Wednesday, December 3, 2008

20 Things I Learn About Dubai - so far...

1. The bus-stops here are air-conditioned! Really! It’s enclosed and air-conditioned! Homeless people can really lepak inside! (Not that I’ve ever seen a homeless person in Dubai! – didn’t think it polite to ask too!)

2. There are elevators to take people up to the pedestrian bridge! If you don’t want to take the lift, take the escalator.

3. The ‘MPH’ in Dubai is ‘Magrudy’ and I love it! The books are RM10-20 more expensive though.

4. My source of stuff-happening-all-around in Dubai is but I still browse The Star online every morning!

5. There is ‘Giant’ here but its spelled ‘Geant’. Weird. The ‘Giant’ and ‘Tesco’ in Dubai are ‘Spinneys’ and ‘Lulu’. So far I’ve only done my marketing at ‘Spinneys’ because it is walking distance from my current apartment. Can find some stuff ‘made in Malaysia’ like chilli sauce and soya sauce.

6. Almost everything here can be delivered to homes. One pack of rokok, a loaf of bread, one piece of roti canai, a plate of briyani or sandwiches – you name it – they can send it.

7. There’s Marry Brown here! And seems to be more popular than KFC! I’ve tried both – while KFC’s chicken still tastes better, the coleslaw is a disappointment! And the Zinger burger – NOT as juicy as the one in Msia. I’d stick to McD any day!

8. The censorship board in UAE are even crazier than Msian ones. They cut off kissing scenes but the actors can say the ‘F’ and ‘MF’ word all they want.

9. Khairul and I are almost ALWAYS mistaken for a Filipino, even by Filipinos themselves! I've gotten "Kabayan?" which roughly means "Org sekampung ke?" They really look like Malay + Chinese... Interestingly enough, once people know we are actually Malaysian, we always get great service.

10. I love the Indian food here – Saravana Bhavan is one good makan place. Has few branches in Msia – one in Bangsar. There is this one Indian guy who worked in Msia for 3 years before and speaks perfect BM. So ordering food there when he’s around feels just like home.

11. Here, a lot of places have separate places for male and female. In the hospital where I went for check-ups has separate waiting sects for male and female. So does swimming pools and gyms. The park has days where only females can go and exercise, and there are days where families can go.

12. The ‘Ramlee burger’ here is called Shawarma – meaning it is EVERYWHERE – small stalls and quaint corner shops – you can easily get shawarma. It is something like kebab and really nice since it’s rich in spices and all sorts of sauce.

13. As of now, I am totally addicted to ‘Mandy’ (pronounced as the malay word ‘mandi’), a type of rice similar to briyani but SOOOOOO much lemak-er and yummy! I can’t really describe the difference in taste – but it IS popular in Dubai.

14. Kids are only allowed to watch movies in the day-time. No night cinema time for these little buggers! AND parents have to purchase tickets for the kids as well - no sitting on the lap to save some dirhams!

15. So far ALL the malls that I have gone to provide FREE parking. I’ve been to the biggest mall in the world – Dubai Mall – (how was it – gonna take me another post to talk about that) have yet to go to the former biggest mall in the world, Mall of the Emirates which also has the biggest indoor ski in the world.

16. Here in Dubai, some road signage has the ‘bulls eye’ symbol – which means the road takes you to the center of that place – for example there could be tons of road signs that all leads to Putrajaya but only some will have the ‘bulls eye’ sign for people who wants to go to the heart of Putrajaya and not the sides.

17. One of the road policies in Dubai is no cars should be driven for more than 10 years! And if your car is dented, you MUST get it fixed before getting it back on the road. So in Dubai you will never see OLD rusty cars, or dented cars. DUSTY, yes!

18. I’ve only been to Palm Jumeirah (the smallest of the three man-made islands). When I first found out about these islands, I was already sceptical – Won’t the islands sink? Won’t the wave eat up the sands? But when I was actually ON the island, it doesn’t feel like it because of the size. It was really amazing to witness what humankind can achieve.

19. The buildings and skyscrapers here are outrageous! A place called Jumeirah Lake Towers or JLT is strewn with office and apartment buildings under constructions left and right, close to one another, allllll along the road – more than 20 buildings! Probably more! And it is as if they all want to outdo each other with their designs, or height or the lights at night.

20. Sheikh Zayed Road is the longest stretch of highway in the UAE starting from the state of Abu Dhabi, across Dubai and ends in Ras Al Khaymah. It’s much like what Federal Highway is to KL. It houses a lot of office and apartment buildings including Mr Khairul’s called Al-Moosa Tower II.

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