First week of Feb marked the 2-year-anniversary of Bambi’s Soapbox. Yay! In the midst of a hectic week at work and traveling to Dubai, it totally slipped my mind but that was the reason behind the NEW LOOK FOR 2014. Here’s another round-up of some funny little things I learned from foreigners I met in a city that is a 70/30 split between expats & nationals.
1 – I was having lunch on Valentine’s Day with Pavel & Teddy, a Bulgarian couple who used to live in Spain. They told us that V-Day isn’t celebrated in Bulgaria but St. George’s Day is a Catalonian holiday in Spain falling on April 23rd every year. Couples exchange single roses and books. They also said that wedding engagements require the exchange of gifts from both parties (the guy gets a watch).
2 – An Indian vendor at Madinat Jumeirah, upon hearing I was Lebanese, gave me a deal on a ring because he likes hummus. He also said that Indian barbers are cheaper than all Arab barbers in the Emirates – you can get everything done for under 50aed (~14USD). “Oh hello! It’s an upscale souk!” said a British man as he walked into the place. He thought I was the welcoming hostess because I happened to be a smiling Arab standing by the entrance. What kind of authentic souk has a Starbucks?
3 – A Pakistani cab driver, after being asked to slow down, explained that driving in Pakistan was even crazier than Dubai. He insisted that it was okay because the speed limit was high enough and he wasn’t going THAT fast. He said, “it’s putting life in hand” of the driver. Yeah, lots of prayer during that ride. If you ever visit Pakistan, walk.
4 – A group of Colombian designers recommended going to Barasti Beach Club, a bar that is “iconic” in terms of where to go when visiting Dubai. Based on what they said, it’s full of drunk Irish & British folk, which is why it’s a must to see! Needless to say, I did not go there.
5 – The “Dubai milestone” is what they call the weight you gain when you move to the city. It’s an average of 8kgs. Why yes, I’ll have the fried mac & cheese. With a Coke Zero.
MY TIDBIT: If you eat at Jones the Grocer, try not to sit next to the cheese room. And order the Wagyu burger. Then go to Magnolia Bakery in Bloomingdales of Dubai Mall for some banana pudding. Then go to the hospital or the gym for 6 hours because your arteries are choking on halal lard.