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the ATM, the workers, and me–the white girl

A little while back, on a Friday morning, Caleb and I walked out of the front of our building on our way to his first-ever Abu Dhabi playdate. We were running late, but I needed to stop and get cash from the ATM machine built into the front of our building. Standing in front of the machine was a group of about ten laborers, all wearing the bright blue jumpsuits …

expat, exefficient

In New York, I moved fast. I knew how to work the lines at Trader Joe’s on 14th street so that I could be in and out in under 45 minutes; I knocked off my farmer’s market shopping early in the morning, before the shuffling herds came through taking pictures of picturesque radishes. (I took my arty roughage shots in my early morning rounds. I love a pretty beet as …

Of Mail and Metaphors

What’s your address? Everyone asked us that question before we moved to Abu Dhabi, as if they were really going to write actual letters that needed to be delivered to actual addresses. As if. But even if people were going to write letters to us, or send us packages of things I can’t find here (what I’ve learned is that what you can’t get in a certain place tells you …

Pork

People here speak English.They also speak Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Tagalog, Gujerati, and god knows what else.  Most of the cab drivers here speak better English than the cabbies in New York.  On the one hand, yay! Everyone should speak English, shouldn’t they? I mean, shouldn’t there be a law or something? And then, of course, on the other hand, we earnest expats wonder where we will find the “real” Abu …