Living in Dubai can make you lazy. Actually no, scratch that, I think it is more accurate to say it most certainly does make you lazy. Not only do we have valet parking at every hotel, but you can also valet park your car at the shopping mall, the golf club and the hospital! And of course if you do happen to park your own car you can have it washed while you shop for less than 5 dollars. Inside the malls you can catch a ride on a golf buggy type thing if you really can’t find the strength to walk back to your car after all the shopping and lunching with friends. At some of the cinemas you can even order your nachos or pizza to be delivered to you during the movie.
Pretty much anything that has to be done from a red-tape point of view has a VIP option which allows you to pay more and sit on your behind whilst someone else queues for you and runs around getting hot and sweaty (well ok why not I say!). People take their maids along to the grocery store to manage the trolley, the food selection, the packing of the groceries into the car and of course to make sure the kids aren’t throwing tomatoes at each other. Not an easy task let me tell you based on what I have seen. Having domestic help is relatively cheap here and most stay-at-home mums will also have a full-time maid – well someone has to walk the dogs (*grin*).
The only time you really see some people getting involved and helping themselves is at brunch on a Friday.
In all likelihood Ramadan will start tomorrow, that is depending on the sighting of the new moon, which will probably happen tonight.
Ramadan follows the moon cycle with lasts 29 or 30 days. It is seen as an opportunity for families to renew their connections, it’s also a month of forgiveness and mercy. According to a quote in the Xpress today Ramadan is “when you hit the reset button on your relationships – with God, with yourself, family and even neighbours”.
For the non-Muslims living in the region, and for tourists too, it is important to have consideration for those fasting and remember that all eating, drinking and even smoking in public is frowned upon between dawn and dusk.
Unbelievably, in 5 sleeps time, I will have been in Dubai for a year, and have been blogging about it only slightly longer than that! Honestly I cannot believe it. In some ways I feel like I arrived just yesterday, in other ways it feels like I have been here 25 years. For me feeling settled has a lot to do with making new friends, and we have been extremely lucky to have cultivated some wonderful friendships with some amazing people here. Of course this doesn’t stop me missing my “older” friends back home, not to mention my family. Whilst I think that good friends aren’t necessarily always the people you have known the longest, I do occasionally notice that there is something to be said for knowing people a long time. You can’t go out with new friends and do the “remember when” conversations like you might with old school friends or people that you have a long history with. Maybe that’s not a bad thing either actually, sometimes that can be all you have left in common with certain people. Anyway I digress, the point is that thanks to some great people, I am feeling content here in Dubai. The other thing that certainly helps is knowing where you are going, literally, everyday. I am not getting lost any-more, the street and place names on signs on the highway are no longer baffling and terrifying. This is a major relief let me tell you.
I guess the warning on aerosol cans really SHOULD be taken seriously.
A South African chap, Steve Hawthorne, returned to his Pajero last week, after parking it in the sun for an hour or two over lunchtime, to find that the aerosol can of “cooling spray” he kept in the car to cool down the steering wheel had exploded in the heat. Not only that but it had sliced right through the door!
We all know how dangerously hot vehicles get here, there are stories every year about people dying after falling asleep in cars or buses, but it seems even more care is needed. Don’t leave aerosol cans or electronic goods in your car. I would say even original CDs won’t last long this way.
The full story is here.
Image scanned from the Xpress paper, June 4
Last night whilst I was watching some nasty reality show on TV, actually “the spa of embarrassing illness” I am ashamed to admit, and waiting for Stu to get back from his business trip, I suddenly noticed that I could no longer hear the TV over a strange roaring / dripping sound. My first thought was that the geyser had burst. After dashing around the downstairs of the villa for a few panicked moments I realised that the noise was coming from outside. I opened the front door a crack to be confronted by what can only be called bucketing rain! It didn’t last long as per normal, but my goodness did it come down hard. I am not sure if it rained during the night as well, but it started up again this morning at around 7am, thunder and lightening and all as well.