Anyone who has travelled knows that different people in different places have their own ways of doing things. There's a shorthand, that if you're from out of town, you don't understand even if you're speaking the same language.
That has happened a lot here. Such as being told on Friday night that the real estate agent needed a large deposit urgently the next day, despite us not having a bank account and limited access to ATMs. It was just assumed that we of course knew this. Of course, we didn't.
Or being told that the kids' orientation day at school was on from 8am-12pm. I thought that meant they went to school from 8am-12pm, but no, we can turn up any time between those hours for a quick 20 minutes orientation. Thankfully I had called about something else and happened to ask.
There are so many rules and procedures and ways of doing things that are different from home, yet it's assumed that you know what's going on. I find that when I ask questions I get a big sigh, or an eye roll. It's amazing how you can hear an eye roll over the phone.
"Houses don't come with oven/stoves in Dubai?" sigh "Of course, not. Who wants a used oven?"
"I would like a pre-paid sim card, please." "Where's your passport?" "I don't have it, do I need it?" eye roll "Of course you need it."
Sigh. "You need to take your bread to the bakery counter to be ticketed"
Eye roll "I need the correct change"
Even trying to buy a lunch box has been a fruitless four day shopping extravaganza. Everything is matchbox-sized. And insulated or a cold pack? Forget about it.
It's that constant feeling of not-knowing-what-the-hell-is-going-on.
I'm learning fast.