I’m not really sure how or when exactly this happened, but over the last few months people have gone from “where IS Dubai? THE MIDDLE EAST?! Do they even have internet there??” to knowing ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL about Dubai. Not all people, obviously, we don’t deal in absolutes here, with the exception of never going in the “office”. But an alarming majority of people who previously were completely clueless as to simple world geography, suddenly are scholars whose life’s work has been studying Dubai. They know more about how Dubai “really works” without ever leaving their home state, let alone country, than anyone living here does. It’s amazing! I am in awe at how much the adult education system has improved in such a short amount of time! Allow me to highlight some of this fascinating newfound knowledge.
Did you know that the Facebook app is different in Dubai? I’m using it, right now, and I did not know that. But as a woman from Texas was kind enough to point out for me, I could not explain how to change the privacy setting for a post because I’m “from Dubai”.
As we already know, I can (and do) drive. BUT, apparently I’ve been hallucinating all the school pick ups, play dates, gymnastics classes, competitions, cheer practices, trips to the mall, grocery, Starbucks, parks, pools, beaches, lunch, dinner – all of it. Then I lie to everyone about doing all these things, including my husband and kids. I’m not really clear on the details of how this absurdly elaborate set up works, like HOW my kids get places, or WHY they remember me driving them around, or WHY ON EARTH my husband would agree to pretend that I drive, but regardless. It’s all a sham. Because, as a fine gentleman from Oklahoma informed me, “women can’t drive in Dubai, they get stoned to death if they even sit in the driver’s seat”.
Cars In Dubai
The only cars allowed on the roads are high-end luxury vehicles, according to a charming young man from Ohio, who adds: You can’t even buy a Ford in Dubai, because they hate Americans.
NEVERMIND that you can’t look at a road without seeing a Ford, or Toyota, or some other NON-luxury car. NEVERMIND that we actually know people who own and drive Ford vehicles, here! In Dubai! Everyday!! No, they don’t have a luxury car that they drive on weekends instead. AND! They aren’t even American! Just out of curiosity though, does my car even count? Or is it not high-end enough?? Oh, but right. I can’t even drive, so I guess it’s a moot point.
To address the last part of the statement: zero people in Dubai hate us “because we’re American”. If anyone here hates us, it’s because we don’t silently agree whenever they make entirely false statements like you can’t buy pineapples in the US because Americans hate Brazil. (Although, no one WOULD say that, because it’s ridiculous AND FALSE.) None of that matters, though. Dude in Ohio says. And if it’s on the internet…
Dubai Is Not A Country
At least as a stand-alone statement this is not wrong. I will give the lovely lady from Texas that. And I’m glad we have collectively finally figured this out. Unfortunately, her actual response to me saying “I live in a Muslim country” was “you might live in a Muslim city”.
That is like saying “you might live in Austin” to a person who has just said “I live in a free country”. As if the capital of Texas is not part of the United States. As if Austin has freedom, but the rest of the country does not.
Women In Dubai
There are so many things, SO MANY THINGS, that I’m *not* doing according to people back home. In addition to not driving, I’m definitely not wearing a sundress while I type this. Or going to the pool later, in bikini. Not wearing shorts in the mall. Certainly not walking beside my husband – even touching his arm – in public. Definitely not leaving the house by myself. Absolutely not taking my girls to the beach, by myself, all of us in “normal” bathing suits. Surely not having an adult beverage in a restaurant. Totally never spend money at Victoria’s Secret (or anywhere else) without “permission”. Under no circumstance am I selecting and visiting doctors of my own choosing, on my own schedule – so naturally I am also not making decisions about my own healthcare without male input. But I AM, I’m told, covering my head and hair whenever I’m outside my bedroom.
Ok, I’ll admit, you’ve got me on this one. I have no idea what you’re talking about.
These are the top results Google kicked back. I’m trying to connect with you, here, but I’m still mystified. Other than a Donna Karan store, I don’t know what any of these examples has to do with Dubai. I don’t shop there because I don’t enjoy overpaying for items for myself. But, I’m sure you’re right. What an evil store.
It’s a good thing I know all these wonderful people who can keep me informed about the place I live, I had no idea!
FWP: I’m Jon Snow.