Not that I consider my self of the hood
Not that where most people would call where I grew up too much of a hood…
Not that the hood has a definitive meaning
Not that “ghetto is bad” and non-ghetto is all good

Co-authored by another New Yorker residing in Abu Dhabi, UAE 

Here are some “different” situations that don’t feel familiar:

1. A Mercedes left in traffic with the door open. 

2. I left my MK shades in an office and they were returned. 

 3. Police officers smoking cigars in front of the mall in luxury squad cars… 

4. 10 year old boy riding a motorcycle alone to the store in the middle the desert! 

5. Meeting all of our neighbors and learning their names during our first week of moving in 

6. On several occasions, we see small children on the laps of drivers or front seat passengers (no car-seats) 

7. Carpooling expectations and situations of random gifts, assistance with directions, and sharing information 

 8. 3-4 daily kisses for greeting and parting from colleagues 

9. Fresh juice and veggies available everywhere even the gas stations! 

10. Game station in the mall food court with sofas, game chairs and several unlocked or bounded video game systems for people to enjoy! 

11. Every apartment complex is walking distance from a mall, grocery store, and co-op! 

12. Dogs walking themselves in the morning. We seriously watch these dogs exit their gates for morning scrolls, take in some sun, do their business, and return safely home. 

13. Suited security and door greeters in fancy designer stores… Just standing there! 

14. A hotel inside the Mall of the Emirates. 

15. Getting our car washed in the Mall of the Emirates Parking Garage. 

16. A stranger set her purse on my chair at the visas and residence office so she can go to the housing department. 

 17. Strangers share food from their plates with their hands… It’s rude to not accept. 

 18. World maps and globes exclude the U.S. This is new…


19. Currency is rounded up and you won’t get all of your change unless you ask for it.

20. A stranger let me borrow his car for a day when my car battery died… I left the lights on. Smh 

21. Another random stranger offered to move my car so I didn’t have to put my cellphone down. I let him. #noproblem

22. This car has been sitting like this (all morning) with keys in the trunk.


Mall of the Emirates


-This list is subject to change. 

Syn and Sand



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