We've been here almost three months now and it feels like forever and no time at all.
Things that seemed foreign and strange at first feel normal now – crazy driving, having someone fill my car with petrol, no BYO restaurants, being called 'madam', the wasteful Dubai attitude. There are times when I actually feel like I could still be in Australia, that it's not all that different after all. Then something happens and I'm reminded of where I am.
* The sand. The constant sand I sweep off the floor and off the tables and every surface in the house. Yesterday, just after we'd gotten home from school, the sky turned black and the houses that I normally see in the the distance had vanished. Sandstorm! The wind blew and the sky was eerie. Then as fast as it had begun, the sky cleared and the houses reappeared.
* Deliveries. You can get almost anything delivered here as I've mentioned before. The one thing that gets me is the relaxed attitude. I ordered some water to be delivered, they turned up on the wrong day at the wrong time. Then another time I didn't have any cash. Then another time I forgot and went out. It never bothered the delivery person. It's an attitude of 'Oh well, that happens'. Our fridge was delivered three times, once I wasn't at home, the next time I didn't have the right piece of paper and then finally they left it. I just can't imagine a delivery person in Australia bringing a fridge to the front door of an apartment on the 8th floor three days in a row without going mad.
* "What's your good name?" I get asked this a lot, I'm not sure if they want my first or last name or if it's just a term of endearment. Anyone know?
* Bottles that don't pour properly. Whether it's milk or juice, it always seems to end up on the floor, kitchen bench or table. Why, oh why, can't they make a bottle that pours without spilling?
* People just pulling out in front of me while I drive. Constantly! Nuff said.
* The weather. It's glorious at the moment, absolutely glorious. Warm and dry and not a cloud in the sky. It will be like that tomorrow and the day after and the day after and the day after..... (besides the brief sandstorm, which felt like a dream).
* The call to prayer. I absolutely love hearing it when I'm out and about, it's hauntingly beautiful and definitely reminds me of where I'm living.
* I saw this sign in a toilet at a supermarket. I can honestly say I've never seen one like it before! It's a urine colour chart, so you can do a quick check and see how hydrated you are.... hmmm.