Several people ‘shared’ this link on Facebook this week, about the fifteen signs you’ve lived in Qatar too long. Several of them could easily apply to Dubai and a few of them could probably apply to many expat experiences, but just for the sheer hell of it, and to celebrate the seven year mark, which we reached sometime last week, I thought I would do my own list, most of which I can honestly say has happened since then.
You know you’ve lived in Dubai too long when:
1. You are intimate with the footprint of Mall of the Emirates to the point where, if a shop closes for renovation, you will trawl backwards and forwards for twenty minutes thinking you must have lost your mind completely to be making such a rookie error in not locating it instantaneously.
2. You completely miss your turning off the motorway because you are still navigating your way to Dubai Media city by sighting of the now-demolished Hard Rock Cafe.
3. Your three year old insists on using an umbrella to shield him from the six drops of rainfall at school drop off, and you are inclined to agree with him.
4. It’s 40 degrees outside and you haven’t put the air con on in the house yet
5. You can’t remember what a Marks and Spencer ready meal looks like, but you do know you miss them
6. You’ve stopped tracking the exchange rate, and converting dirhams to pounds/dollars is only used in case of emergency when the dirham figure sounds too scary, e.g. hotel reservations, school fees, shoes.
7. It’s been two weeks since your last mani/pedi and you are actually, truly distressed by the state of your feet and hands.
8. Your three year old asks you what you are doing with the maid’s things when you get the ironing board out. Then asks what the iron is.
9. You are not surprised when the first item on the news is not the Boston marathon bombers, or an earthquake in China, but a sales report on the latest high rise development in Old Town.
10. You are not surprised by anything very much.
11. Moaning about the quality of driving is what other people do while you sip a latte and thinking about trading in the car for a faster one.
12. When the following things are exciting: Fresh vegetables like kale, which you haven’t seen in nearly a decade; the opening of interchanges that have taken four years to complete; summer clothes arriving in the shops before Easter.
13. When the following things are not exciting: Fountains, Afternoon tea, Barasti, fast cars, Dhow cruises, suntanning, gold anything.
14. You don’t think it’s weird you haven’t been to a liquor store to buy a bottle of wine since 2006. You don’t think it’s weird that you can’t without your passport, a license and a letter from your husband saying it’s okay.
15. ‘Fresh air’ is described as anything below 30 degrees that doesn’t smell sulphurous or contain 95% sand.