How the Pandemic Put Me in a Language Learning Crisis

I wonder if any people who love language learning and traveling to speak to people feel the same? Learning Portuguese for Timor-Leste It’s February 2020. I’ve been learning Portuguese on Duolingo for months already. And I picked up the pace again after traveling through Myanmar and losing my streak. I’m back in Thailand and Portuguese is useless here. Why am I learning it? Because in a few months, we’ll go to Timor-Leste. In that country, the two official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. The latter is based in part on colonizer language Portuguese combined with indigenous languages and Malay/Indonesian. PerhapsContinue reading

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Fujairah—How to Visit as a Non-Muslim

This article contains both a story of how we managed to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah (as non-Muslims) as well as actionable tips. We visited on Wednesday the 7th of April, 2021. To skip forward to the how-to, click here. UAE Mosques that Allow Non-Muslim Visitors There aren’t that many mosques in the UAE where non-Muslims can enter. The most famous ones are in Dubai (e.g. the quite commercialized Jumeirah Mosque) and in Abu Dhabi (also called the ‘Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’). On our journey from Dibba Al Fujairah to Fujairah City, we made a stop atContinue reading

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Madha and Nahwa Exclaves in Oman + UAE—Traveling Through the Donut Hole

Events in this story happened on Thursday the 1st of April, 2021. From Fujairah, Jonas and I visited the Omani exclave of Madha for the second time. Then we continued onward and visited the second-order enclave of Nahwa within the Madha exclave. This is how we did it. Click here to find a vital route map and for our tips on how to visit Madha and Nahwa. Why Are Madha and Nahwa Exclaves? A brief history: back in the olden days, there were many rivaling sheikhdoms in this area. The ruling clans relevant to this story are the Al QassimiContinue reading

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Vaccine Tourism: Why I’ll Probably Get My COVID-19 Vaccines Abroad

As more and more people outside the risk groups are receiving vaccines, I’ve been thinking about how to get one myself. Vaccine tourism is becoming a better option than making a trip to the Netherlands and risking getting stuck there. This post is probably highly unrelatable unless you’re also a Dutch passport holder, nomadic, and in a relationship with someone with a different passport. Where Am I? I’m happy to already be in a country with a high vaccination grade: the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At the time of writing, the UAE has administered 76.88 doses per 100 people. OnlyContinue reading

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The Seven Emirates of the UAE and Their Borders—An Interactive Map

When I arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I couldn’t find any good maps of the borders between the seven emirates. There are plenty of good maps of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but nothing about the lesser-known emirates such as Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. I wanted to give them some attention in this post. All these emirates have their own rulers and their own borders. These function like state borders. They’re inherited from the predecessor country before 1971, called the Trucial States. During this year’s (2021) National Day, the UAE will celebrate itsContinue reading

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Voting as a Nomad: My Frustrating Attempt to Vote in the 2021 Dutch General Election

I have never once voted in a Dutch general election. Not because I didn’t want to or didn’t try. But because in the Netherlands, they make voting near impossible for homefree people. A Short History of My Voting Attempts Back in the summer of 2009, I turned 18 and became eligible to vote. I was still living at my mom’s home back then. My voting card – not ballot! – for the 2010 Dutch municipal elections arrived at my mom’s somewhere in February 2010. I remember voting in that election. In June/July 2010, I took the final exams of DutchContinue reading

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Manama, Ajman — Visiting the Inland Exclave + Al Dhaid as a Day Trip from Sharjah

On the 25th of February, 2021, Jonas and I traveled from Sharjah City to Manama in the United Arab Emirates. Manama is an exclave of the Emirate of Ajman. To travel there, we needed to take a bus from Sharjah’s bus station to Masafi and disembark halfway. We also visited the town of Al Dhaid in the Emirate of Sharjah. Doing the Research on Manama During our stay in Sharjah, we visited the Al Jubail bus terminal to figure out how to travel to Umm Al Quwain. During this exploratory trip, we also learned that this is where bus 116Continue reading

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Ajman in an Afternoon (United Arab Emirates)

During our stay in Sharjah, we decided to take a day trip to Ajman (pronounced: ADZH-man). This was our third emirate out of seven. Even though it’s the smallest emirate, I think Ajman has enough to offer for a couple of days, depending on one’s interests and ‘disposable’ income. We visited Ajman on Monday the 22nd of February, 2021 on this 4.6-kilometer long walk. Sharjah to Ajman Our accommodation in Sharjah is only about 10 kilometers away from Ajman. Even though we prefer to stay in each emirate a couple of days, we couldn’t really find a good reason; theContinue reading

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Two Weeks in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

This is a diary-style post about what we did during our two weeks in Dubai before moving on to Sharjah within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I tried to make it a bit informative if you’re traveling to Dubai, but I usually don’t write about cities that are already well-written about. Everything written here happened in 2021. Jonas had already visited Dubai for three days back in 2010 and told me it was a very misunderstood place. Saturday 30th January: Sleep Sunday 31st January: Walking to the Waterfront Monday 1st of February: Supermarket Time Tuesday 2nd of February: Downtown DubaiContinue reading

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