Before I came to Dubai I was regaled with tales from many people who'd lived here about the rudeness of people, of people pushing in, of a general disregard of others. I prepared myself, I gave myself pep talks about being assertive (which I'm not) and then I arrived and had the exact opposite experience.
I had people hold doors open for me, Emirati ladies let me go ahead of them in queues, Emirati men would tell off people who attempted to push in, I've been pulled out of queues and given preferential treatment, cars stop and let me cross the street, people generally go out of their way for me. So, what made me so special? The kids. The fact that I had a baby or the girls with me. Children are 'it' here and mothers are special.
I must admit some days I feel like I'm pushing around a rock star as Darbs constantly gets waved to, hellos yelled out. I'll be standing somewhere and I'll suddenly look around and all the staff in a shop or restaurant have come out and are pulling faces at Darbs to make him laugh. Even the people who seemingly ignore us will stop and let us go ahead. It's so different to Australia, where generally when you take kids anywhere you're looked upon as being a bit of nuisance or nothing special.
I have to say, it's nice when the baby is screaming and people let you go ahead at the supermarket rather than just tsk and roll their eyes at you. It's lovely when people hold a door open when you're trying to negotiate a pram through instead of letting it slam on you.
I don't think I'm special because I have kids, but it's nice to get a little bit of help while out and about.
This is part of Dubai life that I really do enjoy.