When I moved to Dubai there are things from home that I presumed I’d miss, but the things that ended up being my ‘home comforts’ managed to surprise me! Of course I miss my friends and family, so I’ve left that one out, but things like Irn Bru and bacon are readily available, despite what everyone thinks. Dubai being Dubai, there are not many things you can’t buy, so it goes without saying that most of the things I miss are not materialistic. Here are the five things I’ve decided I miss most about life in the city I’m so lucky to call home:
Walking through town
Walking around, firstly, is a novelty in itself. You can barely get anywhere in Dubai without some type of transport. I miss going into town. I love seeing the buskers on the street, and that person that’s been drinking for five days straight dancing beside them (badly). I love hearing somebody playing the bagpipes and have started to appreciate guys in kilts! I love walking up Buchanan Street, no matter how busy it is, and I love going to Primark and buying everything. I love being able to stop off somewhere for a glass of wine without thinking about it and, even better, being able to sit outside on the odd day it’s not pissing rain. We really do live in a beautiful city and it’s sad that I had to move away to realise that.
I don’t mean my friends and family, I mean the actual people of Glasgow. I know everyone probably feels the same about the people of their home city but there really is something about us, and I mean that in the best possible way. As soon as I get off the plane I get an overwhelming sense of being home – the friendliness and general courtesy of people at home never fails to amaze me. I don’t know if I’m being biased, I probably am, but I don’t think you will ever, ever beat our banter. Any time I hear a Scottish accent in Dubai I still feel excited and instantly want to be friends with that person, mostly because I’m guaranteed they’ll understand me. As someone told me recently, Scottish patter is like an inside joke that 5,000,000 people just happen to be in on. Too true.
So initially this was the first on my list, I don’t know what that says about me but I was advised that it probably shouldn’t have been the first thing on my mind…
Like, not just any chip shops, think Blue Lagoon on Sauchiehall street at 3am. There is something so Glasgow/Scottish about unhealthy eating and I love it! As soon as I get off the plane, the only thing I want is a chippy. Forget mum’s homemade dinners (and to be fair, anyone who knows my mum’s cooking will know that I would rather never eat again than something she’s made from scratch, sorry mum but it’s true!) You will never come close to it anywhere else in the world and, like I found out recently, we’re the only place that put pickles on the side – I’m sorry, but people everywhere else haven’t lived! Square sausages and potato scones do come in close second and third, but I think I’d find them in Dubai if I searched hard enough.
Cheap alcohol and being able to afford all day sessions
You can pay roughly anything between £8 and £10 for a drink in Dubai and forget a bottle of wine for less than £40 when you’re out for dinner so, yeah, enough said. Tax free salaries are great they said…if you don’t drink!
Grass, trees and fresh air
This is the strangest one but one of the truest! The desert is so dry, and while picturesque, it’s not quite the same as fields and hills covered in green. Of course there are grass and trees in Dubai but you have to go searching and they are so obviously designed and unnatural. I love landing in Glasgow among fields and coming home in autumn when the leaves actually fall off the trees and turn brown. Living in the desert obviously means dry, hot air so I miss opening my bedroom window rather than turning on the AC, which is never the right temperature and gives me a sore throat! Don’t get me wrong, I am the first to complain about the Glasgow weather but, just like we all complain about the heat on holiday, we’re never going to be happy.
There are many other things I miss, too many to mention, but these are the ones that took me by surprise and the ones that I urge everyone who still lives in Glasgow to never take for granted.