Arrival Day

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!!!!!!!

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7 Replies to “Arrival Day”

  1. Wow, you make it sound somewhat bearable there! 🙂 Welcome to your new home; I’m confident you’ll settle in as comfortably as you have in every other country you’ve lived in the last …8? years of traveling through Asia. I am actually looking forward to going to Dubai now!

    1. Joel — I did have a few moments when I thought ‘oh no why did we leave Hong Kong!’ But yes, I think once you settle in to a new place and make friends, you can be happy anywhere 🙂

  2. As your Trini partner in crime in Dubai, I love the post! I feel famous that I made the blog 🙂 To be fair to Dubai though, when I got here 4 years ago, the highways were already here….but every other interchange/overpass was under major construction. We did have a few solid liming places and some good clubs and bars. It’s just that compared to now it was only a fraction of them. We used to have to make do, but now we’re spoiled for choice!
    So where are we off to today Em? 🙂

  3. Dude! I am looking forward to hearing more about Dubai!

    Just wanted to let you know, I am writing and being PAID, and if I can, so can you. Check out all the links about writing in my blog list. It’s a ton of info and plenty of work AND you don’t get paid till they are published (which can be months away) but three of the articles I’m writing are going to pay £90 for 800 words. Not bad if you don’t mind waiting. And, if you have photos your queries are more likely to be accepted. You have tons, I know. Check out travel magazines. Only thing is, the best magazines say “We want to see your previously published work” and blogs don’t really count 🙂 Drat! I set up a Scribd account to put my NCT free articles up, it’s all I’ve got right now. Go for it!

  4. another new adventure for my Pie! I can’t wait to see the pics so I can visualize all of this. Your post had me googling Dubai.

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