After growing up in the US, everything here in the Middle East is new to me, and like a child, I am always in wonderment. Just as small children walk around touching, tasting and asking the what, how, and why questions. So do I.
Yesterday I watched the students at HCT as they celebrated the 38th year of the joining of the independent emirates into the United Arab Emirates. As I viewed the UAE marching bands and military parade, I marveled at being here as a resident which is entirely different from experiencing a country as a tourist. I compared and contrasted their “National Day” to our “Independence Day”, both of which represent the beginning of a new nation. It was interesting to note that they display lights on buildings and along streets for National Day just like we do for Christmas in the US.
I walked through the narrow alleyways of the Bur Dubai Textile Souq (market) with child’s eyes and wondered about all the little shops and shopkeepers. I wondered how they managed to stay in business when there are so many of the same shop. I wondered about their lives in those small, dust covered alleyways where one has to watch their step to keep from falling into a hole. The shopkeepers seem so relaxed. No one hurries. They don’t even call out to sell their wares. I was dazzled by the colorful fabrics hanging along the storefronts. For a moment, my husband and I just stood on the corner and watched them watching us.
While talking with a fellow expat from Canada via Istanbul, she mentioned that she was amazed at being here, which surprised me. I thought she would be used to these things that are so new to me. I am now getting a glimpse into why expats move from country to country. One never gets used to the constant buffet of new sights, sounds, and experiences.
The world is much more exciting through a child’s eyes.
Till next time