Wednesday, September 09, 2009
On living in a foreign country
Living abroad gives you a really great perspective. When we first moved to Dubai, at times it felt just like back home but at others it felt so foreign. Like when you stay at a hotel in transit and turn on the TV and can't find anything familiar, and all the channels are foreign ones. Well, not exactly, but at times it feels exactly like that, especially when the local ads come in between the English programs.
The thing is that there is no one type of language or program here, as there are Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Sudanese, Turkish and Saudi shows on the TV here. The Turkish soaps are apparently very popular with Emiratis and Saudi women and many go to Turkey especially to see the sights where the soap operas were filmed.
Another interesting aspect of living here is buying food from all over the world. It's especially noticeable when buying fruit and vegetables, as they are sorted and priced based on their country of origin. So my receipt looks something like this:
Asst vegetables India
Red Delicious Apple New Zealand
Granny Smith Apple USA
Yes, the country is actually part of the name here as they are priced differently. Take tomatoes for instance, there is a huge difference in prices between locally grown tomatoes to vine ripened tomatoes to plum to cherry and so on, most of which come from several different countries. Some supermarkets even have notices on which fruits and veggies have been flown in by air! Sometimes items have a city name such as "Banana Mysore" instead of a country notation. This sign was for the delightful mini bananas of South India.