Dubious About Dubai: Part One #travels #dubai

To continue my series on My Life In Transit, we are back in 2017 and Dubai. We begin with my preoccupations, for which read prejudices...

I’m off to Dubai. Which is near Abu Dhabi and part of the United Arab Emirates. But apart from that I couldn’t stick a finger on the map and say I’d hit the spot.

It’s the sort of place I can’t imagine in a  month of mother in laws ever expecting, or wanting, or needing, to visit. But then the Lawyer gets posted there and he says: ‘You must come’ and I look at the Textiliste and she looks at me and I sort of know this is going to be a ‘man thing’ so I’d better suck it up.

Why the reluctance? I like buildings. I enjoy modern architecture. I know a lot of men in dresses; hell, I’ve even some Scottish friends so a few thobes aren’t going to put me off. I’m good with clean streets. I enjoy different cultures; I’ve been to Birmingham.

Yes this is a sort of adult disneyland that is a touch on the gross side. If John Waters (of the ultimate bad taste movies) did architecture I’m guessing Dubai might be in the top five.

But there you go; my prejudice is close to the surface already. I think it’s because I know I ‘shouldn’t’ like it or pander to it. It’s conspicuous and it consumes. It’s capitalism’s sniffly cold, it’s our affluenza. It has ATMs that dispense ingots (okay, it may not since I got this from Jeremy Clarkson, but hell, does it sound like it might? Sure).

So, damn me and my small-minded liberal metropolitan ya boo sucking.  I’m going to go open-minded and share my raw experiences with you. It can’t just be sand and mammon, can it? That’s reserved for the Starbucks food counter surely?

So, this is where we are right now…

Well, I have a seven hour flight booked with ‘no frills’ Qantas, somewhere in row 86 of one of those Big Storage units they manage to get into the air these days. My seat is close to the toilets which may or may not be a good thing. It’s a full flight so I’ll be sharing my recycled bodily gases with several hundred other souls. I decided to ‘go vegan’ to see if that means the food is more palatable than the usual ‘chicken as a soft toy’ corruption I seem to attract..

‘What would you like sir? Chicken or fish?’


”We’re right out of fish.’

‘What? Between you offering it to me and me asking for it?’

‘Yes sir. So is that chicken or fish?’

I land at 23.00 their time. I doubt I’ll be met. He’s a trainee lawyer. He’s there because they de-sanguinated the last one over Christmas (what’s the difference between being bitten by a vampire and undertaking a training contract at a city law firm? At least with a vampire, you can see how they drained the blood out of you). So I’ll experience the metro (built in three years, at the cost of Gambia, it is run by driver-less trains which will give me a chance to experience what may happen to the London underground in circa 2035).

I have my currency. I’m not good with currency. See, I like to look like I know what I’m spending which isn’t easy when (a) you don’t recognise the notes – and the Americans are the worst; sorry guys but what in God’s good earth possessed you to have all the notes the same fricking colour? and (b) multiplying by 4.24 to get the number of pounds melts my brain. ‘Round up’ I hear you cry.’ Sure but then I try and do a sort of mental adjustment, like garnering reward points and I know, as I’m doing this, that the shop-assistant/wait-person/ticketsalespeep thinks I’m half-witted which was what I was trying to avoid in the first place.

I’m really looking forward to this trip.

PS. I’ll miss Dog too, as well as Herself. So much so I seem to have turned him radioactive, what with the worry…


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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15 Responses to Dubious About Dubai: Part One #travels #dubai

  1. willowdot21 says:

    2107 surely not… The rest I am sure is true πŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Chicken or fish. That made me chuckle. I once was offered standing or seating. When I went to the seat the seats were blocked off. I was then offered standing and standing in seated areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t wait for this one Geoff. Dubai for me would be the road sign that signaled the end of the Earth so I’m anxious to read about your impressions.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The ever stoic, Dog!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eileen says:

    Looking forward to hearing about your impressions. Have a niece that teaches somewhere there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Widdershins says:

    An entirely auspicious beginning … one wonders in which direction it will progress. : )

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Chel Owens says:

    I would have the same reservations. As to the money, you have to read the face of it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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