Day 4 …I made it to Day 4 and then had a little cry ☹ Why? I’m in Dubai, it’s amazing; the pictures look beautiful, the view from the balcony stretches for miles and everyone says I will absolutely love it here, so why am I sat on the sofa with a few hot tears streaming down my face?
I hadn’t realised until today how reliant I am on technology …my phone doesn’t work out here (no idea why, my husband’s works but mine is still searching for a network, and yes I’ve tried turning it off and on again!) there is no WiFi in the apartment and we cannot connect until we have our Diplomatic ID which can take 6-8 weeks, much quicker for a “normal” expat but anything “Diplomatic” takes three times as long, apparently. So once a day I nip down to the bench outside the local coffee shop/restaurant to borrow some WiFi …we’ve bought dinner there twice and always leave a big tip so I don’t feel too bad.
I’ve always been one for routine… this evening we got the metro to Dubai Mall (huge, enormous, gigantic for a shopping centre, its bigger than an airport filled with gorgeous luxurious shops) we needed to do a food shop so headed to Waitrose for a bit of familiarity. We spent a long time converting dirhams back to pounds to see if the prices were fair – which really took any fun of food shopping away, filled our trolley, got a taxi home and then I burst into tears. I’ve never been homesick in my whole life and I certainly hadn’t planned to feel like this just a few days in; the last month at home was one of the best months I’ve ever had, all the anticipation and excitement of the big move; dinners / drinks / brunch with friends and family we had felt overwhelmed by peoples’ happiness for us, everything was fantastic ….and then we left. I left a job that I really liked – I used to wake up on a Monday morning and want to go to work, we left our friends and family, the familiarity of home and the excitement of leaving has now turned into the reality of stating over again.
Sensible me knows it will just take a little time, to stop feeling lost, to find some hobbies and interests; there are a thousand gyms / running clubs / cycle tracks / pools to be explored, brunches to enjoy, beach days to be had, hotels to discover, new friends to be made, maybe even a bit of culture to find and we’ve spent the last 4 days unpacking, food shopping, being exhausted, cleaning the dusty filthy balcony, and my husband out all day starting his new job. Naively I thought we would jump straight into our new life rather than have to start from scratch and build it from day one…
Day 5 …I’m starting to build. This morning I’m off to the gym to clear my head and release some endorphin’s, then heading back to the mall to get a pay-as-you-go SIM card (to use whilst we wait for our ID’s) to feel a little connection with the world, I can then add my new number to my CV and send that out (I really thought I would do well at not working, much tougher than it seems), when my husband is home from work we are going to explore Dubai Sports World …loads of sport courts, a 500m running track, a gym and classes all under one air-conditioned roof and just a few minutes from the apartment. We have plans for the weekend …welcome drinks at the embassy and then cocktails with an old friend from home on Saturday to hopefully make us feel a little more at home.
How do you get settled in?
What makes you happy whilst overseas?
How do you combat homesickness?