Things I'd forgotten about the UAE
How when you get back into your car after it's been parked outside, it's suuuper hot. Now I remember that we used to put an ice pack in Sterling's carseat while we were parked at church for three hours so it didn't burn him when he got buckled in!
How the birds start making noise around dusk. It's a particular kind of noise, too - from a few particular birds, I'm sure, but I am not an expert so you'll just have to imagine it (there are at least hoopoes).
How it feels outside when it is both dark, and hot. That is a combination that we don't get in Finland.
How there are at least three employees to do every job: one to do the actual job, one to assist that person, and another to, like, show you where to wait in line. It is so extra...and kind of nice. Just super hospitable.
How people drive so aggressively. I had completely forgotten this, somehow! Our first day in the UAE, it really freaked me out - they come right up on your bumper and flash their lights and pass you all irritated- and dangerous-like.
How your hands and feet just casually swell in the heat. I had noticed that since moving to Finland, I'd gone down half a shoe size, but I had chalked it up to no longer being in the pregnancy stage of life. Turns out it's probably just the lack of sweltering heat.
How you can speak English in the UAE, but it's a very...special kind of English. Emphasis on the function words, not so much on any extra linguistic niceties.
How you have to plan your life around erratic and maddening traffic patterns. Oh man I do not miss this! There are places you just can't go unless you hit a magic 90-minute window during some odd time of day.
How you can't just walk out of the house in a swimsuit, even if you are going swimming.
How officials will bend over backwards to make your experience in their country more pleasant - we went to the Sharjah Light Festival and the policemen directing traffic rolled out the red carpet so we could walk to where we needed to go.
The lighthearted banter the passport control officers engage in with each other across their workstations as they inspect travelers' documents at 4am.
How slowly people walk! Finns walk so fast. People in the Emirates...not so much.