A New Normal/Things I’ve Gotten Used To

The learning curve has been huge moving to the UAE. I had to adjust and acclimate to many things including the extreme heat, the Arabic language, the Islamic culture, and even the day-to-day happenings in the UAE. Certain things that used to be foreign to me are now my new normal. Here are twenty things that I have gotten used to/that have become my new normal are:

1. Starting the work week on Sunday and ending the week on Thursday

2. Being able to order EVERYTHING using an app because EVERYONE delivers

3. Knowing the prime time to call home with the 9/10 hour time difference

4. Semi knowing what is being said on the intercom at work though I know very little Arabic

5. Experiencing the absolute best customer service from most businesses here

6. Realizing that I will likely not die while riding through the roundabouts though it seems I might

7. Realizing that time is relative and if it happens at the appointed time, great, if not, all will be well

8. Hearing my name pronounced correctly 95% of the time

9. Being able to function in a great deal of dysfunction, and living to tell the story

10. Hearing ‘Miss Nia’ 5,090,034 times per day

11. Having to go to the mall to do everything including grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.

12. Hearing the National Call to Prayer five times per day

13. Seeing my life flash before me every time I ride in a car

14. Knowing every single day what the weather will be without looking at the weather app (It will be hot, LOL)

15. Not seeing mailmen, not receiving mail, or having an actual address

16. Covering my arms and wearing skirts/dressing 99% of the time to work

17. Speaking in an English that is so broken that it’s probably not even English to others who don’t understand English

18. Learning (kind of) how to talk to multiple students at one time without missing a beat with any of them

19. Being called ‘Madam’, ‘Ma’am NiaShanta’, and ‘Miss’ by everyone

20. Being able to call on my service people to do everything for me including my laundry, cleaning my flat, pumping the gas, and just about everything else I don’t want to do

There are countless other things that I’ve gotten used to here, but these are the most notable.

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