About Me

Hi, welcome to my life in the UAE.

I’m an Australian Air Traffic Controller who moved to Dubai with my husband in late 2008 for work.  We planned on staying for three years but all these years later we’re still here!!! When we first moved here, I used to email my friends stories about the new city that we were living in, my thoughts about life here and all the travelling we get to do.  These emails had a wonderful response from everyone back home, and one of my friends suggested I make it into a blog.  Well, I don’t do blogs, so welcome to my ‘ejo’ (you’ll have to read Ejo #2 to find out what the hell I’m talking about – but don’t stop there, read them all)!!

Over the years I’ve written about all sorts of things, ranging from death, the extraordinary people I know, love, travel stories, sexual assault, motherhood, armpit hair, the pursuit of happiness and a few personal diaries (covid quarantine is one of them, and a two week artist residency in a French chateau is another). Why don’t you take a look around and see if there’s something you like, and just start reading. Drop me a note anytime if there’s something you’d like to suggest for me to write about, or just to let me know what you think of this site (or me, or anything at all actually).  I’ll always respond and I’m happy to hear from you.



  1. What a marvelous blog! I do wish you have time to continue it once you start working again. I have read some posts and the way you describe everything is just like I’m there. And so informative! Your mother sent me this link. She and I are very good friends, I love her immensely. Unfortunately, she is in Australia and I am in the United States. The day we meet we will be quite a pair.

    I am bookmarking your blog so that I can read all of it as time permits. And please…… Keep writing. You are extremely talented.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Luella May

  2. Hi Chryss,
    Lynda said she was talking to an Australian lady over in Dubai by the name of Chryss and was wondering if I knew you. Was surprised to hear you are over there, last I heard I think you were in Melbourne tower. Looks like we might be coming over to work, will have to catch up

  3. Hi Chryss!!

    wonderful blog and very interesting life!! Would it be possible to send you an email? I would like to ask you some questions.

    Thanks a lot!!

  4. Chryss,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. Sounds like quite an adventure. I’m from the Napa Valley area, so reading the In-n-Out vs. French Laundry brought big smile to my face.
    Good Luck

      1. I’m also an air traffic controller at SFO, with a contract offer at DXB to start 1/15/2012 but I still have not decided.

  5. Great site with lots of info. I’m working in the UK and my manager has just asked if I can come over to design and deliver some training to managers. Our parent company runs some operations in Dubai. all in the planning stage at the moment. I googled ‘working and living in dubai’ and found your site. I’m glad I did…keep up the great work.

  6. Great to read through your archives 🙂
    Ha! I have to say your beginning posts sound like me at the moment. I was an ATC Darwin then Brisbane and once we had children, we decided to get out of the continual nights for a while and come to germany. My husband is a Sim Coach here, I was sort of told there would be Coaching opportunites for me here once we got here and settled. 3 years later and nothing has been forthcoming :/
    ATC had been my life for so long, it defined me as well. I yearn to use my ATC voice again. But life sometimes takes a completely different turn, sometimes, doesn’t it?


    1. Hi Kylie, yep, it sounds exactly like what happened to me (though I was lucky enough to eventually get a job). It took me a LONG time to get over that ATC identity crisis. I remember at the time thinking that I didn’t even have motherhood to help me. That I was “nothing” if not an ATC. Not to say that motherhood is your entire identity, but I’m sure it’s very rewarding in it’s own way. But of course I totally get that you miss it. It’s a part of your brain that isn’t being used, so that makes sense.
      Thanks for reading my rants and rambles. So glad that you’ve enjoyed it.

  7. Found your site while surfing the net due to insomnia. I love your EJO and cant wait for your book! Keep up the good work

    1. Hi Bridget, wow, you have totally just made my day! Thank you so much for the great compliment. I’m really glad you like it. I wish I could say my book was coming along, but… well, it’s not. Let’s say, though, that your enthusiasm for it has just given me a kick in the bum to get on it. So thank you!
      Happy New Year!

  8. Hi Chryss!

    I found your ejo earlier this week and gulped in each and every post just in two days! ‘Jumeirah Jane’ was my starting point (I’m a newcomer!) but then it unsurprisingly evolved to be a shelter and even an evasion during working hours that I swallowed all the stories smiling, giggling (my colleages were concerned if I’m doing OK), empathising and even finding a whole bunch of things in common. I’m a 24 years old guy and I come from Amsterdam -your favourite city-, and I am originally Turkish about which you somewhere over back there mentioned (a tiny bit peeved but righteously, though!) and I laughed and laughed again! What’s more I am literally living on indie music, feeding myself with it, so ciphering out a new blog with psychedelic and folk tunes made my weekend that I can’t stop listening to it, thank you so much! 7 Secons of Music, Nom nom nom! It’s been 4 months I am in Dubai but I had not managed to dip my toe in desert sand until I started reading your ejo. Now I am clear with who I am and what I want to do. I’d been feeling guilty about not loving the sun and the air here but hey I was right to love the crisp and clear Dutch weather as it turns out to be! I can keep prattling away but I think it’s wise to shut up and wait for your next post.

