Back in days of yore (when PR was PR) we did some work for Gala Bingo, and as part of our induction, visited a bingo hall in sunny Salford. This was before the days of the smoking ban. As you walked into the hall the fog of nicotine hung over the hunched figures, hands hovering over numerous cards in fierce concentration. It wasn't the most salubrious place, and that's an understatement.
Fast forward a number of years to Dubai 2009. And, in a Madonna style, bingo has re-invented itself (without African orphans or inappropriate outfits, I hasten to add.) Yes, every week, hordes descend on a very upmarket golf club out in the desert, for a night of numbers and sheer excitement.
Gambling is illegal in Dubai, so we don't pay to take part, and you don't win cash - instead a selection of dinners, drinks and stays at the golf club. To be honest you'd think we were playing for EuroMillions with the reactions to even winning a line.
Before I become the subject of a lot of derisive comments, let me state for the record, it's full of people my age or younger, there's a great happy hour, and it's fast becoming the place to be on a Sunday night! Who knew?!