for all the days i’ve missed blogging about this trip!
Keeping a log is definitely the hardest thing ever, especially one that’s daily. So basically, we went to a desert safari, had dinner at a bedouin camp, rode camels, and watched belly dancers and performers of the like. It was pretty much the coolest/best experience of my life, and I love that I got so many pictures to keep the memories. As far as how the days are going, they’re going pretty slow, and classes are getting more and more difficult, and I find it so hard to study here in Dubai. There’s simply too much to rather be doing! I have an Arabic test tomorrow though,so I really NEED to get on that.
Today was a fun day! We found a little hole in wall Indian café to eat at. It was phenomenal food and I love the drinks they serve here! I’ve noticed most Arabs have some type of fresh squeezed juice with their meals rather than drinking like plain water. Which reminds me, water has to be PAID for. I think that’s ridiculous! It’s awful. Also, I think I don’t agree with a lot of the customs here. For instance, you always leave your tray and food on the table after your done eating and you don’t tip. I can’t get used to this. I’m used to putting my stuff up and saying thank you and tipping. After working in a restaurant I appreciate hospitality so much. It’s just not the same here, people are very thankful but it’s such a lazy country in general.
Day four in Dubai:
Today was a good day. It started out depressing me because the people here dress amazing and I’m not rich enough to afford them. I’m making really great friends here though. In fact, we’re sitting at a local 24 hour café right now working on homework and facebook stalking each other. People always tod me studying abroad would be culturally enlightening, and for the most part this has been. However, if anything this trip has taught me how happy I am with my culture. It’s really opened my eyes to how much I need to step up and take pride in who I am, my back ground, and where I come from. I realized how much being Muslim and being an Arab is important here. Though I’m not Arab, that only motivates me to be more of a Pakistani now. I’m insanely happy about the way Dubai is turning out. I’m learning more about Arabian culture while making some great friends from around the world! There’s so many people here that love and have heard of Houston, which makes me really happy too.
Day trois in Dubai
Today was pretty uneventful. i think the group is tired from going around, so we kind of did our own thing. I went and got Subway for dinner. I’ve come to a realization. EVERYTHING tastes better outside of America. Even American food. I’ve been rocking out to Fall Out Boy’s new album. Introduced some of the Arab girls on my floor to it, and they’re loving it too! The musical barrier between us and them really isn’t that large. They love Usher over here. It’s nice to see that music is an element that can bring nations together. That goes so under appreciated. It’s an interesting school, this one. I’ve met some really awesome people and then I’ve met some people who don’t know the definition of student. I feel like AUD serves as a social ground for the students here rather then a university. They all hang out at the “smokers center” which is literally kind of bad for them. In all honesty, everyone here smokes. It’s kind of like when smoking used to be a social thing back in the U.S, it stil is here. Also, I’ve established another thing here. Being a Muslim country means close to nothing to the Emiratees here. They’re phenomenal people, but often are losing sight of the type of country they’re in. I was on the Metro and was hearing open criticism of Islam. I want to go out and explore of the local places and shops, but sadly the group I’m with doesn’t agree. They’re really homey people who’d rather stay bunched up in a group. There’s a bazaar I want to visit and I think I’ll swing on over there by myself if none of these folks want to go. But it’s time for class. It feels so strange calling it class, when it doesn’t even feel like the students here take it serious at all. I know summer classes are meant to be a bit more breezy, but come on. It’s still class you know? That’s definitely one of the barriers seperating me and the Emiratees here.
Day Dos in Dubai
Definitely woke up at 3 pm. Maybe I shouldn’t have slept last night. Anyways, today was significantly better! I met the Study Abroad mentor here and gosh she was so nice. We hung out for a little and we took a walk outside the university. Dubai is truly a majestic city. There are buildings here that I had no idea could exist like this! Today was my first day of classes. One HUGE thing that’s going to be difficult to get used to is the school schedule here! They do Sunday / Tuesday classes here. Then add on a Thursday every other week. It’s pretty confusing and the teachers here are mediocre. It may be critical of me, but I can see the favoritism between Arab teachers and Arab students. Another thing that has really shocked me is the style of dressing here! At Tech, sweat pants and a tshirt is normal class getup. Over here they have Louis Vuitton (sp?) and Tory Burch shoes everyday. I mean, I’m all for dressing up for a special occasion, but come on, IT’S SUMMER CLASSES. I really don’t get this whole idea. Maybe it’s because my family didn’t have money to spend like that so I never got that materialistic mentality, but this is going to be really hard to get used to. Overall, I’m starting to like my stay here in Dubai. I met other Clinton Scholars similar to myself, and we’ve formed a little American group. How typical of Americans to do, but company is company after all. I’m going to focus on branching out into other groups though. The heat is still as marvelous as always, no sarcasm intended, but sweating bullets while I was walking to class is a refreshing exercise. Anyways, this Arabic 1 homework needs doing and I have a hard time understanding my teacher so I’m going to have to put in some extra effort for this one.
Day Uno in Dubai
My Tumblr is now going to serve as a daily log for my study abroad summer session in Dubai. This will be my Honors journal log.
Basically, I arrive here and know no one. I’m not sure who to talk to, my roommates gone, and I am STARVING. The security guards are super nice though and because I speak Urdu and am Pakistani, they communicate well with me so the familirarity is nice. The view outside is freaking gorgeous! It certainly didn’t look like this at Tech. I can pretty much go outside to run on the track and I’ll be running in front of a huge cluster of metropolitan buildings. It feels like I’m in New York but times ten. The heats exactly what I expected! I told my mom before I’m going that I put on a few pounds and she told me coming to Dubai would solve all my problems. I can definitely see how now. I love the heat though! The humidity makes me think of home in Houston and the heat really sets me at ease. The rooms here are freezing cold and I’m not so sure I even like spending time here. They’re tiled with parallel twin beds that slightly resemble prison beds. Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh, but I’m not really feeling it here right now. I got here at about 2 in the morning, so I think I’m going to take a nice little nap and hopefully wake up on time in the morning.