Creepy Men and Bacon Withdrawals.

Mar 4, 2010

I feel that it's about time for another rant. I can't always blog about happy tales of traveling and how perfect everything is... let's face it, it may be great, but it's still real life. Today's topic of complaints... Dubai.
Don't get me wrong, I actually do enjoy living here. However, in the nearly 3 months that I've called this desert city home, I've managed to come up with a few things that irritate me beyond belief.
  1. The lack of nature. Okay, I get it, it's the desert. This isn't going to change. I just miss trees and green grass and flowers that aren't planted by the city and drowned in water in an attempt to make them grow... in sand. I'm from western Canada, a land of forests and fields and things that are alive. It's only natural that I'm experiencing withdrawal.
  2. The STARING. Seriously. Without fail, every single man stares when a girl walks by. After spending time with girls from a variety of cultures, I've noticed that it is worst for the Australians, Canadians, and English... those of us with white skin, clearly the visible minorities. It's not that I wear even remotely revealing clothing. I always ensure that my shoulders and knees are covered when I leave my apartment, but I can't even walk to the grocery store without being stared at by every single male that I walk by. It's creepy, it's uncomfortable, and they don't even try to be subtle about it. Tonight I was over at Priya's house. We had ordered food, and when it arrived she answered the door. I came around the corner and the delivery man immediately stared at me, and in a creepy tone of voice said "Hi", with a stupid smirk, still staring intently. I quickly rushed away from the door, disgusted. Come on, you live in a city that is made up of 80% foreigners, don't act as though you've never seen anybody who is not from the same culture as you. I pity my mom with her blond hair when she comes to visit. Maybe throw a wig in the suitcase.
  3. The taxis. Getting into a taxi in Dubai is never a pleasant experience. It seems that taxi drivers are exempt from the rules of wearing deodorant. Each ride is a near death experience, and half of the time you have to direct the driver, as they don't seem to know where anything is. The same goes for delivery drivers. For the time spent on the phone describing every shop and street in the vicinity, you may as well go to pick up your meal yourself.
  4. The lack of pork, and alcohol. I'm not a big pork fan, with the exception of bacon. The fact is, I can't have bacon because this is a Muslim country. Pigs are not to be eaten, which is heartbreaking to bacon lovers across the city. Fair enough, I'm living in their country, I should respect their religion. I just miss it, that's all. As for alcohol, I'm not a big drinker either. That said, it would be nice to have a glass of wine once in awhile, and I'd do anything for a pina colada. To drink in Dubai you must do one of 2 things: Go to a ridiculously overpriced nightclub, or, obtain a liquor license. Yes, a license. Doing so costs 160 dirhams, hardly worth the rare pina colada that I'd drink, so I'm alcohol free, for the past 3 months. I likely wouldn't have drank during that time anyways, but the fact that I'm not allowed makes it so much more annoying.
  5. Lack of PDA. Not that it matters, seeing as how my boyfriend lives on the other side of the world and I don't generally support public displays of affection unless moderate... but that's not the point. I met him at the airport after a month apart and I couldn't even kiss him. We had a bit of a nervous hug... wanting to embrace in each other's arms for far longer, but fearful of the consequences. We spent hours walking through the mall unable to hold hands. Meanwhile, the locals who made the rules are walking hand in hand. There are double standards for everything here.
Okay, maybe that is enough for now. Although there are other things that irk me on a daily basis. There are some great things about living in Dubai as well... the lack of winter, the amazing architecture, and the vast array of cultures all living together. My attitude towards the city varies on a day to day basis. Fortunately, I spend the majority of my time flying or in other countries on layovers. I can't wait until I have the chance to go home for a visit and embrace the familiarity.


Anonymous said...

I loved the taxi drivers. Lol. Don't know what you're talkin about. I love hanging on for my life :)

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