More observations on life in Dubai:
- I am spending more time with Europeans than I ever have before. There are surprisingly few Americans around. Europe pretty much dominates the Expat market. Germans and Brits are the most populous in my network at the moment, but I have also met Italians, Swedes, Austalians, etc. It's been fun seeing how the cultures are different. Notable differences between Europeans and Americans thus far: Halloween in Europe implies scary costumes, whereas we Americans go for any type of costume. Also Europeans call costume parties "fancy dress" parties :). Also, the concept of dating seems to be different among some Europeans. Some guys I have talked to say it's totally okay to go on dates with other girls even if you are committed to a girlfriend. It's not cheating unless it's physical-- that's a different mentality than the one I/most Americans? have...
- I also spend more time in hotels than I ever have before. The Dubai social scene takes place almost exclusively in hotels because hotels are the only places that alcohol can be served legally. This means that clubs and bars are all connected to/ inside hotels... the Dubai parallels to Vegas are becoming more clear.
- Some other interesting laws: No public displays of affection or cohabitation between girls and guys who aren't married
- I am not a fan of greeting people in the European way, which is a kiss on each cheek. My [American] default is hugging (which, for the record, I was never a huge fan of to begin with), but all the Europeans do the kissing thing here. I lean in for the hug and then they kiss me on the cheek and I get confused and then I don't turn my head fast enough for the kiss on the other cheek. It's very awkward and embarrassing. Basically, I think I am probably Dubai's worst greeter. I am also just not a huge fan of random people kissing me on the cheek ;-)
- Local anything-- there isn't any of it. Other than local hotel brands, I have yet to see Emirati brands or types of food, clothing, etc. Pretty much everything is imported...
That's all for now... Miss you all!