BB has noticed, since being in England, that there are a large number of grannies who aren’t just on a two-week holiday, but actually live here.
It’s a reminder that society in Dubai is sharply skewed towards younger people: families with small kids, older children and teens, and 20-somethings who’ve moved to Dubai to work hard and play hard at the city’s bars and beach clubs.
There are no communities of grey-haired grannies living the good life in Dubai. Aside from issues such as the high cost of living, frenetic pace of life and the heat, it’s tricky to obtain a residency visa once you’re 60 years old. So expats in the UAE have two choices: to repatriate to their home country or become a ‘rebound expat’ and choose another country, such as Cyprus, Spain or Portugal, in which to retire.
So it’s always nice – and very refreshing – to see the full range of society on our trips to England. And that leads me to something else BB has spotted: the fact that there are a fair few people here who are, shall we say, rather portly.
Dubai, in comparison, is geared up for thin people, from the smaller clothing sizes for the Asian worker population to the size10 svelte image aspired to by Jumeirah Janes.
In an attempt to lose some baby weight, I joined a Weight Watchers-type group in the UAE and as we sat sipping skinny lattes in the Art Cafe, I realised it was the slimmest group of slimmers I’d ever seen. I swear no-one was bigger than a size 14.
The downside of BB realising that obesity is common in the UK is he’s also noticed my still-not-what-it-once-was tummy.
“Is there a baby inside?” he asked the other day, his eyes wide with horror.
He blames the fact I don’t race around the whole time pretending to be a train, like he does. I blame my mum’s delicious apple and raspberry crumble, with custard of course, which I’ve become rather partial to this holiday.
So, now, because it’s so light in the evenings here, I do what BB calls my evening exercise. I don my exercise shoes – not quite trainers but shoes I can power walk in – and do two laps round the park. It’s not much, but I’m hoping it’ll keep me from acquiring slummy mummy status while on my summer hols.