    What a pleasure!

    1. Wow, thanks Levent. You’re awesome!!! I will think of you whenever I write from now on (and I’m sure my 7 Seconds Of Sound friend will be just as thrilled to know you are reading her stuff too).
      Please, keep on reading and enjoying. It’s all for you!

  9. I love and support your blog. I am a music publisher from the United States and I get plenty of love and support from Australia which lead me to this site. keep on supporting good music


    1. Thank you so much! My life would suck without music, so thank you for your contribution! Please keep up the good work on your end!!!

  10. I just happened upon your blog while researching the UAE. I have a lot of archived posts to read through, but I’m sure I’ll have questions. Do you have a way of contacting you, or do you mind questions? Thanks!

  11. I’ve just come across your “Ejo”, it makes me laugh and lot and I really enjoy reading it. I am French and it gives me the opportunity to pratice my English in a fun way. In addition, I travel to Dubai about once a year and I like it very much to learn so many things about the way of life of peple living there especially from an expat point of view. I’ve just started reading your ejo from scratch a while ago so I ‘m now reading feb 2009 and I can’t stop reading it, is seems I’m going to spend the whole day on it, no wonder you’ve always liked writing your quite good at it, Ok so I hope you won’t stop writing it I ‘m going back to reading it right away….

    1. Hi Flo, all I can say is thank you so much!! What a lovely thing to hear – you’ve really made my day. I hope that you continue enjoying my posts. I most definitely intend to continue writing them.

  12. Hi Chryss,

    I found your blog via google when I was deciding to work in Dubai. Was looking for relevant info from an expat’s point of view. Thanks for the informative posts.

    I decided to move and currently working with DCAA as a flight procedure designer for a month now. I guess we are in the same industry.

    Keep up the good writing.



    1. Hi Randolph! Congratulations on your move. How are you liking Dubai so far? I really enjoyed the first three or so years, but I guess you can tell from my more recent posts that it’s kind of lost its shine for me (but hey, I’m still here, so….).
      Thanks for reading!

  13. Hello,
    I had already written to you and I read your posts each time there a new one, but I am so disappointed by your latest one, this will be the last one I read from you as we do not share the same vision of expatriation. Indeed I am very disappointed by the way you think of course we are all free to express our thoughts and feelings but I experience this everyday in France where I live and that just pisses me off. I keep hearing people living in my country saying they don’t like anything about it (and somestimes anyone) this is so disrespectful, I am not saying we should like everybody and everything but at least we shouldn’t be allowed to be so ungrateful towards a country which has accepted you, we shouldn’t stay in a place we don’t respect, although some might say this is not a matter of respect I do believe that you can’t respect people or a place you have absolutely no positive thought about. People always endeavour to live in a better world but how will it ever be possible when after years living in a place where you have been given a new start in live your conclusion is that the only thing you like about it is escaping it !! For sure no place if perfect in this world and we can rightfully talk about the pros and cons objectively but rejecting so many things and all the people as a whole is just unacceptable to me. You may not understand my post you might even be angry at me telling not to come back to your ejo if I don’t like it but I just needed to express myself ! I don’t understand how you can enjoy travelling so much and be so narrow minded. Peace in the world will never happen with such comments, I am not sure you would understand people liking nothing about your country and staying anyway, that is unfair and you talked about racism but do you think such a blog will help ? this is quite sad

  14. Great job on your blog Chryss. One topic I’d like to address for those new expats looking to avoid the “Dubai stone” and those who want to lose it… drink natural mineral water from the earth. Water plays a very important role of distributing all the minerals you eat to your billions of cells, and penetrating the membranes of your cells. How do you know if the water you are drinking is truly natural, unprocessed water. Simply look on the label near the logo for these exact three words: “natural mineral water. ” #drinknatural . Regards, Jason Moore

  15. Hi Chryss,

    I found your site around 30 mins ago as I was casually googling ATC related information in Dubai. I’m an aviation enthusiast and for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading and watching on the work that goes on in an ATC tower (hopefully that doesn’t sound weird. Some people love cars. I love anything related to flying :)).

    I have to say that your ejo on how you became an ATC is funny and inspiring at the same time. I’ve bookmarked your site and will definitely be reading the remaining ejos as and when I get time.


    1. Hi Ameet! Aren’t you lovely!! You just totally made my day. Thank you. I don’t often post stuff about ATC, but I’ve been pondering a new series about my industry so stand by for that. Thanks again, Chryss. x

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