1. Skippy peanut butter – Most Skippy sold in major supermarkets are the chunky type. I’ve seen the smooth and creamy ones selling in the Chinese supermarket but they’re made in China. Upon checking those I brought here from Malaysia, they’re made in China too. But at least it’s not in Chinese words, which psychologically makes it easier to consume LOL!
2. Oreo – I finally found the affordable, UAE version of Oreo but they’re super sweet compared to those sold in Malaysia. People here have a ‘thing’ for sweet stuff!
3. Gardenia wholemeal bread – the breads sold here are dry, hard and leave lots of crumbs on the table. I miss those fluffy, easy to swallow ones.
4. Petai – they are nowhere to be bought!
5. Fat kangkung and taugeh – those found here are miserably thin and small. Sandy too!
6. Uniqlo – possibly the only international brand that hasn’t reached the UAE shore. I miss those simple, easy-to-wear bra tops and dresses. Also their very comfortable range of jeans.
7. Parking space – big cars, small parking spaces unfortunately. At least those in Malaysia are of average size. And some are positioned in a weird angle that one steer doesn’t ensure the vehicle is parked in the middle of the spot. I always have to reposition my car several times. Maybe my parking skill is just bad…
8. Cheaper, easier admission to school of our choice – Education is not only expensive here, but also sells like hot cakes. Even if you have the money, it doesn’t guarantee you a spot in your chosen school. To begin with, parents have to fork out a minimum, non-refundable registration fee of AED500 for each school just to be on the waiting list. Back in Malaysia, this is simpler and easier.
9. More patient drivers – Okay, to begin with, Malaysians are not exactly the most courteous and patient drivers I’ve known but most of them are way better than those here. I’ve been flashed at for driving at an average speed in a residential area. I’ve been honked at for stopping at the traffic light because it was red. Also because I stopped at the zebra crossing for the pedestrians to cross.
10. My friends and family – The comfort of having someone to shop with, talk or cry to, just within reach. With Dubai being a transient place, you’ll never know who’s staying and who’s leaving soon. I miss the stability of knowing my close friends are always there for me.
11. Odee – We have rehomed him with a childless couple who loves him to bits. I can’t help but to think how life would be if we were to bring him here with us. I miss him.
12. Simple self-service petrol station – Know how petrol stations in Malaysia are when there are rumours that the petrol price will increase? Well, that’s how the petrol stations here are most of the time, especially during peak hours. Long queue of cars waiting to refill their gas, simply because each kiosk is operated by a staff who will do all the work including receiving money and giving you the change. I’d rather DIY, it’s faster.
13. Unisex beauty salons – I’ve always wondered why the façade of beauty salons here – be it hair, facial or nail spa – is completely covered from ceiling to floor. I had my first hair cut in Dubai recently and didn’t know that there’s a ruling that men are not allowed in women’s salons. Hubby was shooed away as soon as he entered with Xan. And oh, just a simple haircut in a simple Korean salon costs 150dhs!
14. Wider variety of coin value – I miss receiving exact change when I buy something. Over in Dubai, there are only three types of coins: 25fils, 50fils and 1dirham. So if I buy something costing 2.30dirhams, I’ll have to fork out 2.50dirhams and receive no change in return. This makes me feel shortchanged all the time.
15. Shoe size 4 – I’ve had difficulty finding a good fit for shoes here. Their smallest size is 36, which is equivalent to US size 5.5 or UK size 3.5. I’m a size 4 back home, making me a size 35 here. I’ve tried on kids’ shoes and though they fit well, they’re not comfortable. Even international fashion chain like H&M stores size 36 and above. And they are usually snapped up really fast.
So, Malaysia is indeed nice in many ways. And now you know what to bring me as ‘buah tangan’ if you visit! While you’re at that, please do smuggle along some musang king durians too 😉