Thursday, April 30, 2009


I heard about this ad on Dubizzle and decided to check it out. This guy is offering a two bedroom in Arabian Ranches for 60,000 - I think it is to take over his lease.

I really wish it was a witty hoax , but I have a horrible feeling that it isnt.

Here is a little excerpt:

"And before you ask. Yes, this is a real rental ad. This is not a bait and switch nor lost leader nor an agent. You email me, I call you, you look at house, you like house, you take. No, 6 cheques won't work, no, I can't negotiate, no I won't meet you on Friday morning at 7am as Thirstday nights are punishing for me.

What do you think? Applicants with moving trucks and advice on living in cars welcome to apply. Palmera is groovy. Oh, if you need appliances you can buy them from me as well. They are a year old and in great condition. The oven has been used once to cook a dysfunctional family Christmas dinner."

It would be nice if someone even offered this guy a job on the merit of his funny writing style - not a nice situation to be in !

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reaching new lows

Clearly - I'm not a millionaire. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am a teacher by profession and can just about keep my head above water on my wages.

So I know its not a huge threat to my bank's financial future when I threatened to close my account with them . But, between 2 cancelled credit cards ( involuntary ) in the last month , 5 phone calls to record change of address ( to date , still incomplete ) , 8 call centre operators mispronouncing my name and ( Lou -oo , Lao-oo-see , Lee- laa ,erm MAAAAAAM ) and a rather tense scene in a Spinneys where I was actually removed from the check- out area, I think I am ready to keep my money in my mattress! Is it considered Slander to name and shame ?

Sensitive Souls

7 days has a story about an Austrailian guy who just last week was deported for giving someone the middle finger in a traffic situation.

I know this one is an obvious choice for she who has well documented road rage issues - but I couldn't resist! Deportation? Seriously , this man has come to the country to work as a nurse - is on the way home from a 13 hour shift and has to encounter a boy racer with an attitude problem. There was a time where I would have said " there isnt a jury in the world who would convict you ! " AAh but I forget where I am , and need to realise that things are not so black and white!

I'm all for respecting the laws of a country etc etc, but isn't this one going a little too far ? 24 days in jail and deportation- for a raised middle finger. What exactly is it about the ego of those who feel the need to report a hand gesture to the police? Get over it - be offended by all means - but why involve the law - are you THAT bitter ? Stop driving like an a-hole and you might not get flipped so often !

I understand that the other driver must have had rage issues of his own - what with following the nurse around a roundabout 8 times, driving up his rear and so on, but if he was in that much of a rush , how come he had the time to stalk someone all the way home?

I would love to see attrocious driving being targeted with the same venom as the " meany hand gestures!"
I can't imagine how poop scared this guy was as he was followed home by this maniac , knowing that he probably was in big trouble , despite the fact that HE wasn't the one endangering lives. I am so delighted that my drive to work is approximately 3 minutes long and if I so wish I don't have to go near a main road for weeks on end! I frequently wonder if I would have made it through another month of commuting here without finally losing the rag and doing something stupid!

The logic of this escapes me : driver proceeds like a maniac , weaving dangerously between cars , causing a near accident , other driver raises his middle finger - Who should take offence? Well , I must be out of touch with reality because last time I checked - I could brush off a rude gesture , but a broken collar bone, couple of cracked ribs and a wrecked car ( at best ) were not the kind of thing I could dust myself off from so easily!

What is this place coming to? And to the victim , Darren O'Mullane, take your hard working rear end back to Austrailia - this country doesn't deserve you or people like you !

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's beneath my dignity...

In Kuwait last week a controversy has developed over where or not policemen should be forced to salute their female superiors.

The female officer works at the General Traffic Department and when she pulled up the policeman for not saluting her, he replied saying it is below his ‘dignity’ to salute her because he is a man and she is a woman. You know the old blurb we used to get here when hitting inappropriate website ..." inconsistent with code of ethics, moral ...etc " Yes, thats the one!

So what is the solution to this? A Religious cleric Ojail al-Nashmi issued a fatwa that "A man's salute to a military woman with higher rank is a breach to tribal and urban tradition" .

While a fatwa is not legally binding in Kuwait , there is still pressure from Islamists , the countries main opposition force . The same group opposed the rights of women to vote in 2005 , but in an ironic twist , they now rely on the voting female majority for victory in elections .

Now the Minstry of Interior are considering the option of giving the female officers a pay rise of 50dk ( about 600 dhs) on their wages for every salute which male colleagues refuse to give them or imposing administrative penalties on the male police officers in question.

For my part, I hope these female officers get their pay rise - AND give a little salute of their own to the offenders ! In the meantime , Kuwait is now on my "go see" list !

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

18 month old declared illegal

The law will be implemented equally . Without exceptions it seems. The story is here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I was going to write about this weeks ago. It's very interesting to me to see exactly who gets hot and bothered under their collar in this city about how women dress. Why is it so often men who react the in the most extreme manner to this topic? It's such a contentious issue and has started many an argument 'tween friends.

7days newspaper has published a letter by a reader who is complaining that she was harassed in a popular nightclub in Dubai.

Its amazing when you scratch the surface with people , what kind of attitudes you uncover. A few of the comments for this letter have left me agog! The lady in question was advised on a number on points!

" If you can't take the heat , then get out of the kitchen "

"Its a club, not a place of worship. Drunkards and such will always be acting up in places like this. You're surprised? And don't single out Dubai. This happens around the world. "

Ok, so I could submit a reply to 7 days about this - but lets face it , I'm a long winded kind of person and I'm sure they have a max quota of words per letter!

For the record, this kind of thing does NOT happen all over the world. Its called sexual harassment and is far less frequent in some places than it is in others . Further more, if you wear a short skirt , people may look at you and perhaps think a little less of you - but they should damn well know that this does not give them any right to act on whatever little perverted impulse seeing your knees has created in them!

I wrote something recently on this issue but I never bothered putting it up on the blog. However I DO remember writing " hotness is hotness - you can't dull it down !"
It matters not to these people whether I am wearing a sack or a short skirt , if they are that way inclined , and have THAT little amount of respect for women- then they are going to MAUL you or at least try to !

So what to do? It's a catch 22 in this country , where really , as a woman, your presence in nightclubs to begin with casts aspersions over your virtuosity. You could fight the attitudes and continue to raise hell every time you are molested. Or you can take the advise of those 21st century men in 7 days , and get the hell over it , cos really , what else did you expect!

When are men in this country going to stop citing ridiculous reasons for unacceptable behaviour! For the record, this has happened to me on numerous occasions in the Middle East - although admittedly never in Dubai. Syria seemed to be teeming with perverts and gropers the last time I was there and in Jordan , I had somebody camp outside by hotel room banging on the door with a fist full of cash for my "services". I would like to add at this juncture that I don't even own a mini skirt.

There is most definitely a dress code here that should be adhered to . I tend to think that nightclubs are a little less restrictive in these matters because you are, after all, going there to drink , its hardly in keeping with the whole traditional Dubai ethos. Most girls I know will stay on the conservative side of dressing . I don't know anybody here who shows off an excess of flesh. To be honest, the attitude is , "why would you invite the inane staring - which , on a " I'm covered up to my neck and down to my ankles " day , is intense to say the least !

So , the bottom line is , GET A GRIP BOYS! No matter what your religion , your responsibility to behave in a respectful manner remains. Nobody invites assault onto themselves. I think that women here, although they know this statement is true, have it eroded somewhat in their minds living here year after year. With insinuations such as some of those comments in 7 days , its no surprise . If someone puts his hand up a girls skirt - why is it acceptable for our first question to be " How long was your skirt ?"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Put a ring on it ....

If you like it then you’d better put a ring on it ….

What IS going on people?? I know we are approaching wedding season , but Dubai seems to be going ga- ga!

I know for a fact , that if I was living in Ireland , nobody would dare ask me why I wasn’t married - or insinuate that I am not in a serious relationship without a rock on my left ring finger - but clearly - these rules do not hold in Dubai !

Obviously , culture and religious restraints dictate that people do not live together, but lets face it , when you are from a western background , you generally don’t get married without living with your partner beforehand.
( Please step in and correct me , but I’m taking a cross section of my Irish girlfriends between 25 and 35 )

I’m seeing a spate of engagements here that I think , if the happy couples were on home turf , would not be happening . ( A bit like who you end up being friends with here, you may not typically be friends with them if you were back home - but when in Rome and all that )

On discussing this further with friend’s based in UAE , I have discovered a startling trend in women beginning in their late 20’s! It begins with eyeing every potential man as a husband. What religion is he? Where will we live ? Would my parents like him? And all these are coming up in the first month or two of a relationship! It’s gone beyond a joke !

It seems that , by some form of osmosis , be it through the media , or merely by social circumstances, girls of a certain age slowly but surely begin to regard themselves as less than whole unless they are married , or at least have a wedding in the wings !

The woman begins to notice the genuine pity in the eyes of colleagues , and can draw more than one parallel between herself and Bridget Jones . She may own more than one cat , which doesn’t help with the image of being single and content
( sorry )

So by some twisted , self fulfilling prophecy , scores of previously independent minded women are now dedicating themselves to meeting “ Mr. Right”! Once they have him, they start the mental check list . Perhaps she has given herself one year to an engagement , she might stretch the engagement out to another year or so , under the guise of “ saving up for the wedding “ , and then , oh yes, there’s the kiddies to think of .

Boys , beware of the new breed of woman out there, she is under pressure, time isn’t on her side if she is to birth Sprog #1 before her ovaries have begun to shrivel .
It is no longer considered rude to quiz a couple about the possibility of impending nuptials. Bridezilla’s are being spawned across Dubai by the societies unforgiving attitude towards the single woman.

Sooooo , I’ve compiled my own top ten reasons not to get married yet !!

10. You have signed no contract , so , like an absent minded employer who didn’t finalize the hiring process, you can leave this and get a new gig at any point should you wish to do so !

9. Your child bearing hips are still called curvaceous - and thankfully , don’t have a child perched on them yet.

8. You can still see the absurdity of women shortening their husbands name to “dh” ( dear husband ) in conversation - a sad reference to far too much time spent on a certain internet forum .

7. Your employers still pay you a housing allowance. Because we all know that when someone gets married here, the offers become less generous and you have to get your husband to sign his consent for you to do run of the mill tasks like getting a drivers license. Who knew the age of consent was actually only 18 till the day you got hitched !

6. No obligation to shave legs/moustache/ any other decidedly unfeminine ( yet perfectly apparent in all women ) features


4. You get to look at married couples with families and notice that , although you are just as exhausted and burnt out as they are, you fatigue is from the excess of partying and not getting up at 5am to do the school run and all that comes with it!

3. You can STILL sell your car , quit your job and work in a bar in Goa/ Antibes/Galway/ or somewhere equally exotic if the fancy takes you .

2. Snot , poo, wee and dribble are ( hopefully ) the stuff of distant , distant nightmares. Unless of course you are a teacher, in which case , suck it up - and think of how strong your immune system now is after years of exposure !

1. Rest assured that , despite Bridget Jones description of “ smug marrieds “ , your married friends will , at some point , lament to you the loss of their single days of freedom - in much the same way we tell teenagers that the teens are the most carefree years of their lives. And you get to respond piously “ Yeah it’s fab, can you take your kid back now , I promised the girls I’d go meet them for brunch “