Monday, April 2, 2012

Only in the UAE

Ok, so we have grown quite accustomed to seeing and hearing things that are odd here. I really need to start making a list, because the minute I think we've seen it all something else funny or odd tops it. It's almost daily that we have these "Only in the UAE" moments. So to give you an idea, here are a few odd moments from this past week in no particular order.

Tea Time in a Box
My son and I were riding our bikes around the other night when we came up on the roadblock at the end of our street. I've mentioned how everything is guarded here including roadwork in the past. Well, it seems the guard at the end of the road has built himself a "house" out of scrap plywood. He isn't the only one, my son's Pakistani friend across the street has done the same, along with another man down the street guarding a new house that is being built. 

Anyways, even odder than men living in boxes on my street is the way they act like it's really a house. As my son and I rode by the make shift house down the road, two men were sitting in it having evening tea. They were quite cheerful to be sitting in a box, and they both greeted us with an "Assalamu alaikum"  as we rode past. Talk about a lesson for kids on being grateful for what they have. 

Applebees in the Sand
We live in an area called Khalifa that is broken into 3 distinct parts A, C, and B. Yes, I know it's out of order, but that's how they run from the coast inland. Khalifa A was developed first, but like Khalifa B it is still under construction. Actually, the whole country is "Under Construction", but that's another story. Khalifa C currently consists of nothing but Zayed University, 3 round abouts, and lots of sand. It's a desert that will one day be the new government center of Abu Dhabi. You might remember this as the place I got busted speeding.

It isn't uncommon to see large groups parked at the round abouts in Khalifa C, and hanging out in the desert. Usually, they will hang out there late at night around a fire. During the day, you may see them dune bashing or having fun on their ATVs. Today, we saw one the of the delivery drivers for Applebees making a delivery to a group of kids hanging out at a round about in Khalifa C. Forget home delivery, you can get it delivered straight to your 4x4 while you're off roading here.

@$#*** in Subway
I have said over and over that I don't think people here understand English curse words, or at least how offensive they are to parents with young children. We were in a Subway restaurant in Dubai this weekend that had a playlist that had every curse or foul word I know of blasting from it's speakers. 

It isn't just Subway. We've been in a place called Magic Planet(imagine Chuck E. Cheese on steroids) in Dubai when the uncensored version of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" came on. Not to be a goody two shoes, but I didn't even realize there was another version of that song with repeated F-bombs in it. Imagine my shock as it started playing in a place filled with little kids. 

These are just a few moments from this week. I'm sure I'm probably missing some I should share, but sadly this stuff has become the norm here and we just shrug it off  when the next odd thing occurs. 


Anonymous said...

I've just signed up to read your stories about life in Abu Dhabi...thanks for taking the time to do that!
My husband, 11 year old daughter and I are hoping to move to Abu Dhabi by September this year and are considering which would be a good school for my daughter. Could you give me any tips? I'm hoping we'll get a full education subsidy and could afford maybe GEMS American Academy or the American Community School? If those prove to be too expensive, what school/s one down the expensive list and preferably American could you suggest from what you have heard?
Thanks, I do appreciate you taking the time to help guide us in the right direction as I don't think we are going to have much choice but to decide from what we find on-line, given our possible arrival date.


Sorry, I just got this message. If you can email me at, I can give you more info.