I am very pleased to report that we have officially survived our first week in our new home, Dubai. After spending five weeks in beautiful Toulouse, drinking beer in the park and watching people practice the tango, arriving in the starkness of the desert is a definite shock to the system. I have to admit, during the first few days, I had a few panicky moments. But, I think I have now gotten over the initial ‘oh my god, where the hell are we, what have we done’ thoughts that usually accompany moving to a new and unfamiliar country.
Flying Business Class with Emirates was really amazing. I have never seen such a posh airline… seats that fully recline, free flowing champagne… a ceiling with little tiny stars that twinkle while you sleep… fantastic! You could actually curl up into the fetal position, hugging a pillow (not that a grown woman like me does that… heh). But if you think that’s comfy, I peeped into first class, and they actually have small personal cabins with doors that can actually close completely, so you are in a cocoon. Wonder if I will get a chance to try out the first class showers some time? Yes, you read right — SHOWERS in first class.
Our new apartment is absolutely massive. Way too big for just a couple. If this were Hong Kong, a Chinese family of about 15 would happily live in here, along with four maids. The complex has two gyms and two rooftop pools too, which is really sweet, since we have both packed on some pounds from the decadent month in France drinking wine and eating cassoulet.
In terms of location, it is quite close to the mega architecture project The Palms, so we are about ten minutes from the beach and very close to the lovely Dubai Marina. From the kitchen, I can also see the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, almost 1 km high. And yes it is true, in the Mall of the Emirates there is a huge ski slope (we can see that too). Too bizarre!
Lucky for me, I have a Trini friend who has been living here for over three years, so I am very fortunate to already have a liming partner. We went into an Irish pub one night and I swore I could have been in Canada (or London… or the States… or wherever!).
It’s important to note that the weekend here is Friday and Saturday, rather than Saturday and Sunday, so Friday brunches with all you can eat and all you can drink are very popular. If I thought French food was decadent, I have to be careful here or it will be very easy to get fat!
Anyways, the next step is to get a car, and my license, and then a job. I have been taking cheap taxis everywhere because it is too hot to walk to the metro station which is about 10-15 minutes away. Plus, there is still a lot of construction, so sometimes the sidewalk stops abruptly and you have to walk through sand, literally.
My friend who lives here told me that when she arrived NONE of this even existed — no metro stations, no big highways, no big malls, no nothing. I thought Hong Kong was a fast paced place, where things got licked down and built up in a matter of days. But Dubai takes it to a whole new level… They literally are building a city up from absolutely nothing. Imagine, if all of this could go up in the space of four years, what ELSE is going to be created within four years?
Coming soon — PICTURES!!!!!!!