During a recent holiday in Sri Lanka, I spent a large chunk of my time converting the amount I was spending into my home currency: the British pound. Because I didn't always like the number, I also made a point of converting the figure back into dirhams. After all, for me Dh191 for a lobster dinner for two sounds far cheaper than £32.92 and I'm a sucker for a good bargain.
Similarly, as someone brought up with both the metric and the pre-metric systems, I prefer telling people I drive at 90 miles per hour than 144 kilometres per hour. And when it comes to my height, 155 centimetres sounds a lot less vertically challenged than five foot, one inch.
I could go on. When renting, it's always useful to be able to talk in square metres and square feet and when my grandparents were alive, it was very handy to be able to be able to compare Fahrenheit and Celsius. Like any woman, I constantly switch my weight between pounds, stones and kilograms, choosing to tell whoever enquires - be it the doctor, my mum or a dieting friend - the number that pleases me most at that particular moment in time.
And on those odd occasions when I'm trying to impress my husband with how prolific I am at speaking languages or, perhaps, how romantic I am (!), I tell him ma armastan sind, which is Estonian for I love you, or aku cinta kamu in Indonesian.
Before you assume I have the kind of brain Einstein would have been envious of, the secret to instant translations, currency conversions or weight evaluations is to download Convert Everything (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; free). With just a swipe of your finger, you can dazzle your friends with the fact that one millennium is made up of 481,800,000 hours or 20,075,0000 days or even 2,867,857.1429 weeks. And imagine how impressive you could be at quizzes. The mind boggles.
Jokes aside, this simple and easy-to-use app is perfect for the myriad of expats residing in the Emirates who are struggling to convert between metric and pre-metric systems, currencies and languages. The app allows you to swipe between three main options: "Convert units" for all those niggling distance, energy, time, volume or power conversions you are pondering over; "Translate" to help you speak the lingo of up to 58 languages; and "Convert money" to help you decipher 153 currencies. There is also "Preferences", which allows you to decide how often you want the currency rates updated or which elements of the app you want to be visible at any one time. The only danger is that if you get too hooked, you may have to convert the amount of time you spend converting into a number that makes you sound a little less sad.
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