Friday, May 20, 2011

When in Abu Dhabi, Do As the Locals Do?

 Before moving to this country I would spend my free time looking up anything I could about my new home and then would return to work to brag to all of my co-workers at the (not so) Fresh Market. I learned that it is the richest city in all the world, Muslim, hot and that I would not be allowed to leave my room in shorts or tank tops. All of these things really worried me.†
 1. I dont have money, I shop at Target.†
 2. I love bacon.†
 3. I think Alabama is hot in November.†
 4. Forget the shorts, what about the naked mermaid on my arm?
 † †Two months later and still feel like I dont know what I am doing and what is right and what is wrong. However, I can say that I do observe and observing what others do is the easiest way for me to learn about my surroundings. I know plenty of you have questions and feel free to leave them in the comments or e-mail me on facebook with them. I figured I would just touch base on some things that I have learned in the time I have been in here in a blog.
    When driving through Abu Dhabi the first thing you will notice are the sky scrappers. They are everywhere and a percentage of them are still under construction. Construction is another thing that seems to be everywhere. There are around eleven or more banks in every block and when asked what they want to be when they grow up, the number one response for teenagers is a banker, here in Abu Dhabi.
    It is easy to see who is Muslim and who is not because of the way they dress. Men in long white robes, (kandorah) and women in black, (burqa). Although this is traditional, its not always  what I see always locals wearing. Some wear slutty clothing under their black robes with them open. Others wear tunics with skinny jeans and a scarf wrapped around their head, almost completely western except for the fact they are wearing long sleeve sweaters in 110 degree weather. Every woman wears heels and make up like they are working the corner regardless of how religious she is. The style here is like a mix of Jersey Shore and Kevin Federline held together with generous amounts of hummus.
    As for food, pork is available and where it is you usually donít see Muslims there. Ryan and I shop at this English grocery store that has a section separated from the store labeled, ìPork Section for Non Muslims.î So yes, we can eat pork and go places where they serve pork items. Also we can drink inside the hotel. As for buying alcohol, you have to get a liquor license. Ryan and I get a little taste of home but its comes in the form of our least favorite fast food restaurants. The McDonaldís has a McArab and my favorite local dish is lemon mint juice.
    I wear pretty much whatever I want. I have seen woman dress in belly shirts and booty shorts, tank tops, mini skirts. I get a complement on my tattoo almost every day and some people like to touch itÖ Really whatever goes as long as you are a tourist. I do all of our laundry in the bathtub. It sucks really bad and I think that I have ruined a lot of our clothes because they donít dry fast enough in our room. Clothing is really cheap quality here but really expensive, also very trashy style. Like a wet cil or a deb would clean up here.
     I miss cooking and my dog the most. I miss cleaning up my house and my washing machines. I often watch youtube videos on how to make gum paste flowers and cheese from scratch. I shop online and already have a list for stuff to buy on black Friday for my kitchen. On days when I get really home sick and think about going home I remind myself that I will get to spend winter in Utah. So until then, I am counting down the days.
    Again, I know that I haven't covered all the questions you might have about what goes on in Abu Dhabi. If you have any questions ask.

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