I have forever and some more being running away from being “Dubaitized”. I get shivers down my spine and sweaty armpits (yes, not very flattering) at the thought to being labeled this way.
So, from my observations from around the place, I have made my own list of people or behavior that is distinctly Dubai.
On the road:
1) If on Sheikh Zayed road, your aim is to push the accelerator till 120, stay there and then revel in the fabulousity that is you. You smile smugly as the radars don’t flash at you. Hah!
2) While still on SZR, if a car in front of you indicates it wants to come into your lane, you speed up, end up dangerously close and secretly pat yourself on the back for not letting that one car in your lane.
3) You think changing lanes without indicating is uber cool.
4) You wouldn’t be caught dead with both hands on the steering wheel. You may be dead because of your one-hand grandeur, but you couldn’t risk two-hands-on-steering kind of crude behavior.
5) It is below your dignity, way below, to do a shoulder check once you pass your road test. Dignified is when you swerve like a drunk monkey on to the next lane, get honked at by a petrified driver and you swerve back onto your lane, your heart doing a whoop inside.
6) If a place/café/restaurant is exactly opposite of where you are standing, you have to take an exit, get back on to the road, take a right, miss a diversion, avoid oncoming pedestrians, take a left, curse a taxi driver, end up on the back road and find the place.
1) A typical day goes like this- enter work 15 mins late,(assuming your company is strict about these things) , stop at your desk, switch on your laptop , head to pantry, make coffee and banal conversation with colleagues about sports/family/TV shows, head back to desk, check emails, reply to 4, head down for a cigarette break, chat with colleagues about sports/family/TV shows, bitch, sit at desk, turn around talk to colleagues, facebook and write idiotic comments on friends pictures, have lunch, check 2 more emails, have coffee, talk to colleagues about sports/family/TV shows, have a cigarette break, go to one meeting where someone drones on about something you don’t care about, pack up and leave.
2) If you think you are wearing something too sexy or slightly inappropriate to work, worry not. Some chick, botoxed and siliconed, is walking around in something that would be vulgar in a strip joint.
3) If you are as guy, tight pants are an absolute must. They must stifle your manhood and make your seriously uncomfortable. I repeat, you must be uncomfortable.
4) When you have just come to Dubai, you will be surprised at the number of incompetent people who are employed. Your dubaitized avatar will accept incompetency with much less resistance and almost start to think of it as a skill. I will also let you on a secret. What worked in your country and your city and at the back of your butt, doesn’t necessarily work in Dubai. Its different, understand that.
1) It is imperative to your being that you do shisha. Friends do shisha, colleagues do shisha, neighbours do shisha, anyone who is anyone or no one does shisha. So, exactly what does doing shisha entail? Shisha is when you make sounds to the effect of “bud..bud..bud” while puffing away some smoke. There is also flavor involved somewhere. And everyone gathered blows smoke into the air discussing hours at an end subjects of deep philosophical nature such as why grape shisha is better than mint and how poodles look better in pink bows. Aah, such stimulating intellectual conversation dots such shisha places everyday.
2) Your sense of adventure extends to running around in the grocery store. For a day out, you walk over to your car – and then head out to a brunch.
3) You think actually playing a sport or real football is a waste of time and your muscles cramp at the thought of moving more than your finger.
4) You have spent so much time on Wii that you expect yourself to move automatically when you play real tennis.
5) Mind games for you are figuring out which way will take you next to the coffee shop, despite all the diversions. Despite you being great at this mental game, you end up on the wrong side of the road and watch wistfully as people sip on their coffees at your favourite café.
6) You have the Dubai stone.
I will add to this one. I know I will.