I live in Dubai, I'm an expat, my husband works abroad and I trail behind him, willingly. It's boring, it's too hot and I don't like it, but that doesn't mean I'm unhappy with my lot in life.
After 5 years as an expat, 4 in South Africa, I've just about finished reinventing myself as a SAH, who, for a hobby blogs, surfs the internet, explores the neighbourhood, attends coffee mornings, has adjusted to the kids leaving home, is making new friends and maintaining relationships with those in the UK and South Africa and visiting new friends in Canada and in Dubai that I've met online.
I get asked often what I do for a living to which I reply 'I don't work, I just travel and I represent Dubai in informing the world what it's really like to live here'.
Only joking, well the last part anyway, but it sure feels like it sometimes and I have actually googled 'advisors for Dubai' employment.
I wrote before about the myths and realities of living in Dubai when we first arrived, but it doesn't matter how many times I tell people this isn't Saudi Arabia, I still get questioned about my life here in regards to my freedom.
Here I am yesterday evening. I'm lying in bed under the air con as it's just too hot and I've been working outside in the garden. I went out to the shops on my own this morning, I drove the car by myself and I was wearing this top with bare arms and not wearing a head cover. I'm also drinking a bottle of Smirnoff Ice that I purchased at the off licence over the road, next door to the coffee shop and tonight for dinner we are having pork sausages that were purchased in the supermarket.
Dubai is boring because I don't have a job nor am I interested in group hobbies, I spend all day on my own with the dog and cat while hubby is at work and it's starting to grow on me, my time alone. I have numerous projects on the go, travel planned and visitors booked.
Dubai is too hot.....fact. It's great for a holiday and no matter how much you tell me you'd love the sun, let me equate to you what it's like just sitting still, then tell me how you'd cope walking the dog, doing the food shop, cleaning the house.
Go sit in front of the oven with the door open and ask someone to hold a hair dryer on hot to the back of your neck. now boil the kettle let it cool to 46c and then take a cool shower or have a cold refreshing drink in that temperature water.
Dubai is a city, I'm not a city girl, I like to visit but I prefer the countryside or seaside to live at. I like open space and peace and quiet, it is full of tourists all year round and when I want to pop out for a carton of milk, I don't want to have to fight for a parking space or get swept along with the masses and bashed on the head with a selfie stick.
I'm looking forward to winter so I can get out on the beach, explore the souks more, walk the dog during daylight hours, spend more time in the garden and drive further afield to explore the other Emirates.
We've been in Dubai now since December 2014. We've had Christmas, Easter and now the shops are full of Halloween decorations and costumes.
There are Christian Churches in Dubai, in fact all religions are welcome in Dubai and are represented, you're just not allowed to preach in public or advertise religious events, but that rule coves EVERY religion
We've taken part in Ramadan joining in with Iftar and Eid ul Fitr the day marking the end and Eid al Adha the festival of sacrifice.
There are lots of myths about the way foreigners are treated and rumours that if you're involved in a car crash with another Emirate that you will automatically get the blame, but then in South Africa they said if you got stopped by the police over there you just bribed them, but I never met a South African who had actually done that either.
Dubai is fair and equal, the same rules and laws apply to everyone, with the only difference being that if you are a foreigner and commit a crime, you will be deported after conviction and serving your time.
The media in Dubai report on all crimes and outcomes regardless of your nationality and crime, whether it is rape, murder, theft, drink driving, smuggling drugs, you'll see no one from any nationality is excluded from prosecution or from the reporting.