Never did I Imagine

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That I would be living here.  Seeing these sights, living this life.

Never did I imagine that I would entertain myself on longish drives by watching for camels in the desert off the side of the road.  Or that I would be fortunate enough to have a massage therapist actually come to my villa and give me a massage.  Or that I would be shopping for bacon in the back walled-off section of a grocery store, feeling slightly unsettled, or somehow tarnished.  Or that I would learn haggling over prices so quickly, refusing to pay first or second asking price for just about anything.

This is a photo showing an abra crossing Dubai...

This is a photo showing an abra crossing Dubai Creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 31 May 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes it hits me that this really *is* unimaginable.  Like the other day, a friend and I were sitting on this incredibly crowded rickety-looking wooden boat thing called an abra.  I was sitting in the back, next to the old rope and decrepit-looking wooden paddle/rudder thing for steering.  It was piloted by a man that didn’t speak any language I could identify, who simply hissed at us to pay the Dirham fee.  This abra had no rails, no ropes, no walls, no hand holds, nothing, just a big platform upon which to sit and smush together.

We were crossing over the Dubai Creek to a souk (market) on the other side….. I looked over at my friend and said “Do you realize that we are in a foreign country, riding an over-loaded boat that OSHA would go freekin carnival-ape-crazy over, to an open-air souk with no controls over what’s sold or how, and we’re not paying any sales taxes??  Did you ever imagine you’d be doing something like this???”  She smiled and said “And the ride’s costing us a whopping 27¢ too!”  Crazy.

Some of the things that we’ve done here, the experiences we’ve had, the stories we’ve heard, they’re like nothing I ever imagined would happen to me.  Please don’t read the way I come across in this blog like this whole adventure is routine for me – there ain’t *nothing* routine about Dubai or the Middle East, far as I can tell.  Not at all.

4 responses »

  1. Deb I love reading your adventure. It is a very special time you can experience. I wouldn’t want to live there but I could do a tour if I had too.. Have an awesome time and keep sharing I love it.

    • MadDog, I totally get what you’re saying. It never crossed my mind that I’d be living here, never even on my extended radar…. but you know, things change, and when he was offered this opportunity, we weighed the pros and cons, especially the money for our retirement accounts, and took a leap of faith. We are very very fortunate, you know? I just didn’t want people to think that I am all blase about this, that it’s normal for me to be riding an abra across a river for crying out loud!! Thanks for hanging out with me – it’s great to see you here!!

  2. I absolutely love your blog and writing style. I appreciate how you are respectful and appreciative of the cultural differences and are able to share without showing any discontent or disdain. I’m looking forward to my upcoming visit and look forward to your entries.

    • Danyell, thank you for your comments – I read a lot about this country before I arrived, and learned that if I came here with an open mind, and was willing to try and understand instead of rebuke, my life here would be dramatically enriched. And it has. We have had opportunities put before us that were never even in our wildest dreams. And I’m grateful! Thanks for following along, and feel free to message me when you visit!

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