Nov 212011

Today, I finally got my iPhone. I ordered it online a week ago, and it showed up a couple of hours ago, which is nice, seeing as Apple said it would be coming on the 25th. Now, I just need to go down to AT&T and buy into a plan of some sort, and I can finally give back the crappy temporary phone I’ve been using.

This got me thinking about all these little things that we have to do. All these small steps we need to go through when moving to a new place, before we can reach a sense of normalcy. Opening a bank account, getting a phone set up, renting an apartment, etc.

Comparing between the US and the UAE, it’s interesting to see how the two places have their own ways of causing these little things to drag out as long as possible. In the UAE, we have to deal with the always-required residence visa before we can do anything. As this visa can take weeks to process (something which is supposed to be taken care of before¬†you arrive in the UAE, mind you), that can mean weeks without the ability to rent a place, get a phone line, open a bank account, buy a car (and woe be to the man living in Dubai without a car!), etc. Once that’s done, you could still have trouble renting an apartment, say, as the landlords generally want as few checks as possible (sometimes even one check.. to cover the whole year), something which might be difficult for a young professional in their first job!

In the US, a lot of these little steps are tied to your social security number, as I’ve mentioned, at length. You can open a bank account before getting that number, but everything else has to sit on hold. No credit card, no apartment (this can be worked around), no phone line.

Same same, only different.