Thursday List: You Know You’ve Been to the UAE Long Enough when…

1)   A daytrip to Dubai is just a part of the routine.

2)   So is a trip to Abu Dhabi.

3)   You no longer notice that everyone around you is wearing kandoras or abayas.

4)   You shorten your sentences and speak each word very distinctly so that the non-native English speaker you’re communicating with will (maybe) understand you.  Optionally, you leave out linking verbs and articles.

5)   You say “petrol” instead of “gasoline”, “mark” instead of “grade” and tell people your flat is on the ground floor. Oh, and “inshallah” becomes a household word.

6)   Somebody else pumps your gas, er, petrol, and you think that’s normal.

7)   You haven’t washed your car in six months because you can get someone else to do it for five bucks.

8)   You stop noticing that there’s no sales tax.

9)   When the temperature drops below 70 you think it’s really cold out.

10) Every time you go outside you meet somebody who’s neither American nor Emirati, and you’re not the least surprised.

11) You’re no longer terrified by the crazy drivers or the confusing roundabouts.

12) You see so many Porsches and fancy Mercedes that you don’t even notice them any more.

13) However, when you see a girl in shorts/skirt/dress that do not cover her knees or in a sleeveless top, you wonder what in the world she is thinking.

14) You no longer try to snap a photo of every camel truck passing by.

15) When you hear the word “date,” you think of a fruit, not an event.  You even have a favorite kind of date.

16) Truly clear, blue skies are exciting.

17) Seeing a dog is equally exciting.

18) You remember to not take or give anything with your left hand.

19) Last time you had so many friends living in the same town as you, you were in high school.

20) You are ready to pay $10 for a box of White Cheddar Cheez-Its.


30 thoughts on “Thursday List: You Know You’ve Been to the UAE Long Enough when…

  1. You say ‘backside’ meaning at the rear of.
    You’re shocked seeing people kissing in public.
    Your gardener punches your driver for making a pass at your maid.
    You sit in your car for ages wondering where to go for dinner, every night
    You drive over to Fujairah just for something to do, then drive back without getting out of the car.
    You’re amazed by people newly arrived who tell you everything and anything


      • No worries….nice to see others notice the same sort of things 🙂 I will keep reading! Where are you in the UAE??


      • I live in RAK. Will be in Al Ain in 2 weeks for the weekend! One last place to visit before I leave the UAE this year 🙂


      • Never been. Only really there for about 24hrs…Just one more place to see nothing specific. RAK is a different in that it still has the culture that is visible. Grown to love it 🙂 You must visit RAK…It is unique 🙂


      • We sure will. Maybe even during the spring break. In Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet and the Green Mubazzarah at its bottom are nice to visit. We also enjoyed Sheikh Zayed’s palace.


  2. Pingback: Thursday List: You Know You’ve Been to the UAE Long Enough when… | Sharpe Adventures in the UAE

  3. LOVE THIS! We’ve been here for six months and are laughing our heads off. I have a 9 year old who can tell the difference between a Ferrari and a Maserati! More to add, perhaps: You can now tell the dumpster cats apart – and maybe have given them names….you’ve listened to more classical music here than your pre-UAE years combined….you’d kill for access to an NPR radio station…VPNs are part of your life….you’ve seen (at a minimum) 10,000 white Toyota Land Cruisers……you never, ever drive in the left hand lane on the highways…..can hoist, flip or carry full water cooler bottles like you’re The Hulk… stare at little blonde children and say “ooooo, look at their hair!”

    Where are you from in the States? PIttsburgh is home for us. Teaching at HCT. Will follow your blog.


    • Amen on the Land Cruisers! Hahaha! We moved to the UAE from Georgia, but Shon is originally from Maine, and I’m originally from Russia. We’ve been here about as long as you have. Do you enjoy HCT?


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