Tag Archives: Dubai

Wanted! Wine Gums, Pain-Killers and Muddy Vegetables

Many an expat blog discusses the foodstuffs, home comforts and edible luxuries unavailable to them in their overseas posting. Sometimes I imagine them all – thousands of variously dispersed blogging Brits – soaking up the sun somewhere suitably exotic, and longingly salivating for a decent pickled onion or a packet of Scampi Fries. In Dubai …

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Culture Shock

Everyone who moves abroad expects a certain amount of what is known as ‘culture shock’: the feeling of being disorientated by the fundamental differences that surround you. All the things you have been conditioned to accept as ‘normal’ are, in fact, far from normal in your new home; your brain has to totally rewrite the …

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A Wonderland Behind Glass

I’m usually fairly cynical about the phenomenon of the shopping mall. They are, after all, very strange, entirely artificial environments, devoid of fresh air and natural daylight – coldly glittering cathedrals of consumerism. Spend long enough in a shopping mall and the advertising and displays will inevitably brain-wash you: you’ll begin to believe that there …

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Bog Blog: It’s a Matter of Convenience…

My mother’s favourite sayings about not doing housework went down rather well with readers last week (you’re clearly all just as slovenly as I am), so here’s another of her wonderful maxims that made me the woman I am today: “Never pass a toilet without using it.” Now, it’s probably sensible to take this one with a …

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Opposite, Above and Beyond: Ponderments from a Balcony

From my fourth floor apartment’s balcony I have a spectacular view of… someone else’s balcony. In our particular part of town, the apartment blocks are packed together so snugly that, should one choose to sit on the balcony and soak up some sun (for the seventeen minutes a day when it isn’t eclipsed by other …

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INVASION OF THE MYSTERY BEACH HUTS!

Recently, hundreds of these mysterious little huts have appeared on our beaches. They are, as you can see, white, about eight feet tall and roofed with a sort of parasol. All along the Dubai coastline they are now dotted along the sand in neat little his-and-hers pairs, situated about every hundred yards or so. I …

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The Perils of Pigeon English

You can only really ask someone to repeat something twice (or, in an emergency, three times) before you have to just smile, nod politely and issue a non-committal, “Mmmm”. Over here the vast majority of the population go through every day speaking their second or third language and this can result in some quite extraordinary misunderstandings. I …

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The End of the Affair

Once, I had a favourite restaurant. We would go there at least once a week and I could order (quite extensively) without looking at the menu. We knew all about our usual waiter’s wedding plans back home in Egypt and he knew all about our favourite Arabic dishes. It was by no means a swish …

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A Simple Desultory Philippic on the Public House

It’s hard to define what’s so great about the great British pub. Is it the warm welcome? The long tradition of comfy, informal hospitality? The good company, conversation and sense of community? Or maybe it’s just the alcohol. Some pubs are pretty grim, let’s be frank. There are few things more depressing than the stark, …

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2013: Taking the Plunge

It was my intention to see the New Year in with an early morning swim in the sea. Considering my plans for a glamorous New Year’s Eve of drinking and dancing, this was of course ludicrously optimistic. My good intentions were abandoned at some point during the course of the night, though it’s hard to …

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Lucy Strange

Children's Author

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