Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dog Years

i've heard it said that living in Dubai is like dog years.  The learning curve here is so steep that one year of experience really credits you 7 years.  (i am just hoping that is not true of the aging factor.)  We are temporarily settling.  It has been almost 2 months since we moved and as a family we ALL concluded it feels like it was forever ago we got on the plane in SF.  There are already moments, where by the grace of God, we feel like "We Got This!"  We know what to expect in certain situations and some things are not feeling so foreign anymore. 

Then we take one more spin on the Merry-Go-Round and find this....

Yes, that would be a big fluorescent light that has fallen FROM the ceiling ONTO my car.   On first inspection i couldn't believe my luck.  It just missed my car...oh, i take that back.


i actually consider this little "incident" a blessing.  It is a perfect dress rehearsal for the future incident that will come my way. It's guaranteed that living in Dubai your car will get hit by something or someone at some point during your stay. Since this happened in our apartment garage to my rental car it was a perfect non-stressful opportunity to get some practice in receiving Arabic road side assistance.    

First off i had to get the kiddos to school, so it was off to Taxi Que again.  Once back at the apartment, i placed a call to the police.  Every car fracture MUST include a visit from the police to determine the repair fate of the cars involved.  If you are lucky enough to receive a green card, your vehicle can be repaired and insurance will pay for it.  No green card, just the police report, you will pay out of pocket for repair.  No police report at all means no repair shop will even touch your car regardless of payment method.  Obviously all parties involved are pining for the one coveted green card.  The problem with this can be in where you happen to fall on the food chain of drivers.  Have a fender bender with an Emirate?  Don't even think about seeing a green card.  i wasn't too worried though considering i was up against a dangling light.

i get to wait 2 hours for the police to come fill out a report.  Why so long?!  When you make a call from your apartment and they ask for your mobile number, make sure you have cell service so receive their call back.  If you don't answer their return call they won't come to you.  Nice to know!  After resolving that issue and a disconcerting 10 minute 'splaining of directions, the police finally arrive.  i am able to find this somewhat amusing because it isn't really my car and i know i didn't damage it and i can wait comfortably in my room while they try to locate my very large 45 story building which is apparently difficult for police to locate.  The car rental staff assisting me, become somewhat uncomfortable when the police arrive.  They've prepped me in advance that it is much better to explain this is my husband's car and he is out of the country right now, just to make things easier for myself.  Now, all of this is true but really?!  How does the sex of the driver change the fact that the light fell off the ceiling?  Oh goodness...  In the end the car still had to be taken into a police station to be investigated by someone else and more paperwork filled out since it wasn't an infraction with another car but a building.  Fortunately, this is where i was able to hand over my rental keys and let the car company deal with the rest.

Besides collecting years of experience in little bits of time we are learning much about ourselves and the world around us. 

At times we are all exhausted but the exhaustion seems to be less and the frustration that used to lay loosely at the surface appears to have disappeared.  We are missing friends and family from home but we have been fortunate to meet so many interesting and diverse people that we haven't had time to be lonely. 

 Our routines seem to be taking shape which help us to feel more grounded. 

Super fun school activities help keep the Littles happy.    

(Jammy day at school with author Mo Willems.  There was so much excitement in the air at home and at school as they got to learn from one of their favorite authors.)    

We still are amazed at the sights around us and the weather is perfect for taking them all in.

It's a little surreal at times to step into a story that two and a half months ago was only available to my kiddos at the library.  Now they bump against the nationals in their Emirate dress as they stand under the Burj Khalifa all of which were topics for research reports in December.

i love how this experience is already polishing up their God given talents.   Little Artist is soaking up the world around her.  Her art is beginning to have Middle Eastern influences.

As for Kyle, he is loving the challenge of learning Arabic.  He is constantly looking for letters and words that he knows. 

Chris is an amazing provider and is working hard learning how to do business in an entirely different culture.

As for me the photo opportunities are endless... except for the places from which i am banned.


As we take in the sights, sounds, culture and friendships in expontial amounts i am praying these experience become more than just a collection of memories stored away for safe keeping but rather that we are left with an imprinting on our lives that leaves us more loving and compassionate for the world around us.   


Anonymous said...

Loved the input. Also the fact that the car is Chris's and he isn't around. That is a great one, I kind of like it. We carry the load and should carry it all, right. By the way, you can't work there, so you shouldn't even have a car, just who do you think you are??
Mom told me you just found some packed items,I AM GLAD. You don't need to try and fit into the culture 150%...... Have a super wonderful rest of the week, and may God continue to give you His peace and grace. Love Dadirre

Noelle said...

Whew, glad no one was IN the car or got hurt! Love your perspective and SO thankful that God is keeping you well,eyes wide open and taking it all in with stride, grace,love and care. Love you xoxo

Lyndsay said...

So good to hear and see another update. It is just so amazing what a different culture you are really in. Such a fabulous experience that will grow your family so much. Thanks for letting us into your world:)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and pictures. I was thinking of the Burnett family earlier today.
Enjoy your adventures
Ryan Edwards
Chris' co-worker in Montana

Tami said...

RYAN! Thanks for thinking of us! I will have to make a point in including more stories about Chris! ;-)

Betty said...

My insurance-industry co-workers would be amazed at your interesting car claim experience. Did you get the coveted green card?

Natalie said...

Love it. The light falling on your car, er, your husband's car (united front) is priceless. SO Dubai. I am so happy to hear that you're having "GOT IT" moments...awesome.