Dubai Daze

Well, it’s been quite a ‘wonderful time of year’ for Daryl and I.  We are settling into our Dubai lifestyle quite easily, I can’t wait for Daryl to start work so we can get the visa process going.  We are here on tourist visas until he starts work, which is great because we’ve really had time to do just that… be tourists.  Christmas in Dubai has been a lot like Christmas in Australia.  Hot.  I haven’t ever celebrated Christmas on my own, as I usually travel back home, or celebrate with friends, so this is the first year that we haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit.  Which I guess, is fine, since Daryl and I aren’t religious we spent the holidays enjoying time with each other, and isn’t that what the holidays are for?… Spending time with loved ones?  Dubai has been our honeymoon of sorts, and we’ve been enjoying lazy days by the pool and exploring this architecturally drenched city.  We’ve travelled to the gold souks and tried our hand at bargaining some pieces down, but turns out we didn’t do much of the intimidating and instead were just intimidated.  The souks create there own sort of atmospheric noise like nothing else I’ve experienced, the hustle and bustle of patrons haggling, and the many men that creep out of the nowhere’s, that simultaneously whisper and beckon you down to their isolated stalls, deep within the maze of pathways in the souks.  It’s such a unique experience, but it’s definitely not for everyone.  We’ve been to the mall every day, as the mall also houses every activity you could possibly imagine [insert ice skating rink, ski slope, movie theatre, an indoor souk and restaurants galore].  But have enjoyed it.  Being the world’s largest shopping mall probably helps that fact a bit.  We’ve also found the perfect place to live, but as of writing this, have yet to sign the contract.  It’s a 1 bed, 1 & 1/2 bath 12th floor beauty right in downtown Dubai (next to the big mall that we’ve been going to everyday) and about 10 minutes from Daryl’s work.  Not only is the apartment situated in the perfect location, but it’s also walking distance to the lifestyle Daryl and I have been longing for.  Cafe’s and restaurants are right outside our new place, along with grocery stores, pharmacy’s… you name it.  The apartment complex even houses two of its pools for residents, a pretty decent gym, basketball and squash courts (which is racquetball for everyone in the states, a library, a huge patio area with BBQ grills and Burj views, which, ironically, is the apartment complexes name (the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world, and quite an impressive building).  If you’ve just eaten, let your stomach settle a bit before clicking on this link.  You might lose your cookies like I almost did.  Don’t worry, Daryl and I have no plans to do this.  We like to keep our feet on the ground, and this won’t be a tourist activity on our list.  Fun fact, I think you can see where our new building is in the photo, although I could be wrong, since I still haven’t quite got my bearings figured yet.  Daryl and I haven’t been packing our days with tourist activities, but we have been going to the gym every day (yes for fitness).  We’ve taken in a couple of the sights and enjoyed walking around.  Next week we will go to the Dubai Museum for an intense history lesson (I realised I have little to no idea about the history of Dubai) and take a ride on an Abra, or traditional wooden boat across Dubai Creek.  We will also venture to the top of the Burj Khalifa for undoubtedly the best view of 2015, and finally check out Dubai’s Global Village, which is a theme park melting pot featuring sites & sounds from around the world.

All in all, we’ve been exploring life as newlyweds in our new stomping ground — Dubai!

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Dubai Dubizzle

Hello from the Middle East!

Although it feels like I’m right smack dab in the middle of a big city in the U.S. somewhere.  In fact, Dubai is so familiar feeling it’s eerie.  Walking around the city and seeing “Applebee’s” to my right and a “Red Lobster” to my left, when I haven’t seen these restaurants in years, brings back an odd sense of being back at home in Virginia.  Maybe that’s why I feel so comfortable here.  It’s not foreign feeling at all.  Europe brought the history and historic buildings and a sense of 1444, but Dubai, being the modern, architecturally wonderful city that it is, makes me feel like I’m somewhere in the middle of 2050, and not in the Middle East.  (Although there is a lot of sand… in fact, there is sand everywhere, so I guess that’s kinda desert like)  Even in Australia they had their own Australian version of the typical fast food chains, but here… it’s all been Americanised.  I was very happy to find a “Caribou Coffee” (my favourite coffee chain before Starbucks), and happily sat there most of the morning playing on my phone, and catching up with friends via Facebook.
All of this being said, I think I’m going to really like Dubai.  Heck maybe the comforts of America will work in my favour and the whole not feeling so foreign thing will work to my advantage in helping me assimilate to the culture.

It’s only been a day, but I’ve had a smile on my face the entire time I’ve been here.  The people are wonderful, the atmosphere is lovely, and the weather (currently) is simply gorgeous!