This will be a regular post every 13th of the month (unless I forget!) marking the day we stepped into desert land.
So far after 5 months I learned and discovered that in Dubai…
- the bus timetables at bus stops don’t have any meaning at all. If the bus comes, shutup, smile and hop on.
- If you are mistaken for a hooker, it doesn’t mean that you actually look like one! You are perfectly normal, the overly sexually deprived guys aren’t. They would bang anything with a skirt.
- Put on your earphones and listen to fine music when the bus packed with labourers who toiled under the heat of the sun who by the way, could not afford a deodorant stinks to the max. If the fine music won’t distract you, put the earphones in your nostrils.
- keep your bus ticket with you at all times until you leave the bus, the bearded Arab inspector sometimes come like a thief in the night and you wouldn’t want to provoke him. I am not kidding!!
- You must remember these two words for the rest of your arabian life: Habibi and Alibaba. Habibi translated loosely as “my love”…everyone uses it here. It is especially useful when you want to calm down a storm or get out of a sticky situation. Example, “Habibi, don’t be angry. Habibi, blah, blah, blah…”. For ladies, say with your most sexy voice just like when you just woke up. For guys, make it loud and exagerrated. Alibaba, you use it on those who talk big and don’t deliver. E.g., “You stupid alibaba…Talk only no action!” However, I think this word is only popularly used on Indians…who have the tendency to talk above what they can deliver…oh this is deserving of another loong post, Habibi!!
- Don’t bother yourself learning Arabic. Tamil language would get you to places more than authentic arabic does. Look around you…this country is fast becoming the second India…
- as an urban dweller, take up meditation and stay calm in all situations…able to laugh things off not only will make you stay pleasant, it will prolong your dear life as well!!
- be prepared for road diversions along your way. Remember that Dubai is evolving and seriously if you are from New York, London or Tokyo etc, don’t expect things to run with clockwork efficiency! It will only increase the number of sun-caused wrinkles you already have!!
- be prepared to know the directions going back to your home. Some taxi driver are proud to tell you “Sorry madam, this is my first day…”
- If you want to get some administrative work done (i.e., reimbursement, etc) call that unconcerned guy more than three times every single day.
- Don’t be shocked if you meet an expat who has lived here for more than 5 years and don’t have any idea where Deira is. They have lived all their life in the plush part of Dubai that is Jumeirah, thriving on Starbucks coffees, shopping at the Mall of the Emirates and frolicking at Jumeirah Beach Park since Day One.
- Don’t fret also if they tell you “Wow, you must be brave enough to ride on a bus!”…although these expats deserve a big “DUH!!” in the face.
- Give thanks to whoever you perceive to be greater than all else when that pitiful laborer, obviously tired, hungry and underpaid inside the transport bus looks at you straight in the eye.
So how’s my list? Are you ready to embark on this same adventure I have? For more desert life discoveries, see you next month.