So here I am.
Sitting in the same old desk chair, at the same old desk, as when I wrote the very first entry of this blog a few years ago. In the good ol' USA.
It's incredible how this adventure is ending almost exactly how it began: Daddy is away for an entire month (only this time he's selling off, as opposed to buying up, the items of our Dubai world)... PopPop and I are depressed and commiserating (thank goodness we have the ever-ebullient "Tess" around to lift both of our spirits)... and none of us quite knows what's next for us. In other words, an oddly familiar cloud of uncertainty, resentment, and despair is obstructing our view.
So in a futile attempt to alleviate the I-MISS-DUBAI blues (I get all choked up whenever I think of our utopian home life, Screamer's little soulmate, or my best girls whom I had to leave behind), I have cobbled together a list of twenty things I will NOT miss about Dubai. (Avert your eyes, C, M, M, and S back in the desert, unless you want to be reminded of the occasional annoyances that Dubai living has to offer.)
Therefore I am happily saying GOOD RIDDANCE to the following trivial inconveniences of UAE life, in no particular order:
1) military time on all the digital clocks. I am not that good at math anymore.
2) electrical plugs that require adapters, even right out of the box from a UAE store. I shudder to think of the cumulative time I lost aggravatingly opening and closing drawers in an exasperating adapter search.
3) temperature measured in Centigrade, and weight measured in kilograms. See item #1 above re: my math skills.
4) a marble and stone house in which the baby monitors' reception was spotty at best. Daddy and I probably would have had a much more lively social life had I been confident that ANYONE in the 3-story estate would have heard the occasional plaintive cry for a glass of water.
5) the hugely limited grocery store options, particularly as pertained to American brands. Glorious was the day when a sole package of Eggo waffles magically appeared in our local frozen food section... and long were the months before another box would materialize.
6) the jacked up prices on said American export items. The $14 package of Oreos (which I *bought*, mind you) will live on in infamy.
7) the kajillions of speed bumps. Sure, I quietly blamed the Z-Man for my nausea, but we all knew it was the roads themselves I was mad at.
8) roundabouts where traffic lights should be. As if I wasn't nauseous enough from the speed bumps.
9) streets with either no signs, or a miniscule sign like this: "Street 2." Thanks for making a handicapped sense of direction even MORE useless, Dubai.
10) infuriatingly shaped milk containers. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to take a photo, but you have to take my word for it on this one: the plastic cartons were just elongated cubes with a hole cut through the top for your fingers to (theoretically) go through. Supposedly it was designed this way to save refrigerator space but clearly, the true purpose was to maximize spillage.
11) no cell phone reception in the house.
12) ...and the companion item to #11: a cell phone company that was lobbying to build a cell phone tower about 20 feet from our BACK YARD. Suffice it to say I had already alerted the newspapers that I was planning a splashy demonstration to protest the first sign of breaking ground.
13) the 3-day suspension of radio programming whenever an important person died. I mean no disrespect here, obviously. But as someone who does not enjoy classical music, which apparently is the only thing allowed to be broadcast during times of national mourning, I absorbed every moment of that loss.
14) no electrical outlets in the bathrooms. It seems UAE architects do not use flat irons.
15) having to pay for shopping carts. Sure, it was only 1 dirham, and ok, you could get it back when you returned the cart, but oh come on.
16) phone numbers written without spaces or hypens. YOU try to remember 0506582394.
17) salons that only offer threading, but not waxing, of eyebrows. Since I was too chicken to try the threading (it supposedly shapes better but hurts more), I was left to my own pathetic plucking devices. For about two years.
18) cars that make an annoying ding! ding! ding! whenever you go over the local limit, and continue ding!ing until you slow down. Some of us have a need... for speed.
19) internet censorship. I bid an unsentimental farewell to this message:
"We apologize the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to the content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates."
I was just trying to view people's photos on Twitter, damnit!, but what I got instead was this:
And last but not least,
20) American Idol, always broadcast 24 hours after the live show, and long after the rest of the world had already found out that Kris Allen, tragically, had won. :)
So there you are. Back in America I now have more Eggo varieties than I could ever sample; a cell phone I can use in our home office while keeping our land line as a paperweight; and American Idol-- a.k.a. The World's Most Jump-the-Shark-iest Show-- soon coming to me live and in full Seacrest definition.
And to THINK that I was actually feeling depressed a few minutes ago!