This post is a long time coming but let’s get straight into it. A little bird told me social media is a bit of a thing here and blogging is in context, well, with my new role. I’m good to go and so, my dearest followers, you’re going to have to let a girl live and it helps that your all super intelligent. 😎
Asides from settling in, finding my feet & getting familiar with “careem” (a taxi app), I’ve been busy. As with any visit in my case relocating, you’re going to experience ‘culture shock.’ Waiting, is one of them and it could be a taxi or takeaway, just blame the traffic. A frequent traveller to Sharjah, told me he arrives one hour before his appointments after he was told “I’m on my way.”
The scenery makes up for it however.
It think it was my second week in the UAE, when a colleague had told me we had been here for two weeks. It’s almost been a month now and I’m telling you, it feels like a year. A year, yet in slow-motion. So much has happened! From learning how to count to 10 in Arabic, a bumpy taxi ride and trying an Iraqi burger in Sharjah, for the first time. With my initial training based here, I’ve had time to look around.
If you’re a bargain hunter, a window shopper or fancy the finer things in life, you’ll find it all in the Emirates. From Abu Dhabi Mall, to Sharjah’s own & the City Centre, to Gold Souk in Dubai, you won’t miss a thing. Whatever your taste-buds, you’ll find an eatery to match it so go ahead and explore. The atmosphere is laid back and the lifestyle here is relaxed. Besides the sometimes manic-ness that comes with most market place’s, you can take your pick if you want to unwind.
The Edge of Dubai
I can access my work location whilst being in the main hub, Dubai. In terms of differences, I’d say the two Emirates are similar, other than demographics which, depends on the area. There is a large Indian population in Sharjah, as with the Filipino community. The same can be said with Dubai, likewise many nations from the western world and the African continent, live/work here too. The emirates in general is so multicultural there is no one-ethnic group, which makes it so diverse.
Arabic culture and traditions encompass many forms including; spirituality, history, storytelling, family and so on. Hospitality plays an integral part, and Arabic coffee is very traditional here. If you are offered coffee or food, be open to receive it and not with your left hand. Likewise, a better way of saying no, is highly regarded too. There are many other traditions and ‘way of life’ that is important in Arabic culture; family & honour going hand in hand. I gained a lot of insight at the cultural event, which was hosted during my induction. Overall, there are elements of Arabic culture that are very similar to African culture.
My first Henna
The common greeting here is “Assalamu ‘Alaikum” (Peace be unto you), (as with the Muslim world) and when Muslims gather and so on. However, you can be from another faith and greet a Muslim this way. Bearing in mind, “Good Afternoon” works well too, using both as an icebreaker. “Hello,” is okay if anything by default, you can always rely on your instinct.
Smiling always gets me through.
Even if your week is running smoothly & efficiently as possible, be prepared for things to go left. Call it the “unplanned” and when you’re in far & distant lands…home isn’t looking so bad. It’s okay, and a normal phase to go through but it is also okay, to not worry about what anyone else will think should anything change. Trust the process but don’t forget, trust your instincts too😎.
It’s important I allow myself to express the different stages of emotions, I am going to feel. If this applies to you, allow yourself to go through it too its unavoidable regardless. After all, moving abroad or just relocating is a big deal and life-changing, in itself.
I’m not talking about traffic or even waiting for anyone. There’s an art to keeping still, at some point. You want things to fall into place and you want it to stay there. It’ll all make sense in the end but if there weren’t any road signs well, we’ll all be at square one.
No matter how big or how small, be grateful.
Till next time!