Juliana writes again! We promise to post more photos soon!!
Being here over a week now and seeing most touristy things of Dubai, I am able to experience a tiny portion of everyday life. There are plenty of familiar fast food restaurants and stores but many more things that are completely new to me.
Prayer time here is announced for everyone near the mosque to hear. Its serene and reminds me to take a moment to think of my religion and reflect on my own thoughts. There are more strict laws on public dancing and drinking which is very different. I have seen that many of the things we find common every day fun in the U.S. is considered risqué, which does not surprise me but it is still a very big adjustment to avoid offending anyone.
Funny story, Katie and I went into a government building to run errands and a few girls were not let in because of business professional skirts that were knee length. Thankfully, Katie warned me that we should be fully covered (jeans and a shirt) and we were in and out quickly.
The most difficult thing I have found adjusting though is the way people treat each other here. They are not disrespectful but its an every man for them self kind of attitude. It may be just the hustle and bustle of a busy city but I keep reminding myself to smile and say hi and thank you even if it is not returned. I have experienced multiple people try to cunningly sneak in front of a long line right in front of me, stinginess with cabana umbrellas even though the group had two and the resort was short in supply among multiple pushes and budges simply walking around in the mall. While we have met so many nice and helpful people, they are so few and far between that when we do find them it is like finding a perfectly shimmering pearl at the bottom of the ocean.
Through all of these new experiences, I realize what a strong person it takes to move to a foreign country away from family and friends and most things familiar. Whether moving from America to here or vice versa, it is still such an adjustment and we should treat these people like we would want them to treat our very best friend in their own country. I want to spread the word to support these people and make them feel like they are not alone or at the very least a smiling face in a crowd of unfamiliarity to keep them going.