Friday, September 09, 2005

UAE Survival Hints that You won't find in the Dubai Explorer

We just made our second visa run so that means we've been here 4 months. Where has the time gone? I've met some wonderful, kind and generous people, and had some fun along the way. I've even learned a few helpful hints I'll pass on to any UAE newbies out there. Now that I've got 4 months seniority (and they were summer months too), I'm not a newbie anymore; I'm a Sharjah summer survivor!

Here are a few survival skills for living in the UAE. Their private nature may be the reason the Dubai Explorer has not included them, but I just say the Explorer peoples is chickens and you will get the real scoop only here at daMomma blog.

1 Personal Hygene: Wearing normal strength deodorant or perfume doesn't provide enough protection against the UAE super hot and humid summer climate. You must combine extra strong deodorant with some really over-the-top, make-their-noses-twitch perfume to overcome "naturally occuring odors" brought on by exposure to the UAE's summer climate.

2 To protect one's delicate private parts against the double whammy of dangerously hot water and insane water pressure of the toilet spray, always point the spray away from the body while testing the water pressure, but work quickly before the water in the pipe turns from warm to super-solar-heated in 3 seconds. This test is vital when using a public washroom.

3 To shower without burning your delicate parts, use the "Hot" water (see above reason) Shower quickly with a small amount of water spray to avoid using all the cool water in the geezer. If the hot water in the geezer is too cold, warm it up by mixing in some hot water from the cold-water tap. Got that?

4 UAE survival shoes are sandals of course, with thick souls to insulate against hot surfaces and cream colored so they don't show sand dust. (Cream color is optional in Dubai, but vital in Sharjah where you often must park your car in sandlots.)

5 In the kitchen: To wash lettuce, use the hot water because the geezer is off for the summer and really holds the coolest water. If that's not cool enough, cool the water with ice cubes before adding your lettuce: otherwise get used to wilted lettuce salads.

6 Wash your dishes with water from the "cold" tap. It's the hottest water available.

7 When doing a visa run to Oman: NEVER sass the Immigration officials. They are armed with pistols AND bad attitudes. Case in point: Pakistani man in line in front of me to Omani Immigration officer: "What's taking so long? We've been here an hour!" Omani Officer with a snarl on his lip and a glare in his eye: "Ha! You are here only 20 minutes! You want to see hour? Sit on bench over there!" daMomma to Omani Immigration Officer: "Hello. (flashes big toothy smile. Gesturing to Omani man in robe and colorful turban standing behind the khaki uniformed officer: "the Omani national dress is very beautiful." (If that didn't soften him up, I was prepared to play my ace card: "YOUR sheik is more handsome than OUR sheik."

8 On the road: Massive traffic jams can occur at any time and in any place. Keep your gas tank full and your bladder empty.

9 Don't make the mistake if thinking that speed limit+ 10kph entitles you to a spot in the fast lane.

10. Do not: I repeat; DO NOT turn around, flash over-sized, goofy grin and wave wildly to Arab in car tailgating your car in the fast lane. It seems to drive them wild with rage and the desire to run you off the road. Enough said.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Neither Thief nor Bull

There is a joke told by Pakistani's about the notoriously cruel and corrupt law-enforcment agencies.

President Musharrif is visiting George Bush at his Texas ranch. Dubbya is looking sad and tells Mushy that a few days ago his prized bull was stolen and the police, FBI and CIA are unable to track down the thief or recover the bull.

Mushy sees his chance to impress Dubbya and announces he will put his Pakistani law-agencies to the task.

A few hours later, two badly beaten Pakistani men stand before the two presidents.
Bush asks the first man who he is. He replies, "I am the thief who stole your prize bull. Please forgive me." George flashes a thumbs up to Mushy.
He then turns to the next man and asks who he is.
"I'm the bull," he replies.