run in with photog security.  This was a sly move i discovered quite by accident.  While photographing souvenirs in a window shop, i realized i could photograph their reflection. 

7.  Change your camera strap before the camel ride!!!

When a kind Bedouin offers to carry your camera in order to take pictures of you on his camel, don't make him walk around with the girly frou-frou strap around his neck.  

Although he is more than willing, it's just not right having to lead a camel full of tourists through the desert while wearing pink flowers.

7.  And i quote, "As long as you have a  good pair of water shoes on you should be fine."

8.  5:00 traffic looks a little different.

1 comment:

Lyndsay said...

Love it! Can't wait for more lessons from Dubai. You guys will be well prepared and your sense of humor will get you through a lot!