Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Differences

Since arriving in Dubai I have of course encountered many things that are different than the life I am used to in the States.  For one, my husband seems to fart a lot more than he did prior to marriage, but I suppose that is to be expected.  he he.

A few things I have noticed thus far:

-  The chicken and beef taste a lot different.  The beef comes from strictly grass fed cows in New Zealand and isn't the delicious corn fed beef we have in Iowa.  It isn't horrible, but it isn't the same.  It has less flavor in my opinion.  The chicken tastes completely weird - I don't know for sure where it comes from, but it reminds me of old chicken that has soaked up some weird flavors after sitting in the fridge for too long.  As long as it is with something it is tolerable.  I don't think I would ever want to eat just a chicken breast - marinade or not.

-  The heat.  This is obvious - I have moved to a desert.  What surprised me is that while it may say 110 degrees, it might not feel any different than it did in Iowa.  Then there are days like yesterday where it was around 103 and felt like 120.  Oy vey...  The humidity is ever changing like Iowa and there are times you can see condensation on the outside of the windows because it is so humid out.  It really hasn't bothered me that much though.  As I said to Ben, "It's not sweat, it's condensation."

-  Clothing. You have to wear lots of it.  When it is one of those days that feels like 120, you'd like nothing more than to walk around in the smallest amount of clothing you can manage, but that is not an option.  Shoulders should be covered and dresses/shorts/capris should all come to at least your knees.  This is especially important to observe if you are going to be in the more conservative parts of town if you do not wish to offend anyone or attract stares from strangers.  It hasn't been hard to comply with the customs of this country, but when you are condensing (see previous joke above) so much that you have already soaked through your clothes it is hard to keep on that soggy cardigan.  TMI?  Honestly though, there have been a couple of times Ben and I were walking around and I took off my cardigan to catch a bit of air.  I didn't receive any stares or judgmental glances - mostly because we were in the tourist section of the city and 90% of the people around had on much less than I did.  (I was still wearing a maxi dress with a conservative top to it.)  I do wish to respect the culture of this country and will maintain a conservative wardrobe.

-  Restaurants.  Water is not bottomless - you have to pay for it.  Boo to that when it is hot out and hydration is necessary.  Also, pop comes in cans and you get a glass with a small amount of ice.  At one restaurant we went to, the waitstaff was continuously reaching over our shoulders to refill our glasses if we had pop left in the can.  That worked my last nerve - stay out of my space!  I also have a very large bubble, so take that at what you will.  I just found it annoying that every time they walked by they felt the need to reach over me while I'm trying to enjoy my meal and I have to sit back and wait for them to be done. 

-  Darling little Grover has differences in his life as well.  His favorite after potty/walk treat is not available for purchase - Pupperoni.  Ben and I did find some treats he happens to like, he is very picky, called "Ben".  Funny.  There are no rawhide Busy Bones for him to chew, so he has had to take a hiatus from his favorite chew treats.  They DO have his brand of dog food which is a win because he has such a sensitive stomach that switching him to another brand would have been a small nightmare. 

Grover must also endure more baths than normal.  To maintain green grass and living plants here, they water daily with what Ben has coined, "shit water".  It is absolutely disgusting - it smells like, well. . . shit.  The smell comes from the desalinization process they put it through, but I'm not exactly sure what all that entails.  Anyway, Grover daily has to walk through grass that has been watered with this disgustingness and it makes his paws dirty and smelly.  Poor puppy.

Silver thing is trash shoot. Seriously people?
Sign on door to trash room.














-  I have never been very tolerant of laziness, and I have noticed much of that in this country.  Mostly this muchness is found around the trash shoot in our building.  Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Rachel takes the pizza box to the trash shoot and Treeger (the super) makes her cry for not shoving the pizza box down the shoot (he had just spent forever fixing that very problem)?  That is the kind of trash shoot we have.  I walk by the shoot daily to take Grovie out to potty/for a walk and it never fails that someone has left a bag there.  How LAZY do you have to be to just drop it there instead of taking TWO SECONDS to open the shoot and drop it down?  Instead, they leave it to smell and impregnate the air with foulness.  SO aggravating.

-  Another thing with food:  Last night I made homemade pancakes (the boxed crap people make is DISGUSTING) and they tasted different than when made at home.  The eggs are different here - the yolks are much darker than in the States.  The milk is different, but good.  Their milk either comes in whole milk or low fat, so no skim, so it is a bit more rich than I am used to.  I'm not sure if those are the only factors that changed the flavor of the pancakes or if the sugar and flour have a different taste as well.  They were still oober delicious, just different.

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On another note, I was just on CNN and saw that Diana Nyad had to end her attempt to swim between Cuba and Florida.  She made a comment that I absolutely loved:

Photo off of CNN's website.
"When I walk up on that shore in Florida, I want millions of those AARP sisters and brothers to look at me and say, 'I'm going to go write that novel I thought it was too late to do. I'm going to go work in Africa on that farm that those people need help at. I'm going to adopt a child. It's not too late, I can still live my dreams,' "

What a fantastic woman to be so adventurous later in her life.  Flippers off to her!