Sunday, July 25, 2010

Licence to....

Did I mention that I finally sorted my alcohol licence? It took me two years to get round to it, mainly because I couldn’t face the inevitable hassle of taking 25 passport photos, my inside leg measurement and first-born child to some out of the way location, standing in a queue for 5 hours, and then waiting six months for it to arrive. (I work in PR, remember..I’m prone to exaggeration.)

Joking apart, it’s such a ball-ache to get so many things done in Dubai, that this was one thing I couldn’t face. If you want to legitimately buy alcohol (from unmarked off-licences) then you need one of these cards. Bizarrely you can still pick up 5 bottles of wine at Duty Free without anyone asking you for anything at all, and as I travel somewhere pretty much every three weeks, that kept my cupboards full…..the contradictions of Dubai..

I’m not sure what prompted my conscience to actually sort this out. Perhaps it was the guilt of my over-flowing wine cupboard, perhaps it was that just once, I wanted to be a good girl and play by the rules.

If I’m honest, it was neither. It was the happy day that I realized that the head office of one of the main alcohol retailers is…IN MY OFFICE BUILDING. No queues, no hassle, just a quick ride in the lift, 5 pieces of paper, and ONE passport photo. 6 days later: licence was ready.

Much excitement on collection. Yes of course it’s a novelty coming from a country where you can drink, pretty much anywhere, at any time day or night with no restrictions. But the main thing was being reminded that small pieces of plastic and paper are vey important here. You don’t need them every day, but you definitely wouldn’t leave the house without your driving licence, passport (and visa) copy, health card and now, booze licence. I need a bigger purse…

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