Day 1 (Christmas Day) was spent at home – lazing, eating, playing with my nephew. It doesn’t make for interesting reading.
On Day 2 we went to the Dubai Mall after lunch.
I needed to get a local mobile number and spent about 45 minutes in the Etisalat store waiting for my number to be called. As I’m not a proper resident yet, my dad had to register the number for me. All the tariffs they offered us are double the price I would expect to pay in London. We told them we’d think about the various options and bought a pay-as-you-go chip. Dad later said it would be better if I got a contract with du, another mobile service provider which he and my mum use, but to use the Etisalat SIM card in the meantime. I asked him if that meant I’d have to get a new number when I switch to du? Probably, he replied. In that case I’d rather get a du pay-as-you-go chip, switch it to a contract next month, and keep the same number. Doesn’t that make more sense?
After having coffee at the Dubai Mall, my parents and I went to the Oasis Centre, a smaller mall, to look at furniture. Apart from my bed which was shipped from London and fitted wardrobes, my bedroom is bare. I need bedside tables and lamps, a couple of bookcases, a desk, a mirror. We went to two furniture shops in the mall and one across the road. I saw a desk I liked but thought I’d look at a few other places as well. What if something better comes along? Yes, I have commitment issues. We walked back to the Oasis Centre and went to the electronics store.
I need a new laptop – I’ve had my Sony Vaio for 2.5 years and for the last 1.5 years it’s been making a rattling/tapping noise every time I use it. I went into Emax a few minutes before my dad and one of the shop assistants started following me around. ‘Do you need anything?’ ‘Just looking – and waiting for someone.’ I thought he’d stop following me, but no. It was annoying. Eventually Dad showed up, we walked over to another display, and I managed to lose my stalker. The second guy who offered to help us was impossible to understand. Have you ever heard members of the Indian cricket team being interviewed on TV? This guy sounded just like that. No pauses, no punctuation, no breaths – he talked and talked and talked. I had to leave because he was giving me a headache. ‘I’ll think about it.’
A quick trip to Carrefour and we were all set to go home. All I’d bought on my first day out was a dustbin and some bananas. I still had no local mobile number. This wasn’t going to plan.
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