You know you are creating an expat brat when…

I’ve been poorly with the ‘flu over the weekend and so instead of getting some much desired family time I’ve spent most of the past few days curled up in a ball shivering. Whilst flaked out on the sofa I stumbled across this blog post about ‘Things you never said until you lived in Dubai’. It got me thinking about writing something myself but I couldn’t face the computer. Then my husband and son got home from Dubai Mall and – hey presto! The work was done for me.

Me: Where did Daddy take you for lunch?

My son (aged not-quite-three): We went to the Armani cafe

Me: Did you?! And what did you have to eat?

My son: I had a wagyu beefburger and fries and dip dip, but the dip dip was too spicy so I asked the man and he gave me some nice dip dip.

Me: A wagyu beefburger hey? Wow, aren’t you lucky?

Having picked myself up off the floor and raised an eyebrow to my other half, who claimed that ‘all the other restaurants were out of kids food’ I realised with a cackle of amusement and horror (I told you I was feeling ill) that we were indeed raising our own little expat brat. So here for your pleasure are the top 10 signs you might be headed that way too:

English: Dubai Mall

Mummy is this our new car? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. They automatically turn left when they get on the plane

2. ‘Lamborghini’ is one of their first 50 words

3. Princess manicures are a Thursday afternoon ritual

4. Their 3rd birthday party cost more that your first car

5. They refuse to wear any polo shirt that doesn’t have a horse sewn on it

6. They think all beaches come with free ice pops and a man that sprays you when it gets too hot

7. They are on first name terms with the staff at the Polo/Golf/Beach club (or indeed, all three)

8. You buy them the cute little housework set from ELC and they leave it outside the maid’s door

9. They can operate Skype before they are out of nappies

10. They think gold and silver are part of the colour spectrum

Small town/big city

In a city that is all about bigger and better, it’s sometimes nice to remember that Dubai is not exactly a sprawling metropolis. We’re always bumping into people we know – at dinner, on weekends away, in the mall – and quite often the circles that people move in are still small enough to induce that feeling of ‘where everybody knows your name’. Sometimes this is not so great – I should imagine complete reinvention is a little difficult – but often it produces a feeling of camaraderie that gives out a warm and welcome glow in such a transient place as here. This is no more obvious than when listening to the radio. Yesterday, a generous amount of airtime was being given to the installation of the new and rather controversial speed camera on Al Hessa Street. You can’t get more local than that, and there was something rather nice about the sense of belonging it gave me, to know exactly what they were talking about and why.

More amazing is that I’m feeling this generous about Dubai in 45 degree heat late on a Thursday afternoon with another eight weeks to go before I escape for the summer. Times, they are a-changin’….