|Not me, honest....|
Ok, I’ll just come out and say it, I’ve lived in Dubai for three years, and I expect a certain standard of living. Call me pampered, call me a princess: I’m past caring. For those Dubai dwellers who see fit to leave our fair city and visit Europe, here’s the Britney of Arabia helpful guide to what you can expect:
- Public toilets: you have to dispense your own soap (It’s not electronic.) And you have to dry your hands on rough bits of tissue – where are the lovely fluffy hand towels?
- Pavements: not only do these exist, they are covered in dog shit. Be very careful where you walk.
- Taxis: You will be told by the stern taxi driver to put your seat belt on. But by then you may have passed out from heat stroke caused by the excessive heat fans that are blasting at you.
- Hotel rooms: As above, these will also be excessively hot. They will also not feature fluffy robes or complimentary slippers. The complimentary toiletries will be cheap and nasty and make your hair look like a dandelion (not sure what I was thinking using them.) They will not be worth purloining to take home with you.
- Room service: This will be limited to an A5 sheet of 6 items. The cheapest salad will be 20 euros (and you thought Dubai was expensive). On the plus side, you can open the windows to let in the bracing fresh air. The staff will then try to close this every time they enter your room. Persist in opening them, it’s worth it.
- Dubai: When people hear that you live in Dubai, they will want to ask you nine million questions about it. These revolve around: living in expensive houses, going to the beach every weekend, and living the high life. When you confirm that yes, this is all true, and that Dubai is just as fabulous as they think, and then some more, try not to look too smug. Also, do not gush about the reasons why you left the UK: the shit weather, the pessimism, the 40% tax. They will look gutted and you will sound like a twat.
- Visits home: Likewise, people will ask you how often you visit the UK. Don’t say ‘Once a year, and to be honest after 3 years and only two friends making the effort to visit me, I’m starting to think I won’t bother going back any more.” They will think you are a sociopath.
- Airline: If you have to fly on anyone other than Emirates: brace yourself. They won’t: mist the cabin with lovely smelling perfume before take-off, serve you delicious food, offer a wide variety of free-flowing wine, have decent entertainment systems, or have beautiful stewardesses with perfectly applied make-up. They will bark at you like rabid dogs and fling inedible mush at you. The seats will also be so small that you will consider a new job in the circus when you disembark the plane.
I could go on, but I shan’t. I fear that the European Tourist Board may come after me. Let’s just say I said a silent prayer of thanks as I flung myself into Dubai Airport….