Hello from the other side. Let me just take my sunglasses off…
A random sunny day
The first week in Abu Dhabi went fast, and at the same time it seems ages have passed since we left Copenhagen. At work, I had a lot of introduction sessions, as well as procedures to get the local phone number, Emirati ID card etc… Everything went smooth, with the only issue being a local women asking me to take off my blue contact lenses to make a photo. I had to spend a few minutes explaining that blue is my natural eye color. And in this sunny place, the pupils contract so much that the eyes seem almost unnaturally blue. Like the sea.
The sea has been our main enjoyment here so far. Water is everywhere, and we can’t get enough of it. It was great to spend weekend mornings reading on the beach, followed by a sporty swim. Water access is our key concern when looking for a residence to live – basically, most residences have beach clubs and pool areas, the problem is to pick 100-200 meters beach in the city center, or 500m beach just over 30km away. Well, distances are big here, and a car will be needed anyway. For now, we are enjoying a cheap taxi service (30km ride costs just over DKK 100, or just over EUR 14).
People here are just too nice. Even though the stats say over 80% living here are expats, I have met quite a few locals, also at work. And they are much more…how should I put it… open and friendly than I thought, especially to foreigners. Basically everyone is willing to help, and I have a notebook of tips by now on where to buy a car, get a massage and so on. Similarly, I feel it won’t be any trouble establishing contacts with expats. E.g. yesterday a friendly cyclist from Jordan stopped to tell us about the different cycling routes, and even offered his mobile phone should we have any questions.
We saw our first movie in VOX cinemas yesterday, which was Fast and Furious 8. Must say, after spending a day outside, sitting in the cinema – even in jeans and jacket – felt freezing cold. But most people came in T-shirts, so we were surprised. The only annoying thing about the movie (well, apart from it being too unrealistic) was guys talking behind us. I was told it’s normal here. But was annoyed, and almost about to turn around and say something to the guys to make them quiet. But my husband kindly stopped me: “I can see you don’t want to stay in this country for too long?!” Food for thought 🙂
Speaking of food, I don’t remember a week where I consumed so much sea food, hummus, pita bread, vegetables and fruit which actually taste something. And even though we fell in love with the Lebanese cuisine (our hotel has one of the best Lebanese restaurants – Li Beirut), having local tapas at home with fresh bread, olives, hummus at a nice view… is simple and much cheaper way to survive.
Next week we are going on a housing tour, and make our final decision as where to live permanently (1-2 years). All residences are new, nice and spacious, and as the Danes would say, it’s a luxury problem, to pick one from another here 😉 Stay tuned.
One thought on “First week: enjoying it”
The small culture shocks. In China our apartment complex gym had a sauna with a Finnish stove and all – and a local was smoking a cigarette at the ylälaude.