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!