Well I've made two discoveries this week.
Firstly I found out that it is plausible to bring my dog to Al Ain with me. It seems that you can get a villa with an outdoor area. Poifect! That's the upside. I was worried about what I was going to do with him. He's cute and reasonably obedient (when he deigns to be), but he's ten years old, so a bit hard to re-house. And the downside ... the cost from Brisbane to Al Ain including all vaccinations, crates, service ... the whole shebang ... will cost just under $3000. Ouch!
My second discovery is a reason to reconsider making the move at all. I've just discovered Rocky Road at the local Cheesecake Shop here in Aus. It is turkish delight-flavoured marshmallow with almonds and chocolate. It is soooooo good.
Other more minor discoveries:
1. There's a chain of shops in UAE that sell most foods and bits and pieces an Aussie would want.
It's a good idea to pencil in a bi-monthly trip to Dubai for any bits and pieces not available in the chain in Al Ain. Eventually as one adjusts to UAE life the Dubai stock-up trips become less necessary.
2. Newcomers are allocated a buddy by the employer. A buddy is a kind-hearted expat who has been in town for a while and is willing to act as a mentor to help with basic survival tips.
3. It's not a good idea to cook in or drink the local water.
4. On arrival the first essentials to buy to furnish the new abode are: a bed and a bottled water cooler.
5. Knee length dresses for women actually means calf-length.
6. Almost no-one is out on the streets during the day. At night people dress up and hit the shops.
7. If you haven't got a helicopter and have to brave the roads, a 4WD is the safest vehicle to be in.
8. Some people actually enjoy driving the freeway between Dubai and Al Ain. They enjoy the sights as they drive at the legal limit of 120kms per hour and become oblivious to the cars speeding past at 180kms.
Well, I think that all of my paper work has been submitted and now I have to work out how to manage things at this end ... what to take, chuck, sell or donate.
Time is fleeting.