Sunday, 1 September 2013

Crowns, Cars and Uniforms

It's a few days since my last update, and today was my first day at work. More about that another time but for now let's rewind to Thursday.

Jo and the kids spent Thursday morning settling into the apartment and enjoying the pool. I headed into Abu Dhabi for my first experience of the local healthcare system. On Wednesday afternoon I had lost a crown from one of my teeth (no idea how it happened, it was certainly nothing to do with the Riesen chews, honest), so I had managed to secure myself an emergency dental appointment before the weekend.

I'm not the biggest fan of going to the dentist at the best of times, so wasn't looking forward to the prospect of doing it in an unfamiliar country. However, I need not have worried, as the whole process was very straightforward and the care was very good (although getting a text message seconds after leaving the premises asking if I'd enjoyed the experience was perhaps a little much). I need to go back in a few days to have the new crown fitted, but the idea of doing that is far less intimidating than it could have been.

The next job was to pop into the office to collect the Arabic translation of my driving licence, and then to head to the Service Centre where I would hopefully be able to exchange this for my UAE licence. If you've been following this blog from the start you can probably imagine how it went.... take a numbered ticket and wait to be called forward to the counter.

The lady dealing with me didn't understand much English (why should she?) so it was a fairly challenging process. The first hurdle was to get her to understand what country I am from, I would have thought the translated licence would have helped here but it didn't. After running through various countries including Bermuda and Bahrain, an Emirati man sitting at the next counter helped with the translation, so we could move onto the next question.
The next question caused a great deal of excitement between the lady on the counter, the lady at the next counter, and their boss who was sat at a desk behind them. They spent at least five minutes discussing it before asking the Emirati man to translate again. I was getting a little concerned by this point, so was relieved when the question was only "do you want a licence to drive a small car or a big car?"! Not sure why it caused so much excitement but there you go.
Having battled through the rest of the questions I handed over my 200 dirhams and had my photograph taken. At this point I was sent back to the waiting area, I thought to wait to be called for an eye test. However five minutes later I was called back to the counter and presented with my licence. All in all probably 20 minutes from start to finish, you can't really complain about that.
Once I was back at the apartment it was Jo's turn to head out, with Henry, to the uniform shop. She was a little concerned about this due to the chaos I had described from earlier in the week. However she returned a couple of hours later, with everything she had gone for, telling me it had been one of the more organised uniform shops she has been too, and certainly better than anything she has experienced in Bolton!
The rest of the day was spent by the pool and going out for dinner, so all in all another good day.
As always, thanks for sticking with me, and for the kind comments.


Carol Gannon said...

a busy few days for you all so we'll forgive you ;-) . So glad everything is going smoothly. Looking forward to the next blog

Unknown said...

Another newsy report. Wonder when the 3 start school? You are certainly getting used to procedures. Keep up the news, we enjoy it.

Lisa Brady said...

When encountering the language barrier just adopt the approach favoured by my mother - shout very loudly. Apparently this generates instant understanding.
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

As usual had problems posting my comment so I'm Anon again! Great blog as usual ... Your dentist story reminds me of when we came here - I really dislike dentists but got to admit that here they are far more thorough and take much greater care so worth having to pay a little more - still strongly dislike dentists thou!! XxX love cal