Saturday, 23 January 2010

One year on...

You know you're a local when:

You can negotiate a UAE roundabout without hesitation
You can negotiate a UAE roundabout at speed
You can talk on your cell while negotiating a UAE roundabout
You resist the urge to give someone the bird when there's a near miss at a UAE roundabout
You stop getting lost in Dubai
You can follow someone's verbal directions in Abu Dhabi
The bar staff at your local say "Margarita?" soon as you arrive
You know the names of most of the bar staff
The cafe staff don't even ask but just make you that much needed double espresso
The people at the post office greet you with a smile and ask how you are
You know most of the people at the rugby club on quiz night, even if it's only the second time you've been there
You've had the misfortune of crashing into an Emirati when out and about in your car (luckily not a big one but all my fault!)
You've camped in the desert overnight
You've plunged off the top of a sand dune in your 4wd
You can speak enough Arabic to make the locals smile and want to teach you more
You can ask for coffee in Arabic and be understood
You've swum in the pool at the top of a falaj after exploring an oasis
You've lounged by a 5 star pool for an afternoon or two
Everywhere you go you see familiar faces and are greeted warmly by others

It's almost been a year since I arrived in Al Ain, an interesting and at times difficult year. One of change, endings and beginnings. One of losses and gains. A year worthy of reflection.

No comments: