Things are a smidge different here as far as how the week/weekends are setup. Mosque is on Fridays here so Friday becomes our Sunday and Sunday becomes our Monday… with Saturday just staying Saturday. But not really…. I mean, I am used to waking up late on Sundays and watching The Soup in bed with Jon and the Dogs, having a cup of coffee and maybe brunching it up and making it into a little Sunday Funday… but no more. However, I am not working so I guess that every day is Sunday Funday until I push this kid out! I will have to change my state of mind and deal with the fact that my weekend is ending when everyone else’s in the US is just beginning.
There are also a few other oddities that have made me laugh or stop and say huh? For instance, in every grocery store there is a forbidden zone… dundundun… for Muslims. This place is the called the PORK SHOP! It is always in its own little room with a narrow entryway with harsh fluorescent lighting that buzzes above your head. It makes me feel a little naughty every time I walk in… like a teenage boy trying to sneak into a porn shop, looking over their shoulder to see if anyone is watching.
They all have warning signs on the outside of the doors stating, “this place is not for Muslims” and the few I have seen always have pictures of pigs on the inside… very comical (see the pictures)! Just saying the pigs are all so happy and just catching some Z’s. Maybe I need to take Leighton to a pork shop when she is older so I don’t have to really tell her where our food comes from. “See Leighton, the pigs just go to sleep and rest their eyes and next thing you know we have a BLT!” Abstraction… as American as Apple Pie!
Also, I knew that in moving to the middle east I would be confronted with a culture that I was not well versed in and had very few resources to truly help me grasp what I would see when I got here. I must admit, although it is hard to do, that I watched Sex and the City II the movie a year ago. It was just awful and I cannot believe that I just ratted myself out, but I was on a long flight so I will use that as my excuse. There is a scene at the end of the movie where the Emirati women take off their abaya’s and expose their fashion……every designer you see at New York Fashion week was represented in this scene in the movie. In my mind at the time, this scene took this movie to another place… a bad place… I thought, this has got to be the most ridiculous end to a movie ever and these women do not wear these types of labels. After that viewing I never really thought about what women wear under their abaya’s until I got here. It is jarring at first to see so many women walking around in long black dresses with their faces partially or fully covered… but to see them in 5 inch purple Gucci heels and carrying a green Hermes bag with their overly applied make up is utterly fantastic (and secretly made me start rethinking about my review of Sex and the City II). Women over here seem just as liberated as American minus the black garb. You will see groups of ladies just walking though the mall with their Louis Vuitton bags just chatting away. I even snuck a picture of two women enjoying lattes and dessert in a restaurant under the Burj Khalifa… I never would have thought that there would be Muslim “Ladies that Lunch”… it is extraordinary.
We have fit a lot into my first few days here; dinner at the local country club, brunch at the Westin, Jumeirah Beach, the Dubai Mall (twice), dinner at Jon’s Boss’ house, trip to the local fabric souk (aka. Shop) and driving … a lot of driving! Well… I have my first Doctors appointment tomorrow. I’ll let everyone know how the hospital is so you can all stop worrying!