That doesn’t mean I don’t find it a stressful experience – it’s hardly a thing of pleasure – but I do think past experience is a bit of a bonus. My move to the UAE a few weeks ago is just the latest in a long list of migrations and periods of welcome upheaval.
What surprised (and continues to surprise) me about Dubai is just how easy it’s been so far – but something tells me I’m inviting trouble with that statement. No queuing for hours on end to get paperwork sorted, no language difficulties and – the most infuriating – no being taken for a ride by taxi drivers who insist on ferrying you the long way round. Admittedly I’ve yet to go through the apparent hassle of renting long-term accommodation and dealing with the local banks, and I still haven’t had the pleasure of summer in Dubai, but as first impressions go, it’s all been rather positive. Disconcertingly so, perhaps.
On the other hand, perhaps I ought by now to have learned my lessons from previous experience. After all, there’s no use in railing against cultural differences or what you might at first perceive to be nonsense when you’re a foreigner in a foreign land. You just have to accept the differences and move on, lest you drive yourself mad (and miserable) with fruitless ranting and raving.
Yet what are the chances I’ll actually listen to my own words of wisdom? Slim, I should think. So if you’re one day driving along in your shiny 4x4 and come across a hot-headed chap strolling the length of Sheikh Zayed Road in the middle of summer, or – dare I suggest it – attempting to cross it, it’s probably me. A friendly wave would be nice.