Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thoughts on Dubai

Burj Khalifa - Tallest building in the world.  Modeled after a lotus flower.

It is no secret that when we first moved here I completely hated Dubai.  I hated the heat.  Feeling trapped inside because of 120 degree weather is not exactly ideal.  I hated that my family and friends were so far away and I couldn't just pop over to see them or easily call/text.  I hated that there is no Target.  Still hate that actually....

I think much of my dislike stemmed from homesickness and lack of purpose.  I had no job and no way to really meet new people aside from through Ben.  My days were spent at home either reading, watching TV or sleeping.  My depression started sinking its claws in and I'm sure it was frustrating for Ben.  I would cry often and there was really no way he could comfort me, aside from just being there, and that was hard for him.  I did have times of fun and happiness but there were many down times as well.

Now that I have a job and am out of the house, around people and doing something with my time, many things have improved here.  I have gotten to know more wonderful people and form personal relationships with them rather than seeing them occasionally through Ben's work outings.  I have become accustomed to the way of life here, although some things are still frustrating, and am enjoying it.  Ben and I both help the other to stay active with friends, so we do more now than when we first moved here.  I think part of that is also due to a bit more financial stability as well. 

I think a big turning point for me was Thanksgiving.  We had Thanksgiving at the beach with some people that Ben, David, Naomi and Casey knew from their masters course and they were all so welcoming and wonderful and made us feel like we belonged there with them.  We also put together a very nice Thanksgiving on Friday for our little Dubai family and made the holiday truly wonderful.  It made me realize how much I will miss this.  I have found that being abroad makes you bond with people in a different way than when you are home.  You feel closer to those around you because everyone is away from family, gets homesick, misses Target...  I can't really describe it, but you automatically feel closer to the people you spend your time with.  You're there for each other on the down days and understand what the other is going through.   You don't have your normal family/friend support so you have to depend on one another. 

Dubai has become a much more enjoyable place and is really growing on me.  I'm not to the point where I can say that I "love" Dubai, but I'm getting there.  I'm still not thrilled with the nasty smelling water, but I very much am enjoying the weather we are having now.  Plants are blooming, the temperatures are around 85 degrees and it gets cool enough to where I can wear pants and long sleeves and be comfortable in the evening.  When the sun goes down I think it is cold and want a jacket even though it is still "warm" for Iowa standards. 

However, I do absolutely love the culture here.  Dubai is a huge melting pot of religion, culture, fashion, everything.  I enjoy celebrating the different holidays of other religions and learning more about them.  I enjoy dressing up in the different traditional clothes of India, Dubai, etc. 

It often amazes me that I am living here.  I am blessed to have such an amazing opportunity.