Sunday, March 04, 2007

A week is a long time...

in politics. And while the time flies by here, so much can happen from day to day and week to week.

Last week, I was buzzing. I was on a real high, heading back to work after a week's break with a pay rise under my belt and the praise of my clients and the BOSS ringing loudly in my ears. I was enjoying my job for the first time in years and the future was brighter than the desert sun.

Soon enough, things turned sour. Things had been going too well. One little stupid thing (I won't bore you with the detail) that had been missed between me and a chap who works in our office in Doha (who was on holiday the same week as me) gave some people the excuse to knock me off my pedestal with a nonchalant swipe and then jump up and down like a gleefully peeved elephant on the broken pieces on the floor. Like they say: one day you're the pigeon, the next day you're the statue covered in cack.

So work got a bit uncomfortable for a few days towards the end of last week. I took the opportunity to go for a drink with a mate and drowned my sorrows in various curious places around Dubai.

Which brings me nicely on to the next subject for today's incoherent rant. We went to a bar called Scarlett's at the Emirates Towers. It's a pleasant enough joint as joints go. We met some of my mate's friends, and one of them was an Emirati, who wore a natty black dish-dash. He sat with us sipping Bacardi breezers quite happily. It happens. Muslims aren't meant to drink alcohol. They do. I'm not meant to think about sex all day. I do. Shit, as everyone knows, happens.

But anyway, we were there integrating and getting along famously until a man approached our table. He was dressed like all these hospitality industry managers are, with a cheap navy suit and greased-back hair, exuding self-importance and bristling with truculence. Or something. He talked to our local friend in Arabic for a moment, then disappeared from the scene, back to pushing his pens and worthing his jobs. Our friend smiled knowingly and told us that he had been asked to leave the bar at 10pm. I was quite astonished. Here he was, in his own country, and he was being asked to leave an establishment because of who he was and what he was wearing.

Immediately I imagined the uproar if such a thing was to happen in the UK. The right-wing tabloids would have a meadow, pasture and field day. But it didn't bother our Arab friend. He just shrugged it off, finished his drink and left.

So Thursday I was a little jaded, but not really too hung over. The weekend couldn't have come quick enough. The BOSS still had time to shout at me a bit before letting me go on Thursday night, and I managed to get lost going to a meeting in Deira that afternoon. I finally got to my meeting 50 minutes late, after another session of steering-wheel head-butting and angry assertions to the empty car about how much I hated this place. To be fair, at least 10 of those minutes were wasted trying to get a lift in the most stupid lift lobby known to man. Instead of buttons to choose the floor in each lift, I had to press a number on a console in the middle of the lift lobby. It then told me which lift to use, but I waited a long, long time for my lift to arrive, while other lifts came and went from the ground floor. I only wanted to get the first floor.

Thursday night was relaxing. The WIFE went out with some friends and left me alone to watch a DVD or two. I only ended up watching one (Casino Royale - very good) before getting tired and going to bed.

So at the weekend we ended up going to the newest shopping mall in town - Festival City. I think Vegetable City sounds better, personally. It's shaped like a cucumber, which is nice. Half the shops aren't open yet, you can't walk along the much-vaunted canal yet, and to be frank, the standard of finish in the open sections is shockingly bad. They didn't even bother to clean the veneered wood panelling properly. It should be nice when it's finished. Which goes for the whole of Dubai, if we're honest.

1 comment:

i*maginate said...

Hi..nice blog.

I can sympathise with the job side of things, that's what corporate life is all about: kissing others' asses and having yours' kissed or kicked. Sucks!

As for the local dude in the bar; I don't see the logic in asking him to leave beyond a certain hour.

Re: that crappy lift you mention, I know the one you're talking about. It's completely moronic.

Festival City...I haven't seen the new phases yet but I am sure it will be cool when finished..there'll be loads more restaurants to go to! 90 apparently!

See ya