Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

California, UAE

Every time I go to Jumeirah (and to a lesser extent, Mirdif), I feel like I'm in California. There's the beach right there, and palm trees, and people are wearing shorts, and many of those people have blond hair, and the buildings are all low-slung and casual-cool.

Plus, there's Park 'n Shop, which I took the kids to today. Park 'n Shop is the place where we bought Cheerios a few months ago. Their main advertising angle is that they sell all your old favorites from your US or UK motherland (they have a radio commercial where a couple doesn't want to relocate to Dubai from the UK until they find out that Park 'n Shop sells Weetabix or something). So to be in Jumeirah, and then to be inside Park 'n Shop - well, it was like being in America for 30 minutes.

We loaded up on Cheerios. With us in the cereal aisle were two other parties of Western expats, also buying - wait for it - Cheerios! It was fun to share the joy with them...and also, not gonna lie, passive aggressively fight over/be polite about the last box. (Fortunately, an employee brought out a bunch more boxes before things got ugly, ha ha.) Down the aisle a little farther, in the candy area, I could hear a group of pre-teens exclaiming about some favorite treats they found. Then there were my own girls squealing about the Gushers on the endcap (I treated them each to a box. I got two for myself).

As we drove away from California, UAE, I told the girls that it felt like we'd just been to America. Magdalena piped up that "yeah, but it didn't take 17 hours to get there!" True.

February 27th, outsourced

The colored abaya slippery slope