Soon, I hope to be able to prepare a post detailing an average day for us here on campus at NYU Abu Dhabi, and I also want to show you photos of what our apartment looks like, and what people wear around here. I guess I just have to start lugging my camera around.
In the meantime, did you know that the weekend here in the United Arab Emirates is Friday and Saturday, and that the workweek starts on Sunday? That’s gonna take some getting used to. Also, instead of Sunday brunch being a “thing,” they have Friday brunches and they are intense. We’re talking multi-hour long feasts. I’ll have to do a post about those later too.
Another interesting fact: the UAE does not observe Daylight Savings Time (why would we want an extra hour of day here?!), so right now, we are only 11 hours ahead of you (I’m assuming “you” are on the west coast), but we will be 12 when you “fall back” at the beginning of November. The UAE (and Oman) are on Gulf Standard time, which is four hours ahead of London, whereas the rest of the Middle East (minus Iran and the countries surrounding Israel) is three hours ahead in Arabia Standard Time.
One last fact for you: the “dhabi” in Abu Dhabi means deer (so abu dhabi means father of deer) and that’s thought to refer to the gazelles that populated this area. While we were on a bus from campus to our welcome dinner at a hotel here on Saadiyat Island (which is still mostly large expanses of sand), we saw gazelles grazing by the side of the road! That was ridiculously exciting for me. That was kinda the first thing that made me think, yeah, you’re living in a very different part of the world…because, honestly, most of the time, I just feel like I’m in Florida.
And there you go. The more you know.