My father calls me fairly regularly over here, which is nice, because one thing you find out when you move overseas is that people back home seem to see the "overseas call" as a large barrier to our communication. I'm not sure whether it's the cost, figuring out where to put the "011" to get out of Canada or that they are just glad to be rid of me. But count on it – it's just one of the things you lose (out of many gained) by expanding your life in the (massively eastward) direction. It's fine, you get used to it. And over the bitterness.
And when you get lonely, and you stare at the phone that never rings (because it seems people in the UAE only know how/prefer to text message) get over yourself and just call them. Life really is too short to spend long minutes wondering why people can't just pick up the phone already, they save loads of money not having to see you and have dinners and whatnot didn't you talk at least once a week back in Canada - do they not care anymore???
But I digress. Again. Anyway, lately my dad has been having a lot of trouble getting through. Either it doesn't ring, or it says the phone is not in service, or he gets some Arab dude. This doesn't surprise me. It seems as though when I need to talk to someone back home the most is when I get a sad "beep, beep", which usually prompts a lot of swearing and visions of two cans connected by some string that has been knawed away by a mouse or a rat.
Etisalat has so many, many problems that I just take this in stride. And as a testament to just how very crappy their phone service is, my boyfriend and I didn't even blink or question slightly what was going on when his attempts to call me over the last week have instead resulted in him being put through to another woman, one he does not know. Middle of the week he receives an angry call from an Arab man, wanting to why he was "bothering my wife". We still both just thought "weird" and "Etisalat" until yesterday, when I realised that the problem only seemed to have started when he got his new phone.
A quick check revealed he had transposed two numbers.