Packing & Panicking

With less than a week to go until I leave for Dubai, I am drastically behind on my packing and starting to panic a little bit.  In fact, the only reason I am not having a full scale melt down is that Dubai has every shop you can name so if I forget anything, you can go and pick it up fairly easily… well, this is what the tour guide books lead you to understand anyway!!

Why am I not ready?  It isn’t like me much, is it!  Well the reason is that I had a bit of an accident on Saturday night and have torn a ligament in my ankle.  Talk about poor timing.

I was walking the dogs with Mum on Saturday night when I turned over on my ankle.  It was all rather dramatic really.  I couldn’t get up as I was in so much pain so Mum went and knocked on the nearest door for assistance.  Luckily it was my Dad’s best friends house.  They called an ambulance and came out to stay with me while Mum walked the dogs home again.  Thankfully it was late at night and I was on a side road as I was laid out literally in the middle of it for 20 minutes while we waited for an ambulance.

We were taken to our local hospital (known by most as St. Hel-hole) and were in and out within two hours which must be a new record for Saturday night!  Nothing was broken, but I had torn the ligament in my left ankle.  They dosed me up with co-codamol and ibuprofen, and sent me on my way.  They no longer strap ankles, nor do they give you crutches.  It was a bit painful but I was just super grateful to be home in one piece and have not witnessed a serious incident in the ER while we were waiting!!

Oh… I forgot to say… I wasn’t just being a pleb and falling over my own feet.  The road surface was a little uneven to say the least.  The next pic shows you the difference in height of the road.  The coin is a 10p…

This is from a higher angle, minus the coin!

After 4 days of keeping my foot in the air for the last 5 days, icing it regularly, taking a skin full of pain killers and anti-inflamatories, this is the result….

Nice, huh!!  More bruising is coming out by the hour.  I am rather impressed with how many different shades of black and green there are!!

I haven’t been resting on my laurels though.  I have been reading lots.  Mum, for once, isn’t telling me off for having my head in a book, but encouraging me!  Thanks to very good advice that has been passed on, I bought myself a residents guide which is packed full of information on everything you can think of.  I have also got a guide for Dubai City, and one for the top 10 things to do in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  Some of the information is fascinating, some is useful, some is just astonishing!

For example…

– You are not allowed to be unmarried and pregnant.  They suggest you either get married or get out!

– If you think you are being followed, pretend to take a photo of your potential attacker as it should put them off and they should just disappear!

– You need an Alcohol Licence for your home, and even then there is a limit to the amount of alcohol you may buy!

– If you want to buy pork or products containing pork, you will have to search for a store with an entirely separate room as it is illegal for it to be kept in the general area of the store.

It all really does make sense when you remember that you are in a Muslim country, but it makes you smile when you are reading it!!

As for getting ready, I mentally am now… mostly!  My start date was pushed back a week due to my ankle, but also because of the paper work that my new company has to complete.  I am very pleased.  I may have been packed and ready to go, but these few extra days have afforded me time to collect myself properly.  I have read more, and that makes me feel better, but I have also had time for a freak out, which was definitely needed!

I do still have worries, but I think that anyone who doesn’t may not be quite stable!  I worry that I will offend someone, or break protocol, or forget my manners.  I worry that I will get lost and will never be able to work out all the street names and how to get from a to be.  I worry that I will not fit in.  I generally just worry. 

I know that once I am there I will feel much better.  I know I am generally a polite and courteous person, and that I have a good understanding of Islam and that I will be mindful of the cultural boundaries.  I know that I will work out where everything is, eventually.  I just need to give myself time and opportunity to learn, that’s all.

So that’s me so far… oh, except that I have my first two social engagements planned already:  an outing on a Dhow (a traditional wooden boat) and a visit to Abu Dhabi to see Eric Clapton perform!  I am super excited about this side of my new life, for sure!!!!

Wednesday can’t come soon enough, but is also a terrifyingly short time away!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Justine says:

    Hey Sharon, don’t worry about the pork, there are Spinney’s supermarkets everywhere with Waitrose products (bit like Supermart in Bermuda), they all have ‘pork’ rooms! Best to bring in alcohol from the airport, most generous allowance of 6 bottles of wine, or a bottle of spirit and 4 bottles of wine I think, would be good to get until you get your liquor licence and can buy in the local offie’s! I’ve never been asked to show mine, but it’s best to get as I heard they are going to get more strict! Also, you’re supposed to have if you’re out drinking or in someone’s house drinking, mad law but there you go. Don’t worry, you will fit in, you will be fine, and 99% sure you will like it, but natural to have concerns moving to a new country, like you say, not normal if you didn’t! See you soon hun, safe flight, J xx

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