It finally happened. After over ten years of wearing the same glasses, they finally broke. I normally wear contacts and have been wearing the glasses only at night before I go to bed for the past eight years or so. Still, it was time to get a pair of glasses that wasn't too costly but that I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear outside the apartment.
While this is changing very gradually, when it comes to health services, I tend to be pretty picky. (I still go to the same dentist in the States that I've been going to since I was 13 years old.) I think I get this from all the horror stories I heard about Japanese doctors and dentists while I was living there.
When it was time to get new glasses, I was dreading the prospect of having to go through the process. I needn't have worried. Marina Mall, the nearest shopping mall had about a dozen or so shops. Unfortunately, at the time I went, before 11:00am on a Friday, only one of them was open. I refuse to go to shopping malls after 12:00 noon on the weekends, but from the looks of it, this shop was the only one that was open before 2:00pm. Because I wanted to have a better selection, I decided to come back.
My wife suggested that we go have some dinner there that evening and I could get my glasses. I reluctantly agreed because I didn't want to have to worry about it on Saturday. As we were circling around looking for a parking spot, my wife realized why I had my aversion: shopping malls in the evening on weekends are similar to holiday shopping in the States.
In the end, I looked at a few shops, found some frames I liked, and brought them to the original shop to have the lenses put in. I felt that the original shop, Barakat Optical, were really good about giving me advice about the lenses and had my glasses ready within 15 minutes. The shop I bought the frames at, Yateem Optician, had the virtue of having a specific frame that I liked, though the lens prices were a bit more expensive. Little by little, I am losing my fear of getting services done in Abu Dhabi